Harvard’s Institute of Politics has released a poll showing millenials are turning away from Obama and the Democratic Party after showing overwhelming support a few years ago. They are now evenly split on which party should run Congress and are fairly disillusioned with both parties, but their support for the President and his party has shrunk dramatically. Do they sense that top-down, centralized statism is out of touch with their own reality? In today’s world millennial act much more like subcontractors, developing particular skills and using them across a broad range of work experiences, as opposed to spending your working life in a couple of jobs in the same industry. This sort of statism does not solve their problems. Complex rule-based centralized systems, whether for health care, or taxes, or environmental regulations, or for labor market regulations if you are a millennial putting together a small business, is a burden and a throwback to the industrial age.

At the same time, younger millionaires who have made their wealth in high-tech tend to vote more Democrat than Republican. Some have suggested that money made quickly – in a few years with an IPO that arises from a cool idea that becomes a useful product in the fast and furious online business cycle – do not possess the same values that a business owner who has built up their wealth over years of controlling costs and delivering quality. This seems to be a contradiction. A business owner in a non-tech industry will vote Republican, legacy industry workers will trend Democrat, information age owners will vote Democrat, while tech workers are trending Republican. Clearly these categories are far being neatly defined in real life, and a small business owner is likely to be knee deep in technology in order to control costs and meet demand in a quality manner.

The important issue seems to be one’s attitude to wealth – how you value it and how you earn it. Until recently, creating wealth has never been easy. It tends to be a long slow laborious process that reaps dividends after years of effort. Speculation has been around for longer than tulip crazes in Holland or gold and silver from Peru sloshed around the decaying Spanish Empire and riddled it with inflation. Incredibly bright and savvy minds have been able to create untold wealth for themselves in relatively short time periods, and one can wonder whether those gains are closer to speculation or to wealth building. Time always tells and the best of the tech world clearly have built up their wealth, rather than rushing unproven products to an IPO, if at a rate unseen ever before. And sometimes they realized that building wealth requires a certain set of values. Steve Jobs had a meeting with Obama at San Francisco airport in 2010 and he told the president he was headed for a one term presidency unless he developed business friendly policies. He also criticized America’s education system, declaring it was “crippled by union work rules.” Maybe designing some of the most beautiful and disruptive technologies the world has seen and creating untold wealth, made him realize he needed to reboot his values. So let’s see where some of the tech millionaires are casting their votes these mid-terms and in 2016, and beyond. Maybe they realize that Adam Smith has a lot more to do with their lives than they thought.

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