The “capitalism vs. socialism” debate is highly correlated with age.
Senior citizens are overwhelmingly supportive of capitalism. Young people are far more likely to be supportive of socialism. It is hard to disaggregate these numbers by race, but it is worth noting that 25% of young Republicans have a positive view of socialism.
“Downward mobility is increasingly the norm in the United States, a country built on aspiration. Increasingly, economic progress depends not on effort or grit, but on when you were born, and your parental antecedents. Stanford economist Raj Chetty finds that someone born in 1940 had a 92 percent chance of earning more than their parents; a Boomer born in 1950 had a 79 percent chance of earning more than their parents. Someone born in 1980 , in contrast, has just a 46 percent chance of doing so. No surprise that this generation reports the highest level of anxiety and rising death rates for its members .
By any measure, The fall has been steep. Among those born in 1940, about 90 percent of children grew up to experience higher incomes than their parents, according to researchers at the Equality of Opportunity Project. That fell to 50 percent for those born in the 1980s.
By 2030, according to a Deloitte study, Millennials, by far the largest adult generation, will account for barely 16 percent of the nation’s wealth. Boomers, as they enter their eighties and nineties, will still control a remarkable 45 percent of the nation’s wealth.
Property, more than anything, defines this divide. Over the past decade, home ownership among the young has plummeted markedly in Australia— a country with a strong tradition of middle- and working-class homeownership— as well as in Great Britain. According to a 2018 report, twice as many British Millennials were living in rental housing than their Generation X predecessors. At least one third of British Millennials are likely to remain renters for life.
In the United States, the prospect of owning a home is also fading. Ownership rates in the United States leapt from 44 percent in 1940 to 63 percent 30 years later but have fallen among post-college Millennials (25-34), from 45.4 percent in 2000 to 37.0 percent in 2016, a drop of 18 percent, according to Census Bureau data …”
How do Millennials and Gen Z see the economy?
“All of which makes these recent findings from Pew Research a bit startling. By now, you are probably aware that the millennial and “Gen-Z” generations are far more supportive of “socialism” and redistributive economic policies than any of their elders. And yet, according to Pew’s new survey, Americans under 30 are also way more distrustful of their fellow citizens and government than any other age group. Some 73 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say that “most of the time, people just look out for themselves,” while 71 percent believe “most people would try to take advantage of you if they got the chance,” and 60 percent contend that “most people cannot be trusted.” Among Americans over 65 — the most conservative cohort in the U.S. — those figures are 48, 39, and 29, respectively. …
Historically, socialism has been a utopian creed marked by its faith in humankind’s capacity for altruism. But Pew’s research suggests that America’s most socialistic age bracket is also its most misanthropic. Sometime between the “end of history” and the onset of climate disaster, our nation ostensibly birthed a generation of “dystopian socialists” — Americans whose comfort with state intervention derives less from faith in human goodness than fear of our species’s rapacity. Interpersonal distrust might have fueled antipathy for “big government handouts” among the boomers. …”
Here are the numbers:
For the record, I am not a socialist, but I am not a cheerleader for capitalism either. I’m a populist who believes that capitalism has to be kept on a short leash to be of any value at all.
This is a populist:
This is a socialist:
While populists and socialists value economic fairness over economic freedom, the similarities end there. Populists are social conservatives who support private property. We want to restrain capitalism to promote a broad distribution of property and to avoid corruption of our political system. Basically, we don’t want our communities to become Pottersville.