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Pew Research: Young People Today More Likely To Favor Socialism

January 1, 2012
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Pew Research: Young People Today More Likely To Favor Socialism
Alexander Eichler writes for HuffPo:

The poll, published Wednesday, found that while Americans overall tend to oppose socialism by a strong margin — 60 percent say they have a negative view of it, versus just 31 percent who say they have a positive view — socialism has more fans than opponents among the 18-29 crowd. Forty-nine percent of people in that age bracket say they have a positive view of socialism; only 43 percent say they have a negative view.

And while those numbers aren’t very far apart, it’s noteworthy that they were reversed just 20 months ago, when Pew conducted a similar poll. In that survey, published May 2010, 43 percent of people age 18-29 said they had a positive view of socialism, and 49 percent said their opinion was negative.

It’s not clear why young people have evidently begun to change their thinking on socialism. In the past several years, the poor economy has had any number of effects on young adults — keeping them at home with their parents, making it difficult for them to get jobs, and likely depressing their earning potential for years to come — that might have dampened enthusiasm for the free market among this crowd.

Indeed, the Pew poll also found that just 46 percent of people age 18-29 have positive views of capitalism, and 47 percent have negative views — making this the only age group where support for socialism outweighs support for capitalism.

Reason’s Nick Gillespie interviews Kevin Williamson, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, about what socialism is and why people are still rooting for it (he says “I think it’s a form of perpetual adolescence,” among other things):



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