Thursday, November 6, 2008

Greg Mankiw ClaimsYoung Voters Are Supply-Siders

Greg Mankiw must not be happy with the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate:

I am not enough of a political scientist to be sure, but recent conversations I have had with some Harvard undergrads have led me to a conjecture: It was largely noneconomic issues. These particular students told me they preferred the lower tax, more limited government, freer trade views of McCain, but they were voting for Obama on the basis of foreign policy and especially social issues like abortion. The choice of a social conservative like Palin as veep really turned them off McCain. So what does the Republican Party need to do to get the youth vote back? If these Harvard students are typical (and perhaps they are not, as Harvard students are hardly a random sample), the party needs to scale back its social conservatism. Put simply, it needs to become a party for moderate and mainstream libertarians.

I agree that the new GOP should move away from the theocrats known as social conservatives but let’s be honest – George W. Bush and the 2008 vintage of John McCain were NOT pushing a serious agenda of less government spending. They did push the agenda of the free lunch – tax deferrals disguised as tax “cuts”. Why would a college student vote for anyone who is shifting the long-run tax burden away from old farts like me and towards them?


Anonymous said...

I remember reading about a senator on the senate floor who claimed that a farmer in his district supported tax cuts for the wealthy because he said that if he became wealthy one day he would want those tax cuts.

Perhaps Harvard college students look at it the same way. I certainly don't, but then again I don't go to Harvard and don't expect to get a corporate job when I graduate and become filthy rich.

Ken Houghton said...

The dataset is even more skewed: Harvard students who talk with Mankiw—and with whom Mankiw speaks.

I'll lay odds he didn't just walk up to people in the Yard with Obama buttons on and ask them why they were supporting a man Thomas Sowell hates and Vernon Smith disdains.

Shag from Brookline said...

Can we expect Mankiw to bare his soul about the election of Obama? Clearly, Mankiw is much smarter than George W, for whom he toiled, as were most of George W's advisors. Perhaps this accounts for Mankiw's support for George W and his third term via John McCain: the feeling of being smarter than your boss.

I wonder what Mankiw has to say about Joseph Stiglitz's recent commentary on the economy and those bearing responsibility for its sad state. I doubt if he is up to challenging Stiglitz who has questioned Alan Greenspan, something Mankiw seems incapable of doing.

Richard H. Serlin said...

"If these Harvard students are typical (and perhaps they are not, as Harvard students are hardly a random sample)"

They're highly untypical, plus they're talking to their professor who they know is a very libertarian, so obviously they will have an incentive to voice agreement with him and keep silent about disagreement.

Look at the scientific surveys and data. These Millennials are not at all pro tiny government, every person for himself, constant giant personal financial risk and stress even if you work hard and are responsible, crappy public infrastructure, crappy health and safety, crappy or no parks for themselves and their kids, crappy universities, crappy basic scientific and medical research, gated private security housing complexes like in Honduras, etc., etc., so the wealthy can pay less in taxes, and people don't lose little bits of personal economic freedom.

datadave said...

Wow, 'correction': Obama got the 'youth vote' (those under 30) at a two to one ratio.

Does Harvard practice Ideological hiring practices bespeaking tokenism? Have a Token Republican Conservative to show 'diversity'? Where's the 'brains' in claiming something so patently false as to show that the Young are supporting Reaganomics?