A new report from Gallup revealed that young people prefer socialism to capitalism.
The Gallup report, which was published on August 13, details American attitudes on socialism and capitalism. The results specifically identified that positive attitude towards socialism amongst millennials. The majority of Americans, aged 18 to 29, now prefer socialism to capitalism.
Americans aged 18 to 29 are as positive about socialism (51%) as they are about capitalism (45%). This represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68% viewed it positively. Meanwhile, young people’s views of socialism have fluctuated somewhat from year to year, but the 51% with a positive view today is the same as in 2010.
A report from CNBC on the Gallup poll argued that many young Americans are struggling to get by in the current economy. For example, wages haven’t risen to match the rise in the cost-of-living. As a result, many young Americans are blaming the system for their struggles.
Despite today’s strong economy, many young Americans are struggling to make ends meet. That’s because wages are not keeping up as day-to-day costs continue to soar, author and executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project Alissa Quart tells CNBC Make It: “Stop blaming yourself and start blaming the system, or start blaming the deeper causes of your economic fragility and instability. There are forces that are constructed against you, everything from your taxes to whether you can have job security.”
The Gallup poll revealed that older Americans have a much more negative view on socialism. This may be a consequence of the failures of socialist systems around the globe in the 20th century. Younger people, still, often point to the Scandinavian countries for their success with the Nordic model of socialism, which involves a welfare state and collective bargaining at the national level on top of free market capitalism.
“Socialism clearly sounds better as a concept to young people than to those who are older, as it has over the past eight years,” the Gallup report explains. “Whether the appeal of socialism to young adults is a standard function of idealism at that age that dissipates as one grows older, or will turn out to be a more permanent part of the political beliefs held by the cohort of millennials who have come of age over the past decade, remains to be seen.”