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New Poll Finds Most Millennials Reject Capitalism

New Poll Finds Most Millennials Reject Capitalism

They were raised to be obsessed with fairness.

According to a new poll conducted by Harvard, a majority of Millennials reject the idea of capitalism.

It’s no surprise that a generation of people who grew up in the era of “everyone gets a trophy” reject the idea of unequal rewards based on hard work. Millennials were educated largely by public schools obsessed with the idea of fairness and afraid in some cases to let children play the game of tag.

One has to wonder if the participants responded on their iPhones.

The Washington Post published the details of the poll:

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.

It isn’t clear that the young people in the poll would prefer some alternative system, though. Just 33 percent said they supported socialism. The survey had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.

The results of the survey are difficult to interpret, pollsters noted. Capitalism can mean different things to different people, and the newest generation of voters is frustrated with the status quo, broadly speaking.

All the same, that a majority of respondents in Harvard University’s survey of young adults said they do not support capitalism suggests that today’s youngest voters are more focused on the flaws of free markets.

“The word ‘capitalism’ doesn’t mean what it used to,” said Zach Lustbader, a senior at Harvard involved in conducting the poll, which was published Monday. For those who grew up during the Cold War, capitalism meant freedom from the Soviet Union and other totalitarian regimes. For those who grew up more recently, capitalism has meant a financial crisis from which the global economy still hasn’t completely recovered.

In a case of perfect timing, Ed Driscoll of Instapundit recently posted a classic interview with Ayn Rand in which she is asked to explain why some people reject capitalism. It’s a little long but fascinating:

It’s ironic that a generation which enjoys more freedom, choices and convenience than any before them reject the system which made that possible.

Millennials who support Bernie Sanders seem to think a socialist America would look like Norway. The truth is that it would look more like Greece, or Detroit if you prefer an example closer to home.

The simple fact is that members of generation snowflake wouldn’t last a day in a truly socialist country.

There were no “safe spaces” in the U.S.S.R.

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Do they even know what capitalism means? Because it’s pretty obvious that Bernie supporters don’t know what socialism means.

    Anonamom in reply to irv. | April 27, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    You hit the nail on the head, irv. Thanks to our utterly degraded public school systems, it is most probable that the real issue is that the young people polled have not the slightest clue what capitalism (or any other -ism for that matter) is.

“Enjoy Capitalism” – nice.

Koch is it!

UnCivilServant | April 27, 2016 at 7:29 am

‘Fairness’? What could possibly be more fair than letting people keep what they earned through hard work and ingenuity?

    herm2416 in reply to UnCivilServant. | April 27, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Rather than “letting people keep what they earned..”…just a nuance here: how about “not taking” what people have earned through hard work. It isn’t government’s job to ALLOW us to keep our money, it isn’t theirs. We earned it!
    I HATE when politicians “ask” people to pay more taxes….there isn’t any asking, there is only taking.

“For those who grew up more recently, capitalism has meant a financial crisis from which the global economy still hasn’t completely recovered.”

Capitalism didn’t cause the housing melt-down; big government did. Capitalists don’t typically make mortgage loans to millions of borrowers they know can’t pay them back. That’s because capitalists typically act in their own best financial interests. But when big government mandates that capitalists make such loans (in the interests of “fairness” and “social justice”), and also guarantees that taxpayers will cover their losses, that sets in motion a whole chain of events that predictably ends in disaster for pretty much everyone — everyone except the big government politicians and the select business cronies (a/k/a “donors”) they choose to protect (at taxpayer expense, of course).

If today’s youth want to avoid another financial crisis like the last one, it’s not capitalism, but rather big government, that they should oppose.

legacyrepublican | April 27, 2016 at 8:06 am

This is the generation of Craigslist and PiratesBay.

Need I say more.

I blame the republicans who, for almost 100 years, have been too cowardly to defend capitalism. Not one of them will stand up and state the obvious: Capitalism has been singularly responsible for bringing mankind up from the former human condition where lives were “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Ayn Rand was right when she wrote Conservatism, an Obituary in 1960. :

It is generally understood that those who support the “conservatives” expect them to uphold the system which has been camouflaged by the loose term of “the American way of life.” The moral treason of the “conservative” leaders lies in the fact that they are hiding behind that camouflage: they do not have the courage to admit that the American way of life was Capitalism, that that was the politico-economic system born and established in the United States, the system which, in one brief century, achieved a level of freedom, of progress, of prosperity, of human happiness, unmatched in all the other systems and centuries combined–and that that is the system which they are now allowing to perish by silent default.

If the “conservatives” do not stand for capitalism, they stand for and are nothing; they have no goal, no direction, no political principles, no social ideals, no intellectual values, no leadership to offer anyone.

Yet capitalism is what the “conservatives” dare not advocate or defend. They are paralyzed by the profound conflict between capitalism and the moral code which dominates our culture: the morality of altruism… Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society.

    Exiliado in reply to snopercod. | April 27, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society.

    That is so not true.

      Ragspierre in reply to Exiliado. | April 27, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Yep. They are, in fact, complimentary notions.

      As soon as…and every time…we are benefited by market economics, it is the nature of Americans to spend part of our improved standard of living on altruism.

      We LOVE helping people, and we do it more than any other people in time or space. We find utility in that, and for a number of very sound reasons.

        Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | April 27, 2016 at 10:55 am

        That’s benevolence, not altruism. Altruism is acting against ones own interest, for no other reason than that some unrelated person benefits.

      snopercod in reply to Exiliado. | April 27, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Milhouse is correct.

“The word ‘capitalism’ doesn’t mean what it used to,” said Zach Lustbader, a senior at Harvard involved in conducting the poll…

So, you’re saying your poll isn’t even about ‘capitalism’, but some other as yet undefined concept?

Get back to us when you figure it out.

You are talking to people who graduated from a system that idolizes Bill Ayers. They are not stupid, but they are young.

Socialism always looks good on paper and breaks down in practice because it violates the laws of human nature.

“For those who grew up more recently, capitalism has meant a financial crisis from which the global economy still hasn’t completely recovered.”

Into every life some crisis must fall.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Rainy Day

Unknown3rdParty | April 27, 2016 at 9:35 am

This is where a real education as well as a review of history is so important, things that are lacking in today’s schools. A proper education with a focus on history–and not just what has happened since 1890, a Common Core proposes–should be like a child’s dot-to-dot pictures, pictures that, when the dots are connected in the correct order, reveals a picture. Instead, we have an indoctrination system with an agenda that defies and ignores reality, peddling falsehoods for truths, even outright denying truth and fact with the design to skew young, impressionable minds.

I have finally reached that stage in life where I can take a number of foreign trips, when young I was always afraid the I would go up in the draft and could not afford the luxury. I have found out a number of things about our country by looking at it from another shore. Most recent I went to Seoul, Korea, a fantastic place. What I found there is that they fully endorse capitalism and are enthusiastic about making money and accumulating wealth. At the same time, there morals and ethics seem at street level to be much greater than ours. They don’t take tips, for anything, and consider it a loss of honor to be offered one. You can leave valuable on the street and they are not bothered, yes they have crime but they also respect others. They were extremely friendly. But being there I found out what a third world country really is, that is when I returned to the US and saw that we live in one compared to Korea. I actually experienced a similar issue in Turkey, it was cleaner and much more advanced in the area were I visited than my home state. In Europe, it was obvious that they were suffering, from the socialistic government sucking up everything possible. Travel, you will find that our country is in trouble.

    I’ve been to Nigeria (Port Harcourt) on business. It was inspiring. Everyone I met and saw in Nigeria was hustling to make a living, kids were selling fruit out of a basket, I even saw an old man selling Mary Kay cosmetics out of a tent on the side of the road, but I never saw a single beggar. They were poor but proud and hard working, probably because the government there didn’t give handouts, so no one had a shred of “entitlement” mentality. It was “sink or swim”, so everyone was paddling as hard as they could.

More so, they want to take someone else’s “participation trophy” despite never showing up themselves. Getting too lazy even to show up….. note recent article where millennials don’t cook as much since it requires cleaning up the dishes. Capitalism requires energy be expended, risks taken, and taking responsibility … accepting failure as a potential outcome…. to be learned from.

filiusdextris | April 27, 2016 at 11:03 am

Capitalism can definitely be a tool for one group of elites to hoard wealth and keep others in suffering, but many of its prongs enjoy an obvious logic, and it’s way better than the alternatives, which can also be abused. Some basic regulations need to be put in place for fairness’ sake, most of which we’ve already figured out (like fair labor standards). Still, we always need to keep watch for ways to protect our poor to make sure their most basic needs are met (if not for God’s sake, then to make sure they don’t turn into a criminal class for lack of options).

Socialism is the manifestation of competition avoidance strategy inserted into the most complex animal society on earth (humans).

Species and sub-species extinctions doesn’t require predation, worldwide famine/drought, or other catastrophic events. It simply requires that some cohort be unable to compete for resources effectively with others consuming the same resources. Competition avoidance strategies are a coping mechanism for survival of those that can’t compete. In most successful avoidance animals, the answer is for those that can’t compete to migrate to where they can.

In human society, we get this crap instead that threatens to weaken the entire species. We are becoming victims of our own highly cephalized nervous systems; we have the capacity to conjure up elaborate fantasy like no other species on earth. It’s time to snuff out this fantasy, that when forced upon the whole, is making our society weak and vulnerable.

An example of the passive aggressive fairness whining I see from students (and believe me I realize it could have been much, much worse than this):

Since you always offer the opportunity to challenge test answers I figured I could bring up a concern about the mini practical today with you. I’m not necessarily challenging a specific question but rather the process of it. Amongst the students in our lab group we felt as if the time was not sufficient to adequately answer questions to our best ability, all of us seem to have felt rushed which made us unsure of some of the answers we had put. Obviously it’s over now and can’t be changed but I figured feedback from more than one student could raise some attention for potential future changes.

Lastly, something that hasn’t sat well with me since the time lab ended was the histology review that you were conducting during the practical time. While I am aware that I should have been prepared at the start of the lab to take the practical, I believe that the students who took the practical after hearing you review histology in class had an unfair advantage. You had given the option for a group to give up their position and go last, and had we known that a histology review would be conducted then we would have taken that opportunity. I realize that you were not explicitly giving answers during the review but I did see at least 3 of the things that were on the practical gone over. If I had had the opportunity to hear this review before I had taken the practical I would have been able to score higher on the histology portion since I had just seen these things and heard them explained by you. Again I am not the only one who feels this way but our whole lab group and the Ace’s table vocalized that it was unfair.

I am not asking for my grade to be changed because I believe I earned what I got (because I should have been prepared at the start of class). I just think that many other students strongly felt the same way about these issues and they could be causing students to not perform as well as they could, as well as providing an unfair advantage for the later groups. Thanks for listening to some of my thoughts! Hope you enjoy the rest of your night! 🙂

Ignorant millennials blame capitalism for their own stupidity.


Of course they are for “fairness”, just as long as others pay the cost of that “fairness”.

Start making THEM pay the cost and that opinion changes rather suddenly.

Some of them might have the idea that life is a zero sum game. That there is a set amount of wealth on earth. That the earth is like a pie– it’s round!– and there’s only so much pie for everyone to share. If someone doesn’t have a piece of the pie, means someone else has a too big piece. An individual using skill, talent, intelligence, effort or resourcefulness, to freely make their own pie, is being greedy and stealing pie.

nordic_prince | April 27, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Life isn’t fair, kid. The sooner you accept that fact, the better off you’ll be ~

Can we get a bumper sticker that says Adult Baby On Board?