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Polls show that low information college grads prefer Sanders and Socialism

Written By | Jun 1, 2019

WASHINGTON: A recent NBC poll found that low informed voters tend to support Bernie Sanders and other Socialist candidates. The poll shows that voters who favor Socialism are less informed about how Socialism actually works and exactly what it means.  Perhaps if they had a better understanding of Socialism, which is an economic system, they would support a candidate other than the Socialists.

Meet The Press moderator Chuck Todd discusses this.

It is, however, easy to understand why Socialism is so popular among young Americans today.

Millennials and Generation Z, have never experienced true economic prosperity.  From 2005 to 2016 economic growth averaged about 2% annually.  That slow growth meant that there was a shortage of good opportunities.  New college graduates were the first to experience the negative impacts of slow growth.

Read Also: Do millennials like Ocasio-Cortez even know what Socialism means

Much of Sanders support comes from younger Americans.  Millennials and Generation Z show strong support for Socialism.  In fact, nearly half said they would prefer to live in a Socialist country.  This is very alarming, considering that our country has faired so well mostly because we have generally resisted Socialist policies.

Socialism, Sanders, Millennials, Z-Generation, Taxpayers

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When the economy is growing at least 3% per year, there is opportunity.  During the 12 years of stagnation from 2005 to 2016, new college graduates had difficulty finding a job.  Many accepted jobs at lower salaries. Often these jobs did not require a college degree.

Since many of the grads had an average debt of about $30,000, the low salary put strains on them. They simply couldn’t afford to pay for basic living expenses.  For those college graduates without employment,  Sanders free college tuition and free health care is appealing.

For those without a college degree, there was little opportunity for employment. Employers could demand college degrees for jobs previously held by high school grads.  These people became so discouraged by the lack of opportunity that they stopped looking for work and dropped out of the labor market.  For them, free healthcare and other social programs like food stamps, welfare, and basic universal income become necessary.

Opportunity and more information.

Perhaps if they had opportunities and more information their views would change.  Fortunately, the Trump administration has set economic growth as the top priority.  Since the second quarter of 2017, just a couple of months after the new administration took over, economic growth has averaged above 3% annually.

This growth is providing opportunities for the underemployed and discouraged workers.

The trick now is to get Sanders’ supporters to look to the future. See the opportunities before them. If they did, their view of Socialism would likely change.

Socialism, Sanders, Millennials, Z-Generation, Taxpayers Image by Pixaby free to use

Free college tuition and free healthcare will be very expensive for all Americans

Free tuition during the four years of college sounds like a good idea.  Taxpayers would pay their educational bills. Once those grads became employees, they would become taxpayers.  That means for the next 40 or 50 years they would be paying additional taxes to cover the tuition expense of the current college students.

The same would be true for healthcare.

Because nothing in life is free.  Not even under Socialism.  Socialism means you pay more longterm while receiving less.

Read Also: Millennials and socialism: Study’s disturbing view of millennials knowledge

Because, while it would be free or low cost while an American was unemployed or underemployed, as soon as the individual found substantial employment, they would not only have to pay for their own healthcare, they would have to pay additional taxes for healthcare for others who could not afford it.

We saw how this worked with Obamacare.  And the escalating deductibles and co-pays that pushed thousands upon thousands of previously insured into being virtually underinsured while overpaying.  (The 5 Questions Everyone Should Ask About Single-Payer Health Care)

Socialist income transfer programs are very costly, very inefficient and often times do more harm than good.

That’s because the government is not motivated by profit. Therefore there is no incentive to reduce cost.

Taxpayers ultimately pay the bill for the inefficiency.

Socialist principles are exactly opposite to what made America great.  Recall the US went from the birth of a nation to the largest, most prosperous economy in the world in about 150 years.  The US topped countries that were hundreds and in some cases thousands, of years older.  There were four basic economic principles that allowed this to happen.

The US economy emphasized individual freedom, allowing Americans to pursue their goals. Secondly, there was individual responsibility where Americans, for the most part, took care of themselves.  Thirdly the government placed low rates of taxation so Americans could keep nearly all of what they earned.  And fourthly the was a very limited role for government.

Socialism is exactly opposite to each of those core principles.

With Socialism, Americans would lose individual freedom as the government takes over industries like health care and higher education.  Socialism means there is much more social responsibility and much less individual responsibility. Tax rates for all Americans will have to increase substantially to pay for these programs. And there would be a much greater role for government.

In the long term, socialism results in slower growth

If young people were fully informed about the impact of Socialism perhaps they would not support Bernie Sanders or any of the Socialist candidates.  Lack of full information always leads to less than optimum decisions.

Can someone explain this to our youth?

Michael Busler

Michael Busler, Ph.D. is a public policy analyst and a Professor of Finance at Stockton University where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Finance and Economics. He has written Op-ed columns in major newspapers for more than 35 years.