Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Millennials Reject Capitalism in Name – but Socialism in Fact

Millennials Reject Capitalism in Name – but Socialism in Fact

“In an apparent rejection of the basic principles of the US economy,” writes Max Ehrenfreund at the Washington Post, “a new poll shows that most young people do not support capitalism.”

Notice the intimation that capitalism is the system we already have — not, as pro-capitalist philosopher Ayn Rand called it, the “unknown ideal.” But Ehrenfreund takes a half step back from the implication: “Capitalism can mean different things to different people.” Nevertheless, he concludes, “the newest generation of voters is frustrated with the status quo, broadly speaking.”

So we’re not entirely sure what “capitalism” means to those surveyed, but we think it has something to do with the system we currently live in. Young dissatisfaction with the status quo is probably a good thing, but the labels used in simplistic survey questions — and in headlines — just add ever more confusion to discussions of economic freedom.