A major bipartisan poll published Tuesday by the Democracy Project noted that half of Americans think the United States is in “real danger of becoming a nondemocratic, authoritarian country.” A majority, 55 percent, see democracy as “weak” – and 68 percent believe it is “getting weaker.” Eight in 10 Americans say they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the condition of democracy here.
The poll was commissioned by the George W. Bush Institute, the University of Pennsylvania’s Biden Center and Freedom House, which tracks the vitality of democracies around the world. The goal is to monitor the health of the American system.
The backdrop to this may not be as obvious. The national debt, the unfunded future liabilities (related to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare), and hyperinflation are looming economic problems. Given this forecast, along with a disdain for democracy, the millennial generation (ages 18-34) increasingly sees itself, at least politically, as socialist. As baby boomers age, and these replacements come to the fore, will moving our government and society towards socialism only make matters worse?
And if socialists gain control—and some would likely argue that they already have—how likely are they to relinquish power peacefully?
Granted, millennials tend to be blessed with low economic IQs, but you would think with the implosion of socialist Venezuela, they may want to take a closer look before taking a deep dive. However, a new survey from GenForward shows increasing support for socialism. The report looks at how the millennial population thinks about politics and offers us a look at how the next generation thinks.
Unlike the Reagan generation, where the most terrifying words in the English language were, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”, – when asked questions about whether strong government or the free market is the key to solving social problems, respondents believed that an authoritarian government is the answer by two to one.
This is the same federal government whose deficit has averaged more than a $1 trillion over the last decade. Guess who will have to pay this bill? Every $1 trillions of increased government debt puts an approximate burden of $15,000 on every millennial.
The millennial generation wants higher minimum wage laws, equal pay for equal play, free tuition and for the government to pay off their student loans. Someone should tell them that subsidies to higher education make a college degree even less attainable, and advocating a higher minimum wage is just stupid.
The millennial dilemma is understandable. Their education has brainwashed them about where our standard of living really comes from. At different points, they feel guilty for the poor and downtrodden, yet envious of the rich and famous. This is a group where everyone is a winner, and they all get trophies. They have been told they are successful and fabulous all their lives. Then why did things turn out like this? Mom’s basement? Really?
Millennials are the first to take a step back economically since the Great Depression. Their anger should be directed towards the Baby Boomers — their parents and grandparents. They are the generation which allowed the government debt and entitlement programs to grow into what they have become. Moreover, the Boomers are the generation that has benefited from all that waste and they are the generation that will hand over these problems to the millennial generation.
Is there a way out?
In the economic realm, classical liberals advocate the free market economy, because, as noted by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “unless people are free to make contracts and to sell their labour, or unless they are free to save their incomes and then invest them as they see fit, or unless they are free to run enterprises when they have obtained the capital, they are not really free.”
In the political and social realms, classical liberals have been the greatest advocates of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and so on.
Progressive liberalism principally advocates egalitarianism and ‘social justice.’ Progressive liberals believe themselves to be defenders of minorities and the downtrodden. They seek to eliminate society of political, social, and economic inequalities, weaponizing the state to do so.
As the war in America escalates, lines are being drawn between classical and progressive liberals–it comes down to what they believe the role of government is.
anthony sacco says
Stalin, Hitler, Mousallini, Franko, Roosevelt all Socialists, all failed, except Roosevelt, World War 2 saved him. Socialism can work but it has to be with Capitalism jointly for it to work. China is making inroads on exactly this combination of Capitalism and Socialism.
Trump is doing his best but he left out the seniors citizens, I’m 91 on fixed income retired 30 years ago, good pension and social security income, but now I’m classified in the poor class with high drug prices, medical care, high food prices, high energy costs I’m finding it harder and harder to survive, Citi Bank has not given me a cost of living increase since I retired, they sent me a letter telling me they may have to stop my pension, death now is my only salvation.
So yes I favor Socialism, free medical for all, free college for all, better care for the elderly, food supplement for all seniors, free T/V, free energy, senior villagers for all seniors to live free from want, utopian yes for seniors..
Laurie Wolpert says
It’s not education that has “brainwashed” millennials ( “brainwashed” being code for “people have come to different conclusions than I have”). Capitalism simply hasn’t solved millennial’s problems. From rising student debt to lack of affordable healthcare, young people are looking around and wondering why their standard of living is so much worse than that of their parents. They are increasingly unable to buy houses or have children due to the cost of living.
Our gridlocked political system has not offered any visionary ideas, and instead has given rise to a President who makes policy on Twitter. People are depressed because we have big problems and are struggling to come up with answers that aren’t a return to the 1950s.
Stuart Bell says
Why are they so special that they get their ‘problems solved’?
Who solved the problems of the previous generations before them?
Laurie Wolpert says
Millennials are no more or less entitled to have their problems solved than any other generation, but the point of politics is to put forth proximate solutions to difficult problems. In the absence of solutions, people will dream of different systems or solutions that might actually work. I mean, it’s not rocket science.