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Pew Survey: Young Americans Favor Socialism over Capitalism

January 4, 2012 by Brett Wilkins in Protests, Rich & Poor with 2 Comments

Among young Americans, socialism is no longer a dirty word.

They are embracing socialism in growing numbers, with more young adults favoring socialism over capitalism and certain demographic groups heavily favoring socialism.

So say the results of a new Pew Research Center poll. The survey found that while most Americans in all age groups– 60%– have a negative view of socialism, those in the 18-29-year-old age are among its biggest fans. Nearly half– 49%– of people in that age group reported positive views of socialism; only 43% said they had negative opinions about it. These statistics show an increased acceptance of socialism; in 2010 a similar Pew survey found that only 43% of 18-29-year-olds viewed socialism positively, while 49% held unfavorable views.

Among certain ethnic, economic and political cohorts, support for socialism is much higher. While 55% of whites view capitalism positively and only 24% reported positive feelings toward socialism, 55% of blacks said they held positive views on socialism. Only 41% of blacks have positive views on capitalism.

Support for socialism was highest among ‘liberal Democrats’ (59%) and lowest among ‘conservative Republicans’ (6%).

Americans earning less than $30,000/year were also more likely to support socialism (43%) than capitalism (39%), but more people in this group had negative (46%) opinions about socialism than positive ones. Not surprisingly, individuals earning more than $75,000/year were much more likely to support capitalism (68%) than socialism (22%).

The reasons for the growing acceptance of socialism are myriad. The abysmal economy, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the growing income and wealth disparity have all surely influenced opinions, especially among young Americans.

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  1. wildJanuary 5, 2012 at 4:34 pmReply

    I would address those that participated in the Pew Poll: What we are living thru now is NOT responsible Capitalism. What we are enduring in the United States, just now is a bribe-hungry government favoring Fascist policies based on the collective whims of the highest bidders, responsibility to labor force be damned, responsibility to environment be damned, responsibility to political office has been sold out, Capitalism has been abused until what we see in place now…sigh, don’t call it Capitalism, because it is not.


    • Brett WilkinsJanuary 5, 2012 at 9:25 pmReplyAuthor

      Agreed… America has become more corporatist than capitalist, and “free markets” are anything but free.

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