A new Harris poll documents that 55 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 54 prefer socialist policies. However, men remained steadfast in their opposition to socialism.
This poll is among the latest in polls indicating that younger generations are becoming more receptive to a state-controlled economy. Above all, women seem to be a demographic that has seen an uptick in support of leftist ideas.
The socialism debate has become one of the larger themes going into the 2020 elections. Just looking at countries within our own hemisphere like Cuba and Venezuela, we see what command and control economies are capable of doing to countries. However, this has not fazed many on the Left on the issue.
The aforementioned Harris poll shows that “the public has varying levels of agreement on what exactly constitutes a socialist political system” and there still remains differing views on what socialism exactly means.
In reality, what this poll shows is that a growing segment of the population wants a mixed economy with more generous social benefits. Nevertheless, this will require a more activist government in order to be enforced.
The poll highlighted what exactly constitutes “socialism” in people’s minds:
- Universal healthcare: 76%
- Tuition-free education: 72%
- Living wage: 68%
- State-controlled economy: 66%
- State control and regulation of private property: 61%
- High taxes for the rich: 60%
- State-controlled media and communication: 57%
- Strong environmental regulations: 56%
- High public spending: 55%
- Government “democratizes” private businesses — that is, gives workers control over them — to the greatest extent possible: 52%
- System dependent on dictatorship: 49%
- Workers own and control their places of employment: 48%
- Democratically-elected government: 46%
It is sad to see western countries fall for petty identity politics that is used to mobilize people to promote collectivist causes. Capitalism has made us more humane in certain regards. In one aspect, capitalism helped free women from certain oppressive cultural practices such as domestic abuse and enabled them to make a living outside of the traditional house setting.
Thanks to these developments, they now have the choice of being homemakers or pursuing careers as they see fit. This, unfortunately, goes over many statist’s heads as they prefer to turn to the easy out of identity politics.
2016 was a big year for the normalization of socialist ideas in America. Bernie Sander’s campaign put forward the idea of “democratic socialism” on the map. He has continued championing these ideas during his present 2020 campaign and now has a known Venezuela apologist in David Sirota as his speechwriter. Younger generations can also look to one of their own in the freshman Congresswoman Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez.
AOC has made a name for herself by denouncing capitalism and pushing for more government control over people’s private economic decisions. Although her statements are wrong-headed, she continues to amass a giant following in social media and is poised to be the future of the Democratic party.
Liberty advocates will have to reclaim support from these groups and make the case that systems that respect property rights and voluntary interactions are the best ways to organize society.