I, honestly, am struggling with this thread. I’m no capitalist, but I also know that the future is global, and we can fight that, be miserable now and make our children miserable for their lifetimes, or we can find our place in the flow, struggle, and bequeath something better to the future.
You just can’t have it all ways. As the Brexit crowd is learning, leaving the EU will either leave themselves impoverished or put them in the exact same place they are now except with less influence and half a million fewer jobs.
And we can’t pay Walmart prices and expect most people to earn a living.
So, can we adopt ‘price floors’ — I’ve lived with that in Europe. It keeps the Walmarts out, wages high, small businesses intact…but your cost of living is very high. We can have real minimum wages across the board…but Orange Juice made from oranges picked in Spain is 4 times the cost of OJ from Florida — with underpaid migrants.
Pick your poison then.
Let’s face it, Baby Boomers lived charmed lives, as did the GI Generation after they got home from the war. The US had half the world’s wealth, and inflation discounted every debt. But Millennials have different expectations. They don’t expect to own homes or even cars. They just want time off and some power in their educational and work lives.
They also don’t see nations the way folks born 1600–1980 did/do. And though they are socialist by nature, they do believe in that basic tenant of both human freedom and capitalist theory — the free movement of people and labor.
So, I refuse to curl up in a corner and curse the world. I really do believe in my kid and his peers. And I think this global election cycle will be the last dominated by the selfish.
- Ira Socol