Socialism Punk’d You, Millennials

Katie Kieffer | July 14, 2014


“Here’s your drink, darling,” the bartender said with a smile. He seemed upbeat as he made drinks and greeted customers. “Do you like your job?” I asked him. “I hate it,” he confessed. “Honestly, I hate my job.” 

I keep running into young people who put on a show of being happy with their lives but, when probed a bit, quickly concede that their smiles mask trials. A few days ago, I met a young woman who told me she works as a hairdresser at two different salons while seeking work in her desired field. The next day, I met a young man who volunteers and bartends while searching for full-time work that utilizes his college degree. 

Millennials are the most highly educated generation in American history. We have more diplomas and more student loan debt than our parents and grandparents did at our age. Over a third of Millennials (a 40-year-high) are living at home with their parents as they struggle to find jobs and pay off their student loan debt. It’s crucial that Millennials hear the truth about socialism so they can dig themselves out of this mess and move on with their lives.

Educating Millennials on Socialism vs. Capitalism

Reason-Rupe released the results of a survey last week showing that 64 percent of Millennials favor “a free market over a government-managed economy.” Sounds like great news, right?

Not so fast. Millennials need more education. When you dig deeper into the Reason-Rupe survey it becomes crystal clear that Millennials are still very confused about the benefits of a free market system and struggle to differentiate between capitalism and socialism. Despite the 64 percent figure, only 52 percent of Millennials told pollsters that they favor capitalism whereas 42 percent favored socialism.

As you can see, despite saying they embrace free markets, many Millennials don’t understand that socialistic policies are responsible for the Great Recession and millions of young people conflate socialism with freedom.

This is why, according to a 2014 Harvard poll, a slim majority of the Millennials who do plan to vote in the 2016 presidential election say they will vote for Hillary Clinton. One the one hand we have millions of young voters telling pollsters that they feel duped by the current administration and they support the free markets. On the other hand, Millennials don’t realize that Hillary’s socialistic policies would dig them into deeper economic depression.

A Window of Opportunity

Independents and conservatives have a major window of opportunity before the midterms and 2016 presidential elections to educate Millennials. In 1964, author and philosopher Ayn Rand was interviewed by Playboy Magazine and she defined socialism as a “doctrine which proposes the sacrifice of the individual to the collective.” Defined thus, socialism would repel Millennials—70 percent of whom say they aspire to become entrepreneurs according to the 2014 Millennial Survey by Deloitte.

Conservatives and independents would be wise to inform Millennials how Bill and Hillary Clinton pushed many redistributive ideas, such as government-controlled healthcare, long before Obama did. Millennials need to know that Hillary Clinton would be Barack Obama 2.0. Young people will be shocked when they see that we can trace the entire economic crash to the socialistic housing policies of Carter, Clinton, (to some degree both Bushes) and Obama—but particularly, Clinton and Obama. Millennials are too young to realize this, so I tell the little-known story—and offer alternatives—using my own background in real estate.

Please join me in helping Millennials realize the difference between socialism and capitalism—and why the former political system is responsible for the current economic downturn. Once Millennials realize this and get involved in public policy, they will move closer to moving out of their parents’ basements and finding jobs that they love.

In a free market system, the only hairdressers and bartenders will be those who aspire to work in these roles.