Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Monday, June 26, 2017

The biggest threat is ignorance

It might be too late.  
But if the younger generation (and some older folks) is taught about the benefits of capitalism, or experiences financial success, we may be able to keep our cherished freedoms

The Federalist, February 15, 2016By Emily Ekins and Joy Pullmann
The Cato Institute, February 15, 2016. By Emily Ekins and Joy Pullmann
Why So Many Millennials Are Socialists 
Since when did socialism become en vogue? It seems like only a few years ago being called a socialist in American politics was an insult. Today, however, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders—a self-avowed socialist—is quickly rising in the polls, and millennials are largely driving his support.

Millennials don't know what socialism is.
First, millennials don’t seem to know what socialism is, and how it’s different from other styles of government. The definition of socialism is government ownership of the means of production—in other words, true socialism requires that government run the businesses. However, a CBS/New York Times survey found that only 16 percent of millennials could accurately define socialism, while 30 percent of Americans over 30 could. (Incidentally, 56 percent of Tea Partiers accurately defined it. In fact, those most concerned about socialism are those best able to explain it.) 

Like the United States, European welfare states have racked up huge debts and unfunded liabilities. However, their populaces don’t feel that immediately, because citizens haven’t yet had to pay all the taxes that must come with it.  

The consequences of slower economic growthlower productivity, and relatively lower standards of living are opaque unless you have something to compare it to.  Ironically, the consequences of socialist-type policies inside the United States include the very economic effects millennials are so angry about: high college tuition, a rotten job market (especially for those on the bottom rungs of the career ladder), expensive health care, and expensive housing. 

If young people had to pay for all the socialist schemes they ostensibly support, their support might rapidly erode.  Indeed millennials, like generations before them, become more averse to government social spending as their own income rises and have to pay more in taxes. 

The Atlantic, July 15, 2014. By Derek Johnson
Millennials' Political Views Don't Make Any Sense

Millennial politics is simple, really. Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They're for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they've heard of. They'd like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn't run anything.

That's all from a new Reason Foundation poll surveying 2,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 29. Millennials' political views are, at best, in a stage of constant metamorphosis and, at worst, "totally incoherent," as Dylan Matthews puts it.

Poll Finds Young Americans More Open to Socialism 

Marion Smith, executive director of the Washington-based foundation, told VOA the growing acceptance of socialist viewpoints among members of the millennial generation - those who have come of age since the year 2000 - is a result of a lack of basic knowledge of communism and how it operated during the 20th century. 

"The millennials are sadly unaware of the history of communism in the last century and of the crimes committed by the Communist Party in the last 100 years," said Smith.
"As a result, the younger generation is not looking for ways to improve the existing system of free enterprise, the rule of law, democratic government, and respect for human rights, but want to try a completely different system. They are interested in the socialist system, which we think is dangerous."
Smith contended that young Americans support socialism because they confuse the concept with liberalism. He said U.S. educators should present modern history to young people in a way that will enable them to understand "the crimes committed in the name of socialism and communism."
Millennials Are Clueless About Socialism 
Many millennials are OK with socialism, even communism, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Forty-five percent of those polled between the ages of 16 and 20 said they would vote for a socialist, while 20 percent said they could vote for a communist.  

Even more shocking is the poll’s discovery that a third of millennials believe more people were killed under George W. Bush than Joseph Stalin, whose regime murdered 20 million people between 1924 and 1953. The total killed under all communist regimes (so far) is estimated at 100 million.

California Magazine (Cal Berkeley Alumni Association) By Krissy Eliot

Reconsidering Socialism: Younger Voters No Longer See the Label as Toxic

Rigel Robinson, vice president of membership for Cal Berkeley Democrats and founder of UC Berkeley Students for Bernie, says younger generations were raised in a time when there is less bias toward socialist governments elsewhere, and more willingness to contemplate radical economic changes. “A lot of Millennials don’t have the same reaction to [socialist] words and branding that a lot of older people do,” Robinson said. “People who aren’t familiar with the history of socialism in other countries and haven’t been subjected to ad campaigns against it don’t have the same visceral reaction to the word.
“Language about capitalism and socialism is vague, and using these terms assumes knowledge millennials may not have acquired.”
The Washington Post, April 26, 2016. By Max Ehrenfreund
A Majority of Millennials Now Reject Capitalism, Poll Shows
In an apparent rejection of the basic principles of the U.S. economy, a new poll shows that most young people do not support capitalism.
The Harvard University survey, which polled young adults between ages 18 and 29, found that 51 percent of respondents do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent said they support it.

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