But there's a problem. Young people generally support giving money to old people. Or at least every bit of US evidence I'd previously seen suggested that young people
What does the New Zealand data say? This is just a 5 minute cross-tab. But the 2008 New Zealand Election Survey has an age variable, and it has a question: "Should the government be responsible for the old?".
If you run a straight correlation between the age variable, zage, and the "should the government support old people" variable (zgovold), where higher numbers mean "shouldn't", I get a -0.0462. So older people are slightly less likely to support giving lots of money to old people.
Let's break things up. Split the age cohort variable into the under 40s, the 40-64 year olds, and the 65+ folks. Not correcting for anything else. What do I get?
47% of the young think the government "Definitely should" be responsible for the old.
52% of the middle aged also say "Definitely should". Their parents are in that cohort, if alive.
49% of the oldies say "Definitely should".
What happens when we just move down to "Should" instead of "Definitely should"?
46% of the young, 43% of the middle aged, and 48% of the old say the government "Should" be responsible for the old.
If we add up the "Should" and "Definitely should", we get just about everybody regardless of age wanting the state to take care of old people.
If we add up the "Shouldn't" and "Definitely shouldn't"? 5% of the young, 4% of the middle aged, and 3% of the old fall into that category.
Among the cohort of respondents aged 18-39, 37 of 712 people giving a response said either "Shouldn't" or "Definitely shouldn't".
If there's some incipient revolution against the elderly, I'm not seeing it in the data. But maybe things have changed since 2008.
Every young person who's below the median income will prefer that the state pay for their parents by taking money away from richer people. And a lot of folks would prefer that the government pays for a nursing home (or give the money that can be used to rent a small flat, or help support a reverse mortgage) than that they wind up hosting their parents or inlaws in their own home.
Things will get worse as the effects of the massive burden of transfers to the elderly becomes more apparent. And there's a fantastic case for raising the retirement age. But intergenerational warfare is far from the radar.