MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, July 31st. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham.
Next up, Cal Thomas offers three reasons why so many millennials find socialism attractive.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old winner of a New York Democratic congressional primary, are the old and new faces of socialist America.
Their platforms hinge on the concept of shared wealth—in other words, handing out free stuff to just about everyone. It is undeniable that capitalism has raised more boats than socialism has sunk. Yet, socialism’s appeal continues, despite historical and contemporary evidence that it delivers a bad deal for those who embrace it.
In an article for Reason magazine last May, Steve Chapman, a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune, referenced a University of Chicago GenForward Survey of Americans, ages 18 to 34. The survey, noted Chapman, found that “Overall, 49 percent hold a favorable view of capitalism—and 45 percent have a positive view of socialism.” Sixty-one percent of Democrats have a positive view of socialism, which is not surprising, while 25 percent of Republicans favor it. That is a surprise.
I have at least three takeaways from this. The first is that it’s likely most of those who favor socialism have never lived in a country where it is practiced. A few months in Venezuela might be the perfect cure. Second, people who claim to prefer socialism to capitalism are probably reaping capitalism’s benefits. This group includes pampered millennials whose parents gave them a lifestyle they likely would never have enjoyed under a socialist regime.
The third takeaway is that those who favor socialism over capitalism and socialist countries over America are spoiled rotten. They are part of a generation that has never had to serve in the military and, I would venture to guess, do not know anyone who is serving or has served, other than maybe a grandparent, whose values many seem to have rejected.
People seduced by socialism likely have not had to sacrifice much for their country. They seem to take it for granted that the freedoms they enjoy, dropped from the sky and were not won through the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears of others.
Socialism stifles incentive and makes people dependent on government, not themselves, which appears to be the liberal ideal. Socialism is little more than mutually shared poverty. It is an economic philosophy closely associated with communism.
Do Democrats really want to embrace socialism heading into the next two elections? If so, they can expect the same defeats they suffered in the past—think George McGovern and Walter Mondale. Each thought the American people were taxed too little and that big government was the answer.
It isn’t, and it never will be.
Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.