A poll has come out from yougov.com that shows younger Americans have a better view of socialism than older Americans. They are also more likely to have a dim view of capitalism. As far as Americans overall, capitalism still comes out on top with a 52 percent favorable attitude toward capitalism and only 26 percent favorable for socialism. Even among younger Americans under 30 years of age a minority of 36 percent have a favorable view of socialism, but that is still much higher than middle-aged or old people.
This view of socialism versus capitalism may actually hold true through generations. There is a famous saying my friend Bruce Karatz always brings up that “If you are not a liberal at 25, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative at 35, you have no brain.” For whatever reasons, people seem naturally more attracted to a socialist mentality when younger and then, perhaps after seeing how much of their paycheck disappears to the government year after year, become a little jaded toward it. There is also the factor that many people may be confusing our current system of crony-capitalism with actual free market capitalism. When you believe that capitalism is a system in which the company with the most lobbyists wins, then of course you will have a dim view of it. This is, however, not how it’s supposed work. The damage to the good name of true capitalism may be more harmful than the corruption itself of crony-capitalism.