by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Our world’s runaway prosperity and casual miracles do not nurture a respect for private ownership and free enterprise, they fuel a bonfire of awkwardness. Some 97 percent of millennials own smartphones—those internet-browsing touch-screen cameras that 50 years ago “Star Trek” dared not imagine—and this age cohort has spent the least time saving money over the course of their adult life to afford marvels like these. This only makes things worse. …
… After all, the success stories (“Every day, another 305,000 were able to access clean drinking water for the first time,” as the Times also reports) do not demand action, or engage our envy-awareness and discomfort the same way that the stories of failure, tyranny, corruption, and poverty do. The overriding impression is the disparity between ourselves and the less fortunate.
So the millennial problem of being drowned in unmerited material blessings is only exacerbated by material wealth. Some have responded by adopting the self-flagellating attitude common among the wokest millennials who denounce their own experiences as fraught with privilege. Others shift their frame of reference and compare their wealth to that of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg, so that they can feel solidarity with the poor.
Both of these outlooks on life are compatible with another, more profound solution: embracing socialism.