Young people more likely to favor socialism than capitalism: Pew
Young people -- the collegiate and post-college crowd, who have served as the most visible face of the Occupy Wall Street movement
-- might be getting more comfortable with socialism
That's the surprising result from a Pew Research Center poll that aims
to measure American sentiments toward different political labels.
The poll, published Wednesday, found that while Americans overall
tend to oppose socialism by a strong margin -- 60 percent say they have a
negative view of it, versus just 31 percent who say they have a
positive view -- socialism has more fans than opponents among the 18-29 crowd
Forty-nine percent of people in that age bracket say they have a
positive view of socialism; only 43 percent say they have a negative
And while those numbers aren't very far apart, it's noteworthy that they were reversed just 20 months ago
, when Pew conducted a similar poll. In that survey, published May 2010, 43 percent of people age 18-29 said they had a positive
view of socialism, and 49 percent said their opinion was negative.
Indeed, the Pew poll also found that just 46 percent of people age
18-29 have positive views of capitalism, and 47 percent have negative
views -- making this the only age group where support for socialism
outweighs support for capitalism.
Young people have also been among the most involved in the nationwide Occupy movement
whose members have leveled pointed criticism at the capitalist ethos
and often called for a more equal distribution of American wealth.
Still, the nationwide Occupy demonstrations notwithstanding,
socialism doesn't score very well in other age groups in the Pew poll,
or across other demographic categories.
Pew broke down its results by age, race, income and political
affiliation, as well as support for the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party
movements. There were only two other groups among whom socialism's
positives outweighed its negatives -- blacks, who say they favor
socialism 55 to 36 percent, and liberal Democrats, who say they favor
socialism 59 to 39 percent. These were also the only two groups to show
net favor for socialism in the 2010 poll.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/29/young-people-socialism_n_1175218.html