The Stupendous US Record Gets Suppressed
In recent years, the consensus regarding the American past has slipped leftward, and then leftward again. No longer is American history a story of opportunity, or of military or domestic triumph. America’s has become, rather, a story of wrongs, racial and social. Today, any historical figure who failed at any time to support abolition, or, worse, took the Confederate side in the Civil War, must be expunged from history. Wrongs must be righted, and equality of result enforced.
The equality campaign spills over into a less obvious field, one that might otherwise provide a useful check upon the non-empirical claims of the humanities: economics. In a discipline that once showcased the power of markets, an axiom is taking hold: equal incomes lead to general prosperity, and point toward utopia. Teachers, book club presidents, and especially professors withhold any evidence to the contrary. Universities lead the shift, and the population follows. Today, millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, outnumber baby boomers by the millions, and polls suggest that they support redistribution specifically, and government action generally, more than their predecessors. A 2014 Reason/Rupe poll found 48 percent of millennials agreeing that government should “do more” to solve problems, whereas 37 percent said that government was doing “too many things.” A full 58 percent of the youngest of millennials, those 18-24 when surveyed, held a “positive” view of socialism, in dramatic contrast with their parents: only 23 percent of those aged 55 to 64 viewed socialism positively.
Amity Shlaes in Warsaw