Bernie Sanders has an appealing message to young millennials in their twenties and thirties, he wants to erase all student loan debt, mandate a $15/hour minimum wage, provide free health care and usher in socialism in a major way in the United States.
Socialism is predicated on the notion that the “rich don’t pay their fair share.” and that the wealth of those who have more should be taken by the government and given to the poor. Buy-in to socialistic ideas happens whenever there is great wealth disparity in nations, without free-market solutions to expand opportunity for the middle class.
Many wealthy individuals and families do everything in their power to preserve their wealth and lifestyle in Utah. The most popular problem of wealthy Utahns is NIMBYISM. “Not in my backyard”. They appreciate “affordable housing solutions” but when it comes to build and plan, they cry “not in my backyard!” This has resulted in Utah having one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the nation, and a shrinking middle class.
Nimbies believe that, rather than allow for the less fortunate or future generations to enjoy the wealth and opportunity that they had, they should protect their own wealth by saying “No” to greater housing density, more bike and transit infrastructure (less parking) and measures that would allow for more opportunity for more residents to have housing. This mindset, as we have learned from California eventually leads to intergenerational-class warfare and leftist policies.
As thousands of millennials now in Utah are priced out of the housing market, we are finding a situation ripe for young people to embrace socialism and the notion that government can be the savior from the “greedy capitalists”.
Utah leaders have been happy to assist giant big-box retailers with tax abatements doling out corporate welfare for the past twenty years. They have been happy to attract big-tech companies to Utah in tax incentives– what they have failed to do is take action to allow for rezoning areas that could create a greater supply of affordable housing for our service sector.
In Utah we have been building our Wasatch Front under the notion that space will never run out, our leaders maintain the status quo of only catering to the wealthy at their peril.
California flipped from red to blue in the late 1990s. Nevada and Colorado followed. Texas could easily flip to a blue (Democratically controlled state) if their politics continue to shift as they have, and Utah also could become a blue state if our state leaders don’t recognize that future generations and young people need to be able to afford to buy, not rent if they want to feel a part of the “American Dream”.
Ownership of property, building equity, using that equity to start a business or to become independently wealthy are key ideas of the American dream in allowing people to realize and understand the value of freedom. Having the ability to be free to choose one’s career path in life; not feeling trapped in a job or career that is suitable; even maintaining the courage to speak our minds — is all due in large part to having enough home equity and wealth to maintain our courage. It’s a fact that socialistic or government “solutions” to problems in the free market nearly always result in less wealth, less freedom and less prosperity for everyone if they are adopted.
But why wouldn’t millennials choose socialism if the benefits outweigh the costs? The current promise is to be free from student-loan debt; To have universal basic income; and to have free healthcare. Why wouldn’t young people choose to take from the older generations that have wealth, if there is no path for them to acquire wealth?
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