It is no secret that political opinions amongst millennials and gen z (zoomers) lean predominantly left and their opinions of the Conservative Party are particularly unfavourable. Much of the bitter hatred for tories amongst millennials and zoomers resonates only as point scoring rhetoric that is repeated without much understanding as to why one would truly dislike tories. Many people just know that being a tory is bad and hating tories is good and thus opt with the latter.
The more conscious amongst these demographics will suggest that the tories do not represent millennials and zoomers on the issues that are most important to them. Issues such as climate change, the NHS, the housing crisis, and the economy are some examples that millennials and zoomers consider to be neglected by the tories. From this stems an irredeemable hatred for tories amongst millennials and zoomers whereby they are firmly of the opinion that the tories are not spending or helping enough.
I also fall into the millennial demographic and share a similar disdain for the Conservative Party. However, where millennials and zoomers think the tories are not doing enough, I think they are doing too much. The tories are far too involved in the lives of individuals, the economy and spending money that does not belong to them. This is highly immoral as it necessitates force against individuals and is highly impractical because government cannot allocate resources as efficiently. Millennials and zoomers must realise that to achieve their ideals, in a manner which is moral and efficient, they must stand for less government involvement, not more.
Climate change is of highest importance to millennials and zoomers, more so than any other demographic. They believe it is pertinent to have a government that will address the climate catastrophe full on and of course, none of them believe the tories are the party for the job. However, the tories are launching a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ backed by £12 billion in public finances and is estimated to attract three times as much from the private sector to spur a ‘green recovery’ post covid and launch the UK to net zero by 2050.
The Green Industrial Revolution is underpinned by ten main points including a ban on combustion vehicle sales by 2030, a quadrupling of offshore wind power by 2030, 30,000 hectares of trees to be planted each year, promotion of public transport and a commitment to becoming a world-leader in emission capturing technology. Further, the revolution is claimed to create 250 thousand new jobs and maintain existing green jobs. This is the largest ever green stimulus by a UK government, and ticks many of the millennial and zoomer boxes.
However, the Green Industrial Revolution should be abandoned. Firstly, on account of its immorality and secondly on its impracticality. The Green Industrial Revolution sacrifices individuals to the collective end of net zero by 2050. Tories are sanctioning the idea that the government can use its might to redirect resources to the end of net zero, regardless of how unattainable this goal is, or at what cost it comes to the individual. Individuals are forced to make sacrifices they otherwise would not, such as paying additionally for an electric vehicle that is more expensive and less efficient than their combustion vehicle, losing part of their income to pay for 30,000 hectares of trees when they would find this money better spent on their own necessities or financing 250 thousand new green jobs whilst their own job is wiped out because it is not in line with the net zero objective. Millennials and zoomers should be aware that by forcing green agendas, the individual’s framework of choice is reduced from serving their own prosperity to serving the undefined notion of the collective. Bit by bit, the individual’s ability to choose and act as a sovereign being is diminished to the unattainable, delusional end of net zero by 2050.
This immoral use of force also breeds inefficiency when it comes to resource allocation. The government is exempt from profit and loss, so when they force resources from the private sector, they allocate them to less productive and profitable ends. So, when the tories say green projects will create x amount of revenue and x number of jobs, they do not distinguish between the seen and the unseen. For the government to create x number of jobs or x amount of revenue, they must first take the resources from the private sector where they would have been allocated more efficiently. This creates costs that are not seen, leading to a net loss of value, productivity, and prosperity, not gain. Thus, for the purpose of moral grandstanding and appealing to climate alarmists, the tories are willing to sacrifice the quality of human life in the UK to a green agenda that will be of net harm to individuals. Millennials and zoomers should instead embrace the free market which efficiently allocates resources to climate concerns whilst avoiding the use of force and sacrifice of quality of life. The 90% decline in climate deaths worldwide over the past 100 years, whilst poverty has simultaneously declined by almost 80%, is a fine illustration of this.
Affordable housing is also high on the list of demands of millennials and zoomers. The tories entertain this by pledging a £12.2 billion investment into housing, the largest public sector investment in the last decade. £9.5 billion of this funding will be dedicated to an affordable housing programme in a bid to help people to get on the housing ladder. To aid this, Johnson plans to introduce long-term mortgages for first-time buyers who would need deposits of just 5%. This coincides nicely with the Bank of England’s record low base rate of just 0.1%, essentially making government assistance for getting on the property ladder the greatest it has ever been. One would think this would earn the tory’s praises from younger voters, especially since the number of first-time buyers has almost doubled since the tories entered Downing Street in 2010.
However, this affordable housing pledge should be treated with the same contempt as the net zero pledge, for the same moral and practical reasons. The £12.2 billion investment must come from somewhere but rarely do millennials and zoomers consider where from. It is just assumed that ‘the rich’ should foot the bill and that this is the moral thing to do. But how can this possibly be moral when there is a clear initiation of force to take from one group of individuals to provide for another group of individuals? Any act that uses force as it means cannot arrive at a moral end. Sanction should not be granted to those policies that reduce individuals to ‘means’ to be sacrificed to some collectivist end, regardless of how noble or admirable those ends may seem. Millennials and zoomers must rid themselves of the repugnant idea that the rich exist to be plundered and the less fortunate have a mortgage over the lives of those in a better position. Only individuals have the right to decide whether to help those of misfortune; an organised political system has no right, whatsoever.
This moral degeneracy also does nothing to address the fact that government involvement in the housing market is precisely why many individuals find it so hard to get on the ladder. The problem stems primarily from the Bank of England’s record low interest rate of 0.1% which is kept low to finance government spending sprees. The low interest rate increases the value of future income from owning a house, leading to banks increasing their lending and borrowers taking on more debt, which in turn bids up the price of housing. This is exacerbated by stringent government regulation which strangles the supply of housing whilst demand is run up with fiscal incentives such as 5% down mortgages. Resultingly, the average house price has almost doubled, from 3.7 times the average annual salary in 1997, to almost 8 times the average annual salary in 2017.
The tories shouting about affordable housing is simply smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that government is the reason housing is so expensive in the first place. If millennials and zoomers are truly interested in making housing affordable and not just standing on empty moral platitudes, they should look to market. Ultimately, the root of the problem, the Bank of England, needs to be dissolved so interest rates (the price of money), can return to a natural rate. However, this is a monumental task, and its discussion is beyond the scope of this post. What is important to know is that a natural interest rate is crucial for the correct function of supply and demand and resource allocation. Without this crucial component, distortions will exist in the housing market which will keep affordable housing out of reach for millennials and zoomers. Beyond interest rates, liberating the housing market would reduce costs by eliminating overly stringent building regulation and supply constricting land restrictions. The pent-up demand for housing would quickly be satisfied by enterprising developers if only the government removed themselves from the market so the appropriate market conditions could exist.
Inseparably close to the heart of millennials and zoomers, as well as the UK population at large, is the sacred NHS. It is said to be a first-rate healthcare system, the UK’s proudest achievement and envied worldwide. Naturally, this makes it the area where the tories are held in the highest contempt as they are said to be the evil party who will sell it off at any opportunity after crippling it with austerity for years. This is not completely unfounded as the tory’s healthcare budget has grown at a slower average rate, 1.4%, compared to the average 3.7% since the NHS was founded. Although besides this, the tories do not do nearly a good enough job of living up to their reputation of defunding the NHS.
Healthcare spending as a % of GDP has been highest during the last ten years of tory government than any other time in history. Nominal spending has grown each year making 2020 the largest ever healthcare spend by a UK government and 2021 is set to top it again. The 2021 health budget is set at £201.7 billion. Compared to 2019’s budget of £148.8 billion, that is a staggering increase of approximately £145 million per day. Although £51.9 billion of this spending is covid-19 funding, when an extra £145 million is being spent per day, can it still be said with conviction that the tories are not spending enough on the NHS? And despite this gargantuan increase in spending, the NHS has had one of its worst years in history, as evidenced by the fact the UK is still locked down to save the sacred beast.
The issue is not the tory’s NHS budget, but instead the fact that the NHS is almost a complete state monopoly which by its very nature is immoral and impractical. Its immorality and impracticality are bolstered by its sacred status that exempts it from being questioned or criticised without an ensuing attack from its cult like following. The sacred worship of the NHS means individuals hm are expected to sacrifice for it without question, as observed in the last year of covid hysteria. Individuals must give up their life and everything precious to save ‘our’ sacred NHS. One is considered a monster to refuse. Clearly, this is an initiation of force whereby individual’s right to life has become contingent on the capacity of the NHS.
Moreover, every tax paying individual is forced to pay for this racket, whether they use its services or not. It does not matter how poorly the NHS performs, or how much it runs over budget, the taxpayer will always be on the hook for it. This infinite sacrifice of the individual to the NHS is grounded in the collectivist notion that healthcare exists as a right. However, this cannot be true as healthcare is a service which requires action from other individuals, or a group of individuals (positive right). If one is to say they have a right to healthcare, then it must hold that they have a claim over the individuals who produce healthcare. But no individual has this claim over another. One cannot force an individual to serve their ‘right’ to healthcare as it would first involve violating the provider’s property rights (negative right); the right to their own mind, body, and labour, and who to contract it to. Sadly, the NHS is built on the premise that healthcare is a right, so it does not matter how high costs soar, or how low services plummet, the individual taxpayer is there to be thrown into the furnace to keep the flame of ‘free healthcare’ burning.
It must also be asked why millennials and zoomers are okay with the government having a monopoly on healthcare? If this were a private enterprise with a market share as dominant as the NHS, the outcries would be never ending. But somehow, when it is the government monopolising the market, it ought to be monopolised more! Yet this is precisely the reason the NHS provides such a substandard service that individuals must constantly sacrifice to. The government’s exemption from profit and loss, and the lack of competition in the marketplace, means there is no incentive for the NHS to be improved. It can exist indefinitely without the fear of losing its market share as would happen to a private provider in a free market. A free, competitive market is essential for ensuring healthcare costs decrease whilst quality rises.
The retort to this is that people would be left without healthcare in a free market as they would not be able to afford it. Whilst this is somewhat true, as there will always be some people unable to receive healthcare whatever the system, it true that the number of people unable to afford healthcare in a free market would be significantly less than the number who do not receive the healthcare they apparently have a ‘right’ to due to NHS waiting times, cancelled treatments, lack of beds, poor service, misdiagnosis and more. Moreover, a free market, unburdened by red tape and regulation, opens the potential for private charity to provide for those that are truly unable to afford their own healthcare. However, the market’s efficacy in driving down costs would keep the need for private charity low. The unhampered market, free from regulation and controls would reduce costs, allow supply to match demand and improve the quality of service through competition and innovative solutions. Millennials and zoomers may suggest that healthcare is ‘too important to be left to the market’, but the opposite proves to be true: healthcare is too important to be left to the government.
Considering what has been presented above, it can be said that the tories represent the interests of millennials and zoomers more than they are given credit for. The tories, with their inability to defend free markets morally, and their unwillingness to defend them practically, routinely pursue statist policies that use big government spending as a supposed ailment to many of the socioeconomic problems that millennials and zoomers are concerned about. This can be seen to be true when it comes to climate change, housing, the NHS, and other concerns not mentioned here. But the issue with millennials and zoomers, and the left in general, is that no amount of spending will ever be enough. They have an insatiable demand for bigger government and bigger spending with no awareness of the futility of these means.
As demonstrated above, the issue does not lie with the tories, per se, or the size of budgets, or spending. The problem is government in and of itself. Millennials and zoomers, who wish to be the great moralists of our time, must understand that government is immoral as all its actions are predicated on the use of force. Public projects such as those mentioned above and many more championed by society at large, are all egregious rights violations built on the premise of sacrificing one individual, or group of individuals to another, for some ‘greater good’. This collectivised code of ethics rots the foundations of healthy society as it substitutes voluntary exchange by individuals for forced exchange by brutes.
Government’s ability to use force to steal resources from the private market, whilst being exempt from profit and loss, leads to government creating more problems than it solves as it finds itself unable to allocate resources efficiently. As such, the government is left continuously chasing its tail, trying to solve the problems it created. All of which comes at a cost to individuals who are plundered to pay for the government’s incompetence whilst their quality of life is quietly diminished by resource misallocation.
Free markets provide a solution by rewarding what is moral and valuable whilst punishing that which is immoral and wasteful. Millennials and zoomers must turn their disdain for the tories into disdain for government in general and demanding the tories, or any other party do more and spend more. Instead, they must demand that they get out the way completely. Millennials and zoomers, if they are serious about morality and advancing human prosperity, must become unapologetic advocates of laissez-faire capitalism, the only moral and practical economic arrangement available to man.