Capitalism out, socialism in?
We’re not there yet, but if the trend highlighted by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) report on U.S. attitudes toward political and economic philosophies is any indication, today’s younger generations are increasingly keen on pushing the country in that direction.
Obviously, this continues to be a hot-button topic heading into the election:
The VOC survey, conducted by research firm YouGov, polled 2,100 U.S. citizens 16 and older and found favorability of “socialism” among Gen Z ( age 8 to 23) surged to 49% from 40% last year.
At the same time, support for capitalism among all Americans dipped to 55% from 58%. With millennials (age 24 to 39), favorability toward capitalism dropped from 50% to 43%. What’s more, 35% of millennials and 31% of Gen Z back the gradual elimination of the capitalist system in favor of a move toward socialism, according to the VOC figures.
“This represents a total failure of our education system, not just in schools but also a basic dishonest in our media and popular culture,” Marion Smith, executive director of the D.C.-based nonprofit, said. “When one-in-four Americans want to eliminate capitalism and embrace socialism, we know that we have failed to educate about the historical and moral failings of these ideologies.”
The survey also showed increasing concern about a potential second term for President Donald Trump in the November elections, with 34% of Gen Z and 35% of millennials viewing him as the greatest threat to world peace, up 8% and 7% from 2019, respectively.
“It shocks the conscience that more Americans today believe the U.S. president is a bigger threat to world peace than the most brutal dictators in the world, and that four-in-ten Americans believe that their country is a ‘racist’ nation,” Smith said.
As for as the coronavirus pandemic, 39% of Gen Z and 32% of millennials believe that Trump is more responsible than China’s president Xi Jinping.
In terms of the growing economic divide in the U.S., more than two-thirds believe that those with the highest earnings don’t pay their fair share of tax, with 60% of millennials calling for a complete overhaul of the economic system away from capitalism, an 8% increase from last year.