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Feel the Bern: New Gallup Poll Finds 40 Percent of Americans Support Socialism

Feel the Bern: New Gallup Poll Finds 40 Percent of Americans Support Socialism

“just 47 percent of Democrats in the poll said they have positive feelings about capitalism”

Support for socialism in America used to belong to the far left fringe, but a new poll from Gallup indicates that socialism has gained acceptance in recent years.

Alex Pappas reports at FOX News:

Four in 10 Americans embrace socialism, Gallup poll says

More Americans are embracing socialism.

A new Gallup poll released Monday found that 43 percent of Americans think socialism would be a good thing for the United States, while 51 percent say it would be a bad thing.

The poll is fresh evidence that attitudes toward socialism are changing, amid the popularity in the Democratic Party of democratic socialists like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for president, and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pushes policies like “Medicare-for-all” and the Green New Deal.

Gallup noted that in 1942, a Roper/Fortune survey that found 40 percent of Americans described socialism as a bad thing while only 25 percent called it a good thing.

Times have changed. An August Gallup poll indicated that more Democrats view socialism positively than they do capitalism, with 57 percent of Democrats saying they have a favorable view of socialism, while just 47 percent of Democrats in the poll said they have positive feelings about capitalism.

Mohamed Younis wrote this report for Gallup:

Four in 10 Americans Embrace Some Form of Socialism

Americans today are more closely divided than they were earlier in the last century when asked whether some form of socialism would be a good or bad thing for the country. While 51% of U.S. adults say socialism would be a bad thing for the country, 43% believe it would be a good thing. Those results contrast with a 1942 Roper/Fortune survey that found 40% describing socialism as a bad thing, 25% a good thing and 34% not having an opinion.

The Roper/Fortune survey is one of the oldest trend questions measuring attitudes on socialism in the U.S. Gallup’s update of the question in an April 17-30 survey finds Americans more likely to have an opinion on the matter now, as well as a smaller gap in the percentage calling socialism a bad thing vs. a good thing.

Previous Gallup research shows that Americans’ definition of socialism has changed over the years, with nearly one in four now associating the concept with social equality and 17% associating it with the more classical definition of having some degree of government control over the means of production. A majority of Democrats have said they view socialism positively in Gallup polling since 2010, including 57% in the most recent measure in 2018.

Did the words “social equality” in that last segment jump out at you? They should. Young Americans raised in the era of ‘everyone gets a trophy’ have been conditioned to believe that equality of outcome is more important than the balance of opportunity.

For background, here’s an excerpt from the Gallup findings last August, by Frank Newport:

Democrats More Positive About Socialism Than Capitalism

For the first time in Gallup’s measurement over the past decade, Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism. Attitudes toward socialism among Democrats have not changed materially since 2010, with 57% today having a positive view.

The major change among Democrats has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year — lower than in any of the three previous measures. Republicans remain much more positive about capitalism than about socialism, with little sustained change in their views of either since 2010.

The panel on The Five had an exciting discussion about this poll on Tuesday. Greg Gutfeld blamed higher education, Jesse Watters suggested that the left’s embrace of socialism is a form of rebellion against Trump’s success, and Juan Williams blamed capitalism, naturally. Watch:

I agree with Greg’s point, in that academia has pushed the notion that socialism somehow represents fairness. History proves otherwise. Now is an excellent time to dust off this classic from Milton Friedman:

[Featured Image: Soviet Flag at Occupy Philadelphia via YouTube]


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JackinSilverSpring | May 22, 2019 at 9:27 am

Doesn’t anyone consider how many times socialism has failed and how virtually impossible it is to undo the failure?

    Lots of people are aware of how socialism fails. Some of them are in America itself, having become resident aliens or naturalized citizens, having had the opportunity to flee the socialism in their native lands. And many, such as readers of this site, are aware of socialim’s adverse impact having studied, though not lived, its history.

    This recent revelation – “a new poll from Gallup indicates that socialism has gained acceptance in recent years” – can only be explained, in my view, because Americans haven’t yet tasted 100% proof socialism. Socialism remains “exotic,” and for that reason, somewhat appealing especially to those who feel that capitalism is a failure for them as being a zero-sum game and that The Man is out to get them. Personal responsibility and the seizing of America’s opportunities are entirely foreign concepts.

    But socialism is really not that exotic to America. In fact, it’s well-entrenched in this country and it has limited many, though they’re not aware of it. Until the Pilgrims woke up and threw off their initial dalliance with socialism, they staved. Consider communism’s 10 planks, most of them are embedded, some to greater degrees than others, in this country. And look at the results. Because the progressive income tax is so entrenched government has become HUGE and an overwhelming force in society. Because government controls education the masses have become stupid. And because so many voters are stupid, those stupid voters vote for more and more government.

    This recent polls bodes ill, especially, especially, with more and more illegals and more and more Islam.

    PersonofInterests in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | May 23, 2019 at 10:16 am

    And if history that teaches were not enough, all anybody has to do is open their eyes to see what is going on in Venezuela in real time. Eating from the back of garbage trucks because there is no food, going without basics like toilet paper, and running for their lives because the Socialists that these Useful Idiots elected, Hugo Chavez, confiscated their guns so that they can’t fight for their Country and their lives ARE JUST COMPELLING OBSERVATIONS THAT MAYBE THE UTOPIA THAT CRAZY BERNIE PROMOTES WITH OTHERS IS NOT SO GREAT.

    I saw a political cartoon of Crazy Bernie holding his arms out to his side as to conceal the large written word “Venezuela” that he is seen standing in front of.

    The Socialists/Communists had thought after 8 years of The Communist Halfrican that it was going to be a Fait Accompli just like the election of Hildebeast. But thanks to God and American Patriots, Donald Trump intervened. WE ABSOLUTELY MUST REELECT PRESIDENT TRUMP AND MUST GIVE HIM AN ARMY OF CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS INSTEAD OF THE SPINELESS CORRUPT CRETINS THAT WE HAVE, E.G., MITCH MCCOMMUNIST, LYING KEVIN MCCARTHY-BOEHNER, SUSAN COLLINS, LISA MURKOWSKI, MITT ROMNEY.

The indoctrination centers are successfully brainwashing students.

Not surprising. We already have lots of socialism, socialist policy. Government controls on anything but simple field leveling is socialism. Examples are numerous, here’s a few. Minimum wage and other government mandates between employee/employer; welfare; mandatory overtime wages-40 hrs.; government mandates on health insurance, even car insurance. Michigan requires everyone pay for no limit, lifetime medical expense coverage for auto accidents; social security has been expanded beyond original intent plus, you can’t opt out even if you wanted to….

    Terence G. Gain in reply to stl. | May 22, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Do you want people driving vehicles without insurance? That’s not socialism. It merely ensures that people have some recourse if injured because of your negligence. Your comment is a foolish argument against socialism.

      Not really. The car insurance thing is weak sauce only because driving is a privilege and not mandatory, but elsewhere STL makes a pretty good case against govt. mandated ‘fairness & equality’ – which is pretty much what the de facto definition of socialism is anymore for most people.

‘Us adults’ and of course no demographic breakdown provided.

I found very little from Gallup about the ‘tabs’ in this survey. IE: sample size, demographics, etc.

I did find this dubious ramble: “Yes, Gallup weights samples to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cellphone users in the two sampling frames. Gallup also weights its final samples to match the U.S. population according to gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only, landline only, both, and cellphone mostly).”

For all we know Gallup called a bunch of DACA kids on their cell phones, so I call BS on this survey.

All I do know is socialism is slavery.

    But polls are never wrong!!! Well, 54 polls in a row over the course of a year or more were all completely wrong about the recent Australian Election, but let’s not talk about that. Polling is Science!!!

      Edward in reply to Tom Servo. | May 22, 2019 at 10:23 am

      That is true, but if these polling results were primarily/comletely garbage then how do we account for Bernie Sanders? Or Cortez?

      Go back five or ten years and Bernie was pretty much a joke outside of Vermont (and might have been a political joke there for many residents too). Three years ago The Hildabeast had to cheat him out of the Socialist-Democrat nomination for President of the United States. That isn’t a joke and it is a pretty clear indication that “Socialism” isn’t a third rail of American politics any longer.

        Edward in reply to Edward. | May 22, 2019 at 10:28 am


        And while I’m fixing the typo, let’s contemplate that the Socialist-Democrats almost had a candidate for President who chose to honeymoon in the USSR.

          alaskabob in reply to Edward. | May 22, 2019 at 1:47 pm

          But Bernie saw that there were “good” parts about the Soviet Union that the US could learn from. And the Democrat Party has learned them well.

          I would love to hear Bernie wax on about the good points of the Soviet Union.

    terrence22 in reply to locomotivebreath1901. | May 22, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    This poll reminds me of the one that had Hillary winning the last presidential election in a LANDSLIDE

Robbing Peter to pay Paul seems to be rather popular with Paul.

They don’t realize the people they want to put in power think of everybody as Peter.

Mr. Sammler | May 22, 2019 at 11:01 am

I’ve seen these polls before – the one caveat I’ve seen is that once socialism is explained to them the support plummets. Maybe the real issue is many voters seem to be woefully ignorant. Really the demise of a republic.

My guess is this poll was conducted calling home phone numbers between 9AM and 5PM.

Gallup noted that in 1942, a Roper/Fortune survey that found 40 percent of Americans described socialism as a bad thing while only 25 percent called it a good thing.

Well, at the tail end of the Great Depression, they would, wouldn’t they?

Geez, Socialism was shown to be unworkable a century ago by Economists on basic economic principles, not the least of whom was Mises. Schools and politicians, are looking for sugar to sell authoritarian government by promising they’ll give the idiots free crap by stealing it from folks who actually work.

Lenin and Co tried for years to create a communist, centrally planned “economy” and failed every damned time. Because it doesn’t work, no matter how much fairy dust you apply. It was their stroke fantasy and nothing was going to convince them otherwise. Until Stalin took power and created a pseudo-market system, still centrally planned but with pricing based on those found in the free west. And shot those who complained.

Peter, Paul, etc.

Central planning and price controls destroyed the German economy between wars. When Hitler inherited Germany from the failed Wiemar “republic”, it was already full blown national socialism, with companies privately “owned” but everything was directed by the central planning boards. What to make, how much, pricing, cost of factors. the “owners” and managers did as they were told or suffered arrest or death. It started small, easy to rationalize staples, but grew to encompass the whole of the economy. Hitler liked what he saw as it comported with his plans and extended it. Wiemar Socialism, if you will. Vs the British socialism (public confiscation of companies) that blossomed after the war, for the same damned reasons.

Terrence gain, thats not what I said. I was giving an example of socialism in car insurance and that example was not car insurance in and of itself but the fact that Michigan goes overboard in mandating everyone to pay for a what should be an option. Mich has the highest cost of car ownership in the US, this is one of the causes and, as a result, we have a much higher than average rate of uninsured drivers who cannot afford the insurance so they drive without. Since Mich is also no fault, they car wreck your car, and YOUR insurance has to pay for it. They drive off scott free in the wreck-a-mobile…

    Terence G. Gain in reply to stl. | May 22, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Your point was not clear. And you’ve misspelled both my first name and my surname.

There are two huge reasons why socialism will not work as a human social construct.

The first is the fact that is flies in the face of human nature. Socialism is based entirely upon the notion that human beings are going to subjugate their own wants, needs and desires and work wholly for the common good. That might work for ants and bees, but not human beings.

Human beings are, at base, selfish, amoral opportunists. We are born that way. That is why the first thing that humanity did, was to invent social rules which define anti-social behavior and enforce them. The behavior which is demanded, by society, is unnatural. But, without imposition of these behaviors, society would collapse.

The second thing is that, because subjugation of the desires of the individual for the “good” of society, is unnatural, socialist societies have to have a strong dominance by a central planning and control body. This creates two problems.

The first is that the leadership of the socialist society will have few constraints upon their actions, as they totally control the mechanism which enforces societal rules. They can effectively exempt themselves from the rules which govern the actions of others, without fear of societal recourse.

The second is that it concentrates control of the society within a single entity. There is no back-up in case of the failure of the central control. In a freer society, with diversified control of segments of that society, a failure in one sector, or at the top, is less likely to cause the collapse of the society. Decentralization works better than excessive centralization.

Socialism is based upon a wholly fictitious view of human nature and is therefor doomed in the long run.

    venril in reply to Mac45. | May 22, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Add to that functional reasons – socialism and central planning do not allow for price signals to propagate through the economy, informing everyone of how to proceed. This is what killed Lenin’s grand communist non-economy economy, in part. They thought themselves smarter than everyone else, certain of how to make it all work. And still they failed.

    Rome tried price controls way back when – an emperor, whose name escapes me, decided to control the price of food stuffs from the outlying farms. That price was lower than many farmers could afford to sell without taking a loss. So they didn’t sell in Rome, sold elsewhere or made something else. Romans had less food, not more and the situation worsened. the a law to fix that disaster, controlling other aspects of the economy to appease farmers. The circle of control widened…

    As it did in Wiemar Germany. As it did in Venezuela. As it did in Cuba, As it did in the USSR. As it did in everywhere it’s been tried. Empty shelves and shortages.

      Mac45 in reply to venril. | May 22, 2019 at 3:05 pm

      Except under socialism, people would not sell anything. All that is produced is supposed to be owned by the society at large and doled out in an even manner to everyone. And, this is supposed to happen willingly.

      If you have socialist societies existing along side capitalist societies, capitalism will cause socialism to implode. The reason for that is capitalist societies allow much more individual freedom which leads to greater production and innovation which leads to greater individual satisfaction which leads to a more stable society.

Everything that the KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov described is coming to pass.

How many people were actual polled and how many of them were actually breathing?

inspectorudy | May 22, 2019 at 7:08 pm

This is the same old polling crap that told us that hillary was going to be our next president. When the pollsters are honest and ask the right questions, things don’t turn out the way they like. Like Medicare for all. Over 60% favor it until the pollster tells them that ALL private insurance will be canceled and everyone must go on MFA. Then it drops to about 20%. All the pollster has to ask is if you got an “A” in your school class and another got an “F”, would you take getting a “C” so that the other guy could get a “C” too? Almost 100% say hell no! But that IS Socialism. Can anyone with a working brain imagine whatthe homeless population would do under Socialism? Why would anyone work when everything you need would be provided for free.

Easy enough to vote socialism in. Just wait until the idiots find out they’ll have to shoot their way out.
Venezuela has shown them that reality, but the idiots still think THIS time it’ll be different.

The wealth gap, which encourages good people to improve themselves, now sparks envy instead. Like all the other cardinal sins, envy is one of the most pervasive and damaging defects in human character.

This is the direct result/long term goal of the NEA through the government education centers aka public schools.

We can all thank these lovely, mistreated teachers in our public school system for this crap.

What was the medium age of the people asked the question? Young people are totally ignorant of history.