A recent finding, that old peeps don;t like socialism more than young peeps like it. One obvious reason presents itself:
Imagine a world in which there is no economic inheritance at all. The same pattern would exist – the young have nothing very much to their names, the old have it all. Because that all is something which is purchased over the course of a life. It’s possible to get a little more technical and talk of the lifetime income hypothesis, of income smoothing – savings are made while working so as to have a crust to eat in retirement – but the basic concept is obvious. Born naked into the world, a couple of decades before earnings start, perhaps 40 years before peak earning capacity. The young simply will have less wealth than those whose savings are at a peak before they start consuming them in their dotage.
And if you look at the statistics, pensions and housing are the major components of household wealth. Of the near £15 trillion the Office for National Statistics records, some £5 trillion is housing (calculated net of mortgage debt, of course) and £6 trillion in pensions. Granny’s antique nest of tables is only £1 trillion-ish and financial wealth – billionaires paying for their yachts by owning all the companies – is £2 trillion or so.
The wealth of the nation is largely held by the old and those with are less amenable to forced redistribution than those without. Totes Amazeballs for that observation of course.
There’s also this odd idea that with age comes wisdom. Or at least experience. Someone galloping toward pensionable age right now will have been adult, therefore possibly taking note, as the attempts on socialism of Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, China, Vietnam, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, crumbled into the economic dust. For the Lord’s Sake, socialism even managed to make those Germans subject to it poor, an entirely astonishing achievement.
That is, the old’s opposition to socialism isn’t just selfishness, it’s observation.