The Wall Street Journal editorial board recently opined on a 70 percent marginal tax rate proposal from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York). They were against it. They, along with many mainline Republicans, seem quite threatened by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her youthfully exuberant, Millennial-appealing brand of socialism lite.
What Baby Boomers and Gen Xers like me would do well to consider is the possibility that Millennials, in general, would be happy to embrace capitalism if it were handed off intact. Unfortunately, young Americans taking a sober look at reality see only stalemate and animosity among their elders. They have accepted the blunt truth that their grandparents will give them massive unfunded liabilities in Social Security and Medicaid, and a legacy of environmental neglect.
In other words, European-style hybrid socialism is upon our youth, whether they want it or not. It is the inevitable legacy of almost impossibly big public debt and almost irreversibly damaged ecosystems. Accordingly, Millennials are reaching what is, under the circumstances, a rational conclusion: Let’s get ahead of the curve and embrace those willing to tax, because unfunded liabilities are a de facto tax already.
If you want, as I do, to see future generations of limited government capitalists, we’d better get about the business of funding or reforming Social Security, et. al., addressing environmental externalities and ending partisan gridlock. These will not be achieved without compromise.