Joel Kotkin is one of my favorite writers on city and class issues, and his "The Rebellion of America's New Underclass" is worth reading in full. I want to highlight one element that I think is critical for understanding the psychology and politics of the Millennial generation. Kotkin certainly makes this point in his essay, but I want to connect the dots in a different order than he does.

Near the end of his essay he calls out Millennials for not respecting America's founding principles:

Not surprisingly, then, Millennials tend to support massive government programs as a way to address social and economic problems by wide margins. A poll conducted by the Communism Memorial Foundation in 2016 found that 44% of American Millennials favored socialism while 14% chose fascism or Communism.

Perhaps because they no longer respect the basic founding principles, Millennials are also far more likely than their elders to accept limits on freedom of speech. Some 40% of Millennials, notes the Pew Research Center, favor suppressing speech deemed offensive to minorities--well above the 27% among Gen Xers, 24% among baby boomers, and only 12% among the oldest cohorts, many of whom remember the fascist and Communist regimes of the past.

Many people recognize this sentiment in the Millennial generation and attribute it to ungratefulness and poor character, but earlier in the essay Kotkin points to a remarkable fact:

America's economic regression is best understood in generational terms. About 90% of those born in 1940 grew up to earn higher incomes than their parents, according to researchers at the Equality of Opportunity Project. The same is true for only 50% of those born in the 1980s.

A Deloitte study projects that Millennials in the United States will hold barely 16% of the nation's wealth in 2030, when they will be the largest adult generation by far. Gen Xers, the preceding generation, will hold 31%, while Boomers, entering their eighties and nineties, will still control 45% of the nation's wealth.

The reason Millennials are angry is because America's promise of upward mobility has been broken. I was sure that George W. Bush would be America's last Baby Boomer president, but even now in 2016 no one but Boomers got close to the nomination for either party. The Boomers' grip on power is strangling their children and grandchildren.

Millennials are foolish to clamor for socialism, but can you blame them? They're badly educated and inarticulate -- again, thanks to political correctness foisted onto them by Boomers -- but their grievances are real.

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