September 6, 2017

Yesterday, publishing a first slice of ComRes’ polling for UnHerd on the differences in values between younger and older Britons we found some significant divergences on Christianity, crime, overseas interventionism and the balance between freedom and equality.

Today, here’s two findings where 18 to 24 year-olds and over 65s think almost identically.

Contrary to the suggestion that the young are socialists in the image of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Generation-Zers are actually pretty split on whether big government is as big of a problem as big government. Like with over 65s it’s a close-run thing. There are mirror-image challenges for both major British political parties here. Can Labour get past its ideological belief in the State and recognise when bureaucracy goes wrong1? Can the Tories get past their admiration for wealth creation and take on big business when it acts against the public interest2?

The second infographic below captures the finding by ComRes that young voters overwhelmingly share with their grandparents’ generation the view that a loving home is more important for the upbringing of a child than a good school.

More results tomorrow – with the first publication of our survey of US adults.

FOOTNOTES
  1.  I noted the neglect of government failure within economics in my November 2015 report for the Legatum Institute: “Economic textbooks are routinely full of the study of “market failure” and market failure, of course, provides the pretext for government intervention. But governments fail, too. There is the problem of policy by special interests of the kind described above and the growth of middle class entitlements as described in a previous chapter. There is also the short-termism that neglects investment in long-term infrastructure spending and instead prioritises the spending on immediate “goodies” that can help win votes at elections. In a 2014 survey the economists Jim Gwartney and Rosemarie Fike analysed 23 of the most common economic textbooks used in America and found that they were, on average, six times as likely to cover market failure as government failure. Don Boudreaux of George Mason University notes that the New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman did not mention government failure or public choice theory once in his introductory book to economics.”
  2.  Taking on “creeping cronyism that is making free market capitalism an unfree and anti-competitive capitalism” was a key theme of Ruth Davidson MSP’s essay for UnHerd.

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