Millennials Support Socialism…Until they Start Working
Support for socialism seems to be at an all time high (at least judging by the number of “Feel the Bern” bumper sticker’s I’ve seen in recent months). But as it turns out, support for the “all for one and one for all” form of government is decreasing as more Millennials find jobs.
Millennials (anyone born between the years of 1981 and 1996) tend to hold conflicting political views. As The Atlantic noted a couple of years ago, this generation supports Obama and the idea of universal healthcare, yet opposes the Affordable Care Act. Millennials dislike political parties, but remain the demographic with the highest support of Congress.
It is also the only age group in which a majority (53%, to be exact) holds a positive view of socialism. But a new Reason-Rupe poll finds that this overwhelming support for socialism tends to disappear as Millennials get jobs. In other words, it’s easy to love socialism as a poor college student, but not so easy to agree to higher taxes when you’ve landed a good job.
“The expanded social welfare state Sanders thinks the United States should adopt requires everyday people to pay considerably more in taxes. Yet Millennials become averse to social welfare spending if they foot the bill. As they reach the threshold of earning $40,000 to $60,000 a year, the majority of Millennials come to oppose income redistribution, including raising taxes to increase financial assistance to the poor,” reads the Washington Post.
Furthermore, Millennials paying for their own health insurance oppose paying more to support the uninsured. Those still under Mom or Dad’s insurance plan, however, tend to support universal healthcare.
When it comes to a big government offering more services versus a small government with fewer services and lower taxes, 57% of Millennials opt for the latter.
Gen Xers and Baby Boomers also had wishy washy political views as they grew up. In the ‘80s, 52% of the Baby Boomer generation supported big government. In the ‘90s, it was the same with Generation X (53%). They grew more skeptical over time, however, and today only a quarter of Baby Boomers and only 37% of Gen Xers favor a bigger government.
As it turns out, the Millennials aren’t quite the political disaster many of us feared (in fact, young Millennials [between 18 and 20] tend to be more conservative than their older counterparts)…as long as they can find jobs.