"High School Lover" - Cayucas
Ah, sitting sipping a Johnny Walker with the world's cutest dog -- freshly bathed and shorn (the dog, not me) -- by my side. (i have to post a before and after shot at some point -- it looks like he lost about ten pounds.) We finally had a spring day here after a long stretch of cold and windy weather. I had dinner al fresco and reveled in the 70 plus sunshine.
- I read this piece by Charles Blow in the Times yesterday with a sense of impatience for the day when the younger generation assumes real political power. I think much of our focus on the younger generation of voters has focused on the fact that they tend to be very socially liberal on issues such as marriage equality, marijuana legalization, and (seemingly) gun control and that they by and large can't stand the Republican Party. These are good things, of course, and could really portend an enormous sea change in American electoral mathematics. But I think it could be even more profound than that. I think -- and please let me be clear that this is by no means inevitable as per my post below -- that we could experience another genuinely liberal epoch comparable to the New Deal and Great Society when this generation really takes its place at the grown-up's table. As I noted in comments below, this generation of twenty somethings has come of age in a truly crappy economy, has experienced horrible unemployment or jobs that have paid low wages, has accumulated enormous amounts of debt in pursuit of educations that have not produced promised results, see little promise of any kind of economic security even in areas like the law or prestige journalism that were once magnets for bright young people. I think that this is a generation that is likely to be not only socially liberal, but economically liberal as well. They have truly witnessed the free market as "the God that sucked."
What could that mean? Well, first and foremost, it might finally mean the day would arrive where true universal health insurance would be available -- where you would see the Obamacare exchange model broaden to include a public option that will eventually sever the link between employment and health insurance. I also think that it could lead to the kind of European social democracy benefits that to date have eluded the American worker -- paid maternity and paternity leave, government subsidized day care, and mandatory paid sick and vacation leave. These will be the kinds of things that government will be asked to mandate because the collective bargaining system will most likely not cover the work places of 90% of this generation. I also think that you will see a rededication of tax dollars to public universities and colleges, an attempt to remedy the kind of debt burden with which so many of this generation have been saddled. Finally, I also see an environment in which urban mass transit systems may cease to be an afterthought when the tax dollars are being dished out.
Again, I don't think any of this is inevitable. But when I look at the opinion polls reflecting the attitudes of this group -- and when I talk to my own twenty-year old and his friends -- I think there is amazing potential to achieve things that have been completely out of reach since I have been an adult.
I hope that this proves true and that I live long enough to see it.
What do you all think?