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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Are Republicans smart enough to become the party of the millennials?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Jobs,Republican Party,Democratic Party,2016 Elections,Millennials

Minorities and millennials were the core of President Obama's 2008 and 2012 election victories, and, according to conventional political wisdom, will continue to be the twin anchors of the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future.

While African-Americans appear to be the modern equivalent of "Yellow Dog Democrats," evidence is steadily growing that millennials are a different matter entirely.

The latest example of this accumulating evidence comes from a recent "The Future of Work" column by Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on FastCompany.com.

Entrepreneurial Millennials

"According to World Bank data, 30% of the global population may be working for themselves, and even strong economies — where job opportunities abound — are experiencing an increase in self-employment rates," Chamorro-Premuzic said.

"Furthermore, this pattern will only be exacerbated in the near future, when more millennials leave college to enter the job market, and when those currently in employment give up working for someone else.

"Although millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, a significant number will never be employees in the traditional sense.

"Turnover figures for millennials are already twice as high as for other generations, with millennials rarely staying on the job for more than three years. Millennials are also more likely to work for themselves."

Big is bad, independent is good

Chamorro-Premuzic notes that millennials are more likely to highly value freedom and independence, and to overestimate their own talents and to underestimate the difficulties inherent in entrepreneurial endeavors.

The key here is millennials hate to be told what to do. They want to do things their way and be creative about it. Getting rich isn't their first priority.

Interestingly, Silicon Valley no longer has the appeal it did to younger workers, according to Chamorro-Premuzic It is now seen among millennials as too big and greedy.

Is Big Government the biggest boss?

Regardless why millennials want to be independent, that desire could make them unusually receptive to a political message that emphasizes the importance of encouraging entrepreneurial freedom.

In addition, as Don Tapscott argued in his 2008 Grown Up Digital, millennials prize values like decentralization, integrity, collaboration, speed and innovation.

Such values are in marked contrast to the typically top-down, centralized, command economy solutions that make up Democratic orthodoxy.

"The distinction between bottom-up and top-down organizational structures is at the heart of the new generation," Tapscott said.

So perhaps the crucial political question for 2016 and beyond is this: Are Republicans smart enough to become the party of the millennials?

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Monday's Editorial: Federal judge tells IRS to come clean, again.

Sunday's Editorial: Ferguson was a racial tinderbox waiting to explode.

Watchdog/Richard Pollock: Joint U.S.-Guatemalan anti-drug cartel program jeopardized by Central American government's late payments.

Watchdog/Mark Flatten (First of a five-part series): VA delays and denials deliver death sentence to veteran cancer victim.

Columnists/Hugh Hewitt: Resetting federal courts on a more neutral path requires GOP wins in 2014 and 2016.

Columnists/James Jay Carafano: An Obama amnesty isn't fair and won't solve the immigration crisis.

Columnists/Michael Barone: Unlike Richard Nixon in 1968, Hillary Clinton isn't campaigning much for her party in 2014.

Columnists/Star Parker: President Obama's zero-sum worldview.

OpEds/"George Fairview": Self-defeating Texas Democrats make a martyr of Gov. Rick Perry.

Legal Newsline/Jessica Karmasek: TracBeam sues Apple over wireless location technology.

Video Morning Examiner: Morning Examiner with Steve Doty for Aug. 18.

In other news

The Washington Post: Backed by U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi forces make big gains in push to retake key dam.

The New York Times: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to deploy National Guard to Ferguson.

CBS News: Shocking number of Americans have no retirement savings.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: Inequality versus capitalism.

National Review Online: The Perry indictment's failed predecessor.

The American Spectator: Slippery Hillary has been Obama's clone all along.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Michael Brown and the conservative inconsistency.

Lefty Playbook

The Nation: What matters in Ferguson.

The New Republic: To prevent future Fergusons, end the war on drugs.

The Washington Monthly: The Democratic side is just as boring as the GOP for 2016.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: 12 charts on overworked America that will make your blood boil.

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