Socialism is becoming increasingly popular in American culture while it is devastating countries like Venezuela. At Generation Opportunity Institute, we believe that a free and open society is the best way to create a brighter future. We want to educate young Americans about why socialism creates a culture of corruption that divides the countries that adopt it into two tiered societies. Our goal is to ensure that young Americans are empowered with the information they need to promote and protect choice and competition that drives prosperity and progress.
For the first time in American history, young adults believe future generations will have less opportunity to prosper than prior generations. Young Americans have embraced socialist ideals and the false promises associated with them. The increased favorability of socialism in America among young Americans is staggering. About 53% of Americans under 30 have a favorable view of socialism (Reason-Rupe, 2/12/15) and 69% of Millennials would be willing to vote for a “socialist” candidate (Gallup, 6/22/15).
Most of our generation have never seen socialism’s impact our society. Many of us were born after the fall of the Soviet Union and we view the world differently than the generations before us. The 20th century was marked by progress and prosperity in countries with relatively free societies and by poverty, war, and unimaginable death tolls in countries that implemented different forms of Socialism. While we may not know the pains of socialism firsthand, we understand the benefits of freedom. When asked whether we should have businesses governing themselves as opposed to “government ownership of the means of production” or “government running businesses” (the definition of socialism rather than the word itself), 64% of Millennials prefer a free-market economy (Reason-Rupe, 7/10/14).
The dangers of socialism are very real to those who have had to suffer under its one-size-fits-all approach. Those countries have seen the system become rigged as corporate welfare runs rampant. Economies decline, freedoms are removed, and opposition is silenced. Socialism fails the people it claims to represent by controlling their lives and limiting their opportunity. It is an ineffective and antiquated system that hurts those it claims to help.
We want to see a better and brighter future in America. A society with equal opportunity and an economic system based on mutual benefit. One where we can achieve our limitless potential and economic growth drives progress. A society that values open debate and dialogue and respects the diverse nature of each of us. We believe that when young Americans are empowered with the facts, they will create a movement that leads us all into that better tomorrow.