The millennial generation has a much more positive view of socialism than the previous generation. One survey found that a majority (51%) of those aged 18 to 29 had positive feelings about socialism compared to capitalism (41%). There are a number of reasons for their perspective.
First, their teachers and textbooks teach about the evils of capitalism. And if that is not enough, the popular media reinforce those ideas. Think of all the movies and TV programs where a capitalist is evil or the greedy corporation is hurting everyone in society.
Second, young people want equality. The naïve view of socialism seems to provide fairness, equality, and a level playing field. Millennials who feel that life is unfair, gravitate to socialism because it seems to provide help to those hurt in a free market society.
Third, they haven’t done the math. It is easy to argue for free college tuition when you aren’t paying for it. It is easy to let the government pay for everything until you realize you are the government. One article that appeared in the Washington Post had this headline, “Millennials like socialism—until they get jobs.”
Here are two suggestions about how to get the younger generation to rethink their ideas about socialism. First, millennials don’t like other people telling them what to do. In a socialist economy, the leaders are constantly telling you and the economy what to do. Second, a small group of bureaucrats are making most of those economic decisions. Ask them if they have ever tried to get anything done with a committee. Now expand that to the millions of economic decisions that a committee of bureaucrats needs to make.
History, logic, and personal experience illustrate why socialism doesn’t work and is harmful to people in general and the society at large.