Is This a Trend, Hopefully?

 

The following is a real Facebook post that just appeared on my wall, from a young man in his early 20s:

My career as a liberal Democrat has come to an abrupt end. I now have to pay taxes and not get anything back… I actually have to pay for all that crap I voted for… I’ve made a huge mistake.

It is so frank. It is so succinct. It’s raw! Normally I’d be glad to say “I told you so,” but he seems in real pain.  I like that he doesn’t play victim and blame someone else. He made a mistake. It’s on him.

Is this a trend in his age group or is this young man having an individual epiphany? Has anyone seen any real numbers to suggest an age of enlightenment for those born 20 years ago?

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  1. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Extremely doubtful. Few people’s political positions are motivated primarily by self-interest.

    It’s always nice to hear of a convert, though.

    • #1
  2. Drusus Inactive
    Drusus
    @Drusus

    I don’t know if it’s a trend, but I remember a satisfying post from a twenty-something friend upon discovering that she made too much money for an ObamaCare subsidy, but not enough to purchase health insurance outright.

    • #2
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I doubt it’s a trend. Not enough young people will get jobs and pay taxes to learn the lesson in the Obamaeconomy. Promises of “free ice-cream for everyone!” doesn’t just work in high school student government elections anymore.

    • #3
  4. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    I’ve been reading that younger Millennials are more conservative than the vanguard of that generation.  Woohoo!

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    There’s an article in The Atlantic that argues that when one comes of age during a recession, one is less likely to be a narcissist in later life.

    Now that I think about it, Ontario was suffering from the disastrously socialist NDP experiment when I was a university student.

    The large tribe of student and youth activists who helped get Barack Obama elected had come of age during an economic boom period, albeit one where the USA was involved in two overseas wars.

    Those students and activists who have come of age DURING the Obama presidency did not have the same advantages as those who got him elected in the first place.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/05/study-recessions-produce-fewer-narcissists/362116/

    • #5
  6. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Looks more like an outlier to me.

    • #6
  7. Gary The Ex-Donk Member
    Gary The Ex-Donk
    @

    Son of Spengler:

    Looks more like an outlier to me.

     I think Tommy’s anecdote illustrates that once these kids (who just spent the first 20+ years of their lives having their parent’s taking care of everything for them) realize that all this government “involvement” requires money being sucked out of their paychecks every two weeks they begin to rethink all of these things they thought that they thought.

    That connection takes a little longer to sink in for some than for others.

    • #7
  8. user_173937 Inactive
    user_173937
    @Boge

    There may be a great idea in there.  One thing we have always heard (or said) is that if people had to pay their full tax bill at the end of the year – instead of having withholdings taken out of each paycheck – then a lot of people may change their minds about the pro-tax agenda.

    That’s nice in theory, but withholdings are here to stay… so we can only imagine what would happen.

    But what if we subtly changed the tax law to withhold just a little less?  Not enough to cause the government to run out of cash mid-year… but just enough to turn that $750 rebate into a $350 bill, owed to Uncle Sam.  Suddenly, that new iPad I was going to buy with my rebate is gone!  Instead I have to scrounge up some cash!

    Do you think this might change some thinking out there? 

    I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about how tax law gets to be tax law – so I have no clue if this is even feasible.

    • #8
  9. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Matt Boge:

    There may be a great idea in there. One thing we have always heard (or said) is that if people had to pay their full tax bill at the end of the year – instead of having withholdings taken out of each paycheck – then a lot of people may change their minds about the pro-tax agenda.

    I advocate ending automatic withholding, but it would be disastrous to have everyone pay at the end of the year. Disastrous! Want to see the US go bankrupt instantaneously on tax day? That’s yer answer, because almost no one would have saved enough to pay the bill.

    No, in the Age of Immediacy, the change should be to have employees pick up their paychecks at one window and then step over into the queue to watch 25% of their earnings be bled out (voluntarily, per Harry Reid) to transfuse Uncle Sam. That would be an awakening!

    • #9
  10. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    I’ve never understood people getting excited over a big refund.    They gave the government a loan and it just got paid back with no interest.   Also, they lost money by not being able to earn interest on it the whole time.

    If we were all smart we would instruct our accountants to make sure we owe every April.

    • #10
  11. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Western Chauvinist:

    Matt Boge:

    There may be a great idea in there. One thing we have always heard (or said) is that if people had to pay their full tax bill at the end of the year – instead of having withholdings taken out of each paycheck – then a lot of people may change their minds about the pro-tax agenda.

    I advocate ending automatic withholding, but it would be disastrous to have everyone pay at the end of the year. Disastrous! Want to see the US go bankrupt instantaneously on tax day? That’s yer answer, because almost no one would have saved enough to pay the bill.

    No, in the Age of Immediacy, the change should be to have employees pick up their paychecks at one window and then step over into the queue to watch 25% of their earnings be bled out (voluntarily, per Harry Reid) to transfuse Uncle Sam. That would be an awakening!

     I think the government should just send a monthly bill, kind of like your cable, and electrical bill. 

    • #11
  12. user_90635 Member
    user_90635
    @BryanVanBlaricom

    Government will never accede to that option on income tax because then people would have the ability to not pay, and a tax revolt might become possible. Governments are about coercion and when they have the ability to force people to do something, they will.

    • #12
  13. user_199279 Coolidge
    user_199279
    @ChrisCampion

    Valiuth:

    Western Chauvinist:

    Matt Boge:

    There may be a great idea in there. One thing we have always heard (or said) is that if people had to pay their full tax bill at the end of the year – instead of having withholdings taken out of each paycheck – then a lot of people may change their minds about the pro-tax agenda.

    No, in the Age of Immediacy, the change should be to have employees pick up their paychecks at one window and then step over into the queue to watch 25% of their earnings be bled out (voluntarily, per Harry Reid) to transfuse Uncle Sam. That would be an awakening!

    I think the government should just send a monthly bill, kind of like your cable, and electrical bill.

     I like this.  When people see the debit out of their bank accounts –  or have to write the check – they would feel it much more so than they do now.  I never look at my withholding in my pay stub – I rarely look at the actual (digital) pay stub – I just pay bills with what’s been deposited in my bank account.

    • #13
  14. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Mike H:

    Few people’s political positions are motivated primarily by self-interest.

     ???   Did you miss a “not” in there somewhere?

    • #14
  15. dittoheadadt Inactive
    dittoheadadt
    @dittoheadadt

    Tommy De Seno:

    I’ve never understood people getting excited over a big refund. They gave the government a loan and it just got paid back with no interest. Also, they lost money by not being able to earn interest on it the whole time.

    If we were all smart we would instruct our accountants to make sure we owe every April.

     And the corollary, “…and we would advise our clients to make sure they owe every April.”  Which I try to get mine to do.

    • #15
  16. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Tommy De Seno:

    I’ve never understood people getting excited over a big refund. They gave the government a loan and it just got paid back with no interest. Also, they lost money by not being able to earn interest on it the whole time.

    If we were all smart we would instruct our accountants to make sure we owe every April.

     Most of the people I know who get really excited about a big refund have filed their own taxes… incorrectly.  It isn’t so much a government loan as it is free money at that point.  Or, in the very least, the ability to not pay taxes.

    • #16
  17. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Valiuth:  I think the government should just send a monthly bill, kind of like your cable, and electrical bill. 

    That’s how property tax works. Why not income tax?

    • #17
  18. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Miffed White Male:

    Mike H:

    Few people’s political positions are motivated primarily by self-interest.

    ??? Did you miss a “not” in there somewhere?

    No you didn’t, actually. People go against their self-interest all the time. Wealthy liberals call for higher taxes. Poor conservatives want the welfare state disassembled. The price for expressing opinions against your self interest are small since you vote has no chance to change the outcome, but the social benefits to holding “correct” positions are usually quite large. Not that everyone should do things in their own self interest. There’s being right, whether or not you fit in, and whether or not it’s to your benefit, but most people aren’t right for the right reasons.

    • #18
  19. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Mike H:

    Miffed White Male:

    Mike H:

    Few people’s political positions are motivated primarily by self-interest.

    ??? Did you miss a “not” in there somewhere?

    No you didn’t, actually. People go against their self-interest all the time. Wealthy liberals call for higher taxes. Poor conservatives want the welfare state disassembled. The price for expressing opinions against your self interest are small since you vote has no chance to change the outcome, but the social benefits to holding “correct” positions are usually quite large. Not that everyone should do things in their own self interest. There’s being right, whether or not you fit in, and whether or not it’s to your benefit, but most people aren’t right for the right reasons.

     Only if you define “self-interest” as “financial interest”.

    • #19
  20. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Miffed White Male:

    Mike H:

    Miffed White Male:

    Mike H:

    Few people’s political positions are motivated primarily by self-interest.

    ??? Did you miss a “not” in there somewhere?

    No you didn’t, actually. People go against their self-interest all the time. Wealthy liberals call for higher taxes. Poor conservatives want the welfare state disassembled. The price for expressing opinions against your self interest are small since you vote has no chance to change the outcome, but the social benefits to holding “correct” positions are usually quite large. Not that everyone should do things in their own self interest. There’s being right, whether or not you fit in, and whether or not it’s to your benefit, but most people aren’t right for the right reasons.

    Only if you define “self-interest” as “financial interest”.

     How should we define it? Whatever your position is is in your self-interest? Not terribly useful.

    • #20
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Mike H:

    Few people’s political positions are motivated primarily by self-interest.

    ??? Did you miss a “not” in there somewhere?

    No you didn’t, actually. People go against their self-interest all the time. Wealthy liberals call for higher taxes. Poor conservatives want the welfare state disassembled. The price for expressing opinions against your self interest are small since you vote has no chance to change the outcome, but the social benefits to holding “correct” positions are usually quite large. Not that everyone should do things in their own self interest. 

    Only if you define “self-interest” as “financial interest”.

    How should we define it? Whatever your position is is in your self-interest? Not terribly useful.

     In my mind it’s almost a tautology that people vote/hold political positions that serve their perceived “self-interest”.    Assuming you’re not a “burn it down” anarchist, you presumably believe that your political positions, if implemented, would make things “better”, however you define better, right?  And isn’t “better” in your interest?

    • #21
  22. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    double oops

    • #22
  23. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    oops.

    • #23
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