Housing bubble

Why will blowing housing bubbles shift the young towards the Left

If you believe that demographics is destiny, then I have bad news for Conservatives. Young people are flocking towards the political left and staying there. Eventually, Conservatives will dwindle in numbers as the years pass and face final political defeat.

This has negative implications on the Culture War and the future of religious liberty. Unless Conservatives change, young people will continue to drift leftward, thereby demographically sealing the fate of Conservatives.

Recently I read this thought-provoking article,

But the underlying demographic changes are what should cause Tories to worry most: namely that young people are not becoming more conservative as they reach middle age, or at least are doing so very slowly, countering a historic trend which had much to do with social patterns that no longer exist.

In Australia, we are blessed with the well-handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. But that blessing is also a curse. In the early days of the pandemic, there was a recognition that we cannot return to business-as-usual. As this news article reported last year, there was a growing appreciation that genuine reforms needed to be enacted:

“If we are ever going to repay this, we have got to be a lot more productive than we have been in the last 10 years. Business as usual will mean that we will never pay back the debt. This is Australia’s banana republic moment times 10. The unprecedented level of debt means we are going to have to tackle red tape,” Mr Roskam said.

But today, we are sliding back into complacency. As a country, we are losing the appetite for tough medicine and reforms. We are sliding back into business-as-usual. For example:

Make no mistake: the pre-pandemic business-as-usual status quo is unsustainable in the long run politically, socially and economically. If there is no appetite to enact reforms to fix the structural and dysfunctional status quo, we will reap the consequences in due time. Specifically, the economic status quo was disadvantageous to young people and we are now sliding back to it.

When young people see the slide back to the unsustainable economic status quo and politicians (especially the ones from the conservative political parties) unable or unwilling to solve long-term problems that will affect them, they can only conclude one thing: the current system is irredeemably corrupt and needs to be dismantled. Unfortunately, the only political ideology that makes sense to them and gives voice to their grievances is Marxism.

Conservative politicians have this false belief that this will not be a problem because they believe in the established historic trend that young people will automatically become more conservative as they grow older. But unfortunately, this trend is breaking down. As this thought-provoking article wrote,

But the underlying demographic changes are what should cause Tories to worry most: namely that young people are not becoming more conservative as they reach middle age, or at least are doing so very slowly, countering a historic trend which had much to do with social patterns that no longer exist.

Conservatism is heavily contingent on lifestyle. Among Americans, for example, marriage (and motherhood) is the single biggest factor determining how white women vote, the country’s marriage gap being far larger than its gender gap (although Donald Trump, being utterly repulsive to a lot of women, did narrow this).

Liberalism, with its focus on the individual and the individual’s limitless potential, has always been associated with singledom. Most of its founding philosophical fathers were childless men, including Locke, Mill, Spinoza, Bentham, Hume and Adam Smith. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau had five children but abandoned them all to the death sentence of orphanages.)

Liberalism becomes far more impractical when children come along, especially the most fundamental of liberal principles, sexual equality. It is possible for both parents to work with an infant at home, and share the burden equally, but it is not easy, and it is not cheap; there are trade-offs and sacrifices and when those sorts of conversations emerge, that’s when conservatism rears its head.

So one reason that English-speaking culture has become so much more liberal is that we live in a society that is unusually single; the only comparable period was pre-Reformation Western Europe, where the childless were overwhelmingly in religious orders. It was hardly noticed, amid the gloom of 2020, but fertility levels in England and Wales continue to plummet, and it seems unlikely that this miserable year will have inspired a baby boom.

Marriage rates are affected by a number of cultural factors, especially religion, but the simple cost of having children is also an obvious problem. Children have become more expensive, and the biggest component is runaway housing costs; in the US there is a clear correlation between high house prices and support for the Democrats.

Conservative politicians in Australia must realise that their economic policies of blowing the housing bubble even bigger will retard and even stop the historic trend of young people becoming more conservative as they grow older. Unaffordable housing, precarious employment situation and difficulty in the job markets discourages family formation, which in turn makes socialism more popular for longer. It increases financial stresses on young people, contributing to growing mental health problems, which is not conducive for forming long-term relationships. Without the formation of long-term relationships, there will be no family formation. Without family formation, young people are much more likely to remain committed to socialist causes as they grow older.

Today, as you look at conservative political activist meetings, you will notice that there is a dearth of young people. This is a very disturbing trend. Without the renewal of young blood, the demography of the conservative movement can only die out eventually. When that happens, Marxism will be waiting in the wings to take over. The mayhem caused by the Marxist Antifa movement in Portland, USA, is a portent of what will happen when young people flock to the extreme political Left.

Those in the Conservative political movement have to seriously re-evaluate their economic ideology in face of the economic realities facing young people today. If there is no genuine reform, I am afraid the Conservative movement will die out eventually.

P.S. Take a look at this article.

But Mrs Kitts said they are not the only one being put in the difficult situation of choosing between a house and children.

“I’ve got friends at work that are having to make the decision of whether to start a family or buy a house. Some have thought they can’t do both as they need to have an asset when they are older, so picked to buy a house rather than start a family, which is devastating for them to have to make that decision,” she said.

As young people get married and have kids, they become more conservative. But without kids, they stop drifting towards conservatism, go straight into the arms of socialism.

You can feel their seething anger,

“We are totally priced out. I’m not searching for a mansion in the eastern suburbs, I just want a family home with a small backyard for my daughter, close to family as my parents get older. But unfortunately you have to be a millionaire to have the privilege of owning your own home in Sydney,” she said.

“The most upsetting part is that nothing is going to change, politicians don’t seem to care, there is no help and house prices are going to continue to rise.”

Make no mistake, this fear, anxiety will eventually morph into indignation, then anger. If nothing is done about this, then there will be calls for radical change, and for some, push them towards a movement that has the agenda for the violent overthrow of the establishment.

This is a social time-bomb waiting to happen. Do not be asleep. Conservatives need to wake up! Otherwise, Marxists and socialists will gladly take up this cause.

About Terence Kam

Terence’s profile picture is made up of the two archaic Chinese characters for the word 'inspiration' (灵感 or 靈感). The literal Chinese translation of these two characters means 'spirit perception', which is very apt for the meaning of 'inspirit'.

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