A new poll from Axios/SurveyMonkey is out on how Americans view free-market capitalism and socialism. The initial takeaway, as we’ve seen with many other polls in recent years, is that overall support for socialism is on the rise while the appeal of capitalism is ebbing away.
Overall, 57 percent of Americans view capitalism favorably while 36 percent view it negatively. Young adults, defined as 18 to 34-year-olds, are nearly split. Roughly 49 percent view capitalism favorably while 46 percent view it negatively. However, this is a drastic shift from just 2019, when the same measure found 58 percent favorability.
Unfortunately, this is more or less old news, as shown by other polls and surveys. But there’s something unique and acutely alarming in the details of these polling results—support for capitalism is precipitously dropping among young Republicans, too.
“In 2019, 81% of Republicans and GOP leaners age 18-34 had a positive view of capitalism; today, that number has fallen to 66%,” the survey finds. “Among Republicans 35 and older, views haven’t shifted as substantially.” (Emphasis added).
The poll findings are based on a representative sample of 2,309 Americans, and have a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
Frankly, these results should be alarming for those who believe in free-market capitalism. It’s bad enough that society overall and young people overall are drifting toward socialism, but to be losing ground on the young Right is even more cause for concern.
From student loan debt to jobs and opportunity to climate change and all the other issues young people care about today, we must do our utmost to explain how big government, not free-market capitalism, is what’s really causing the problem.
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Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.
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