The U.S. government is occupied in nothing so impactful as the redistribution of capital from the disfavored to the favored. The contemporary argot focuses on discussing politics as though it was most naturally sliced by income level—“the 99%,” “the 1%,” “the 47%”—leading to a misguided focus on "wealth inequality."

I had a hunch that it was more relevant to view redistribution, the chief object of modern government, from the perspective of young and old. From taxation to student debt to the national debt, twenty-first century American life increasingly involves moving capital from the young to the old. Youth are disengaging from politics at a fast clip, as the retired and retiring gain greater potency. Policies that imply the moral superiority of stasis and comfort, as opposed to growth and dynamism, are becoming the norm. That, at least, is what I saw in reviewing the data for this paper, written for John B. Taylor at Stanford.

Download here [PDF]