In a disturbing new trend among adults in the U.S., half of Americans under the age of 30 say they support socialism, with more than one-third saying they support “taking violent action” against the rich.
According to the Cato Institute’s 2019 Welfare, Work, and Wealth Survey, support for the economic system that’s already killed more than 100 million people worldwide is on the rise among American youth and young adults, with just as many saying they approve of socialism as approve of capitalism. Conversely, only 34 percent of Americans 65 years or older say they have a favorable view of socialism, with the vast majority (76 percent) saying they prefer capitalism.
Echoing their push for a more socialized economy, younger Americans are also much more likely than older generations to say they resent the rich, Cato found:
A slim majority (52%) of Americans under 30 say that “most” rich people in the United States got rich “by taking advantage of other people.” In contrast, a strong majority (72%) of seniors (65+) say that most wealthy people in America “earned their wealth” without exploiting people.
Young Americans’ increasingly negative view of wealth and those who have it translates into “angry” and even “violent” attitudes toward the rich. Americans under the ago of 30 “are about 20–35 points more likely than Americans age 65 and older to feel ‘angry’ when they read or hear about rich people (44% vs. 11%), to feel more ‘resentment” than ‘admiration’ of rich people (39% vs. 16%), to believe it’s ‘immoral’ for society to allow people to become billionaires (39% vs. 13%), and to believe that citizens taking violent action against the rich is sometimes justified (35% vs. 10%)," the survey revealed.
“Young people are also about 10–25 points more likely than older people to believe billionaires are a threat to democracy (51% vs. 26%), to disagree that billionaires earned their wealth by creating value for others (39% vs. 26%), and to disagree that rich people make society better off by investing in new businesses that create jobs and invent technology (38% vs. 21%),” Cato added.
Nearly two in three young Americans support raising taxes on incomes of $10 million or higher to 70 percent.