What might be more surprising is that Americans are also better off economically in many ways than their grandparents. The real cost of living in America has declined  for most material goods. The best way to measure the cost of something is in terms of a standard that doesn’t change—time at work , or real prices.
Yesterday I ordered Helen Dale’s new novel, Kingdom of the Wicked . I’m eager to read it.
Already 62 percent  of American households pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes. The bottom 50 percent of earners  supply less than 3 percent of income-tax revenues. Forty-five percent of American households  pay no income tax, either because they earn too little or because they qualify for enough exemptions and credits to erase their liability. Sixty percent  pay nothing or less than 5 percent of their income. Forty percent of earners  are net recipients from the income tax because they qualify for refundable tax credits. All this means that an already large – and, if the Republican bill passes, soon to be larger – American majority has a vanishingly small incentive to restrain the growth of a government that they are not paying for through its largest revenue source.
The real sources libertarian concern about democracy are a combination of the knowledge limitations of government planners (Hayek), the susceptibility of democracy to “capture” by special interests and overbearing majorities (Buchanan and other early public choice theorists), and the perverse incentives democracy creates for widespread voter ignorance and bias  (Brennan, Caplan, and my own work, among others). As I have explained more fully here , there is a great deal of overlap between these libertarian concerns about democracy and standard left-liberal rationales for limiting the power of political majorities. The key difference is that libertarians extend them to cover the “economic” powers of government as well as “noneconomic” ones. But it’s hard to explain why the former should be any less subject to these pathologies than the latter.