People are scared of Millennials having a voice

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/millennials-economics-voting-clueless-kids-these-days/374427/

Summary: The author of this article claims that millennials have a political viewpoint that does not make any sense. He gives a series of statements that seem to be saying that the opinions of millennials are contradicting and hypocritical. He claims that young people are only liberal until they make money, and then they become conservative. He also thinks that young adults have no idea how the economy works. Lastly, he says that millennials love socialism but do not understand how it works.

Claim 1: Millennials are more liberal than the rest of the country, particularily on social issues, but they get more economically conservatice when they make more money.

Misleading. First, the writer goes off on a tangent about how poor people are historically non-white and liberal. It has no relevance to the article. Then, he includes this chart:

The scale on this chart causes it to be misleading. It seems there is a large difference between the income groups, when really it is only 18 percent. He also linked to an article about millennials being confused about their economic stance, but the article was written by he himself. All the information used is biased and therefore misleading.

Claim 2: Millennials don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to economics.

Misleading. The writer gives an example of a “survey” filled with his own personal interjections and opinions. The studies he references are from Reason Foundation and Pew, which are known to hold libertarian views. He brings up social security being something millennials don’t understand, when it isn’t even mentioned in this “survey.” He then gives the statement most adults don’t understand economics and “economics is hard” which contradict his claim that millennials do not understand it.

Claim 3: Millennials don’t know what socialism is, but they think it sounds nice

False. He says this is “entertaining nonetheless”, making it obvious his main goal is just to belittle millennials. He gives statistics that more millennials want socialism than can accurately describe it, but doesn’t reference any studies directly. Also, it would be difficult for someone to even correctly define capitalism, so this is simply misleading and obtuse.

Plans for argument:

  • He gives little reference to credible sources, sticking in charts that hold very little relevance
  • I will point out that he goes on many tangents and will mention thinks millennials “don’t know” with no proof that they were even given the chance to explain
  • He links to his own writing several times.
  • His other articles that he uses to support this one make similar ostentatious claims with no research to back them up.

Other thoughts: Overall I thought this editorial was very misleading, and I even searched to check if it were a satire. His claims are so ridiculous that I thought it was a joke.

 

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4 Responses to People are scared of Millennials having a voice

  1. Blake Small says:

    I agree with your analysis of the article, I just want to point out that there is no study or poll cited with the graph and that makes it even more misleading and untrustworthy. His claim about not understanding how socialism works, is absolutely hilarious given how he most likely is referring to government control of the economy, which isn’t what socialism is, Socialism is an economic philosophy that workers should have joint ownership of the workplace. Though if you want to argue that Socialism has changed, even Modern Democratic-Socialism (Aka Most left Parties in Europe) is however that the government should regulate the economy and provide for goods and services that the free market can’t apply fairly and equally, as well as regulate the businesses to not be able to rip-off their customers. It is also funny since the author would likely be the first person to associate Communism with the USSR totalitarianism, and if you actually look at the Communist Manifesto, it argues that we should provide for the community and there should be no government, no religion or anyone that can oppress workers or their villages. Finally, the claim that millennials don’t understand how the economy or capitalism works is weird given that we don’t actually have capitalism, given that we’ve basically removed risk from the market and the government subsidizes giant corporations, allows monopolies and oligopolies, that’s not Capitalism in any sense of the word.

  2. Anna Pethel says:

    Your fact check is really thorough and strong! This article is a great one to respond to because of all the odd claims that you identified. It sounds like the author is writing about a couple millennials he knows personally; however, it did not work when he tried to generalize these claims towards the entire population of millennials. The most shocking aspect of this to me is how he linked one of his own articles in this one. That is very unprofessional because if you are trying to prove a fact, an academic or reliable source needs to be cited – not more of your own beliefs. This specific editorial is a good choice when it comes to creating a response because it seems to be the epitome of misleading information, broad (and inaccurate) assumptions, and closed-mindedness.

  3. Shaan Patel says:

    I like how you pointed out that the source for his argument was also written by him. This a big red flag that shows that most of his claims are being based on opinion. From the fact check that you provided, it seems as if he is making a lot of claims based on his own opinion which shows that this isn’t really credible information. The research you did on the survey was also really good because the one major thing to look at when it comes to surveys is the people who were surveyed. In this case, the people who were surveyed were all known to hold the same political views which introduces a lot of bias into this piece of evidence. Finally, your third claim fact check is excellent also because it also seems to me like this author is just trying to belittle millennials. His claims are mostly not backed up by credible evidence, and most of this evidence is based on his own opinion. These are red flags showing that this article is mostly based off of opinions.

  4. Aaron Simon says:

    I totally agree with your ideas about Claim 2. He contradicts himself in the final paragraph. After spending a portion of his article talking about how millennials don’t understand economics, he then says that most Americans don’t and apparently most economists don’t. One would think that economists know economics. Perhaps Derek Thompson knows something we don’t. Although I disagree with his saying that most economists don’t understand economics, I do agree with him that most people, young and old, don’t understand economics. Economics is hard and does have many intricacies but that doesn’t explain his contradictory statements. Thompson’s editorial has a clear bias against millennials. I also think he has a rightward tendency when it comes to politics. Many of his ideas tend to favor the right side and completely trash on the left.

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