A story in USA Today points out an issue conservatives are facing - the passing of a generation of wealth builders whose billions will be handed over to left-leaning heirs.
With the passing of Illinois conservative donor Jack Roeser, and the aging of wealthy, right-of-center benefactors, the USA Today story hits home. How will the conservative movement fair as the wealth these individuals built in a smaller government, freer market America is passed to the next generation?
In a column entitled "Republican big bucks backfire," Darrell West writes:
Today, many wealthy individuals are deeply involved in politics. They have billions of dollars at work, pioneering new models of political engagement that combine direct electoral advocacy, issue advocacy, politically oriented philanthropy and thepurchase of major news media organizations.
Yet many of these individuals are elderly and facing the prospect of an intergenerational wealth transfer. According to Forbes magazine, 60% of the world's 1,645 billionaires are older than 60. Collectively, they control nearly $6.4 trillion in financial assets.
Many of the 492 American billionaires are well into their 80s, which means that soon there is going to be an asset reallocation that will have a substantial political impact.
Then West lists how America's next generation is giving money to polar opposites of their wealth-producing parents. He writes about conservative Sam Walton's daughter, Harold Simmons' daughters and others who've abandoned their parents political stances to begin writing checks to the other side.
In some cases, the next generation is using their inherited wealth to make more money or for purely philanthropic causes.
The question is one that does agitate speculation. How will the conservative movement grow and thrive in the 2020's and beyond?