Socialism… I do not think it means what you think it means.

I like to discuss politics with pretty much anyone who will listen. During the last election cycle, I was baffled that an old guy who, based on current life expectancy numbers, should be dead in his first term, a self-avowed socialist, had garnered the support of so many young people. I think the problem is that we are not doing a good enough job explaining the dangers of socialism. Young people see it more as a “revolution” as opposed to a failed economic system. They are upset at the crony capitalism, which is rampant in DC today, but socialism, however, is NOT the answer.

Millennials understand capitalism when it comes to using the newest app that works better than the old one. No one tells them how they’re going to listen to their music or watch shows or get the latest news. Someone comes up with a new idea that changes the way people do things. Millennials run their lives with capitalism at its best! How is it that millennials are immersed in it, and they still don’t get it???

The problem with socialism is not only is it bad for tax-payers, but it’s bad for the people socialists say they’re trying to help as well. Once you make people dependent on government, you take away their freedom and their dignity. The American dream is not to have the government take care of us. Socialism makes everyone equal- equally poor- except for the ruling elite.

The leftist agenda is to change our culture so that an entire generation grows up thinking their aspiration is to have the government take care of them. We have a record number of Americans on food stamps and record low participation in the work force, and we celebrate that! The difference in previous generations is that they didn’t get mad or jealous if they saw someone else successful. They knew there was no reason why they couldn’t make something of themselves and have a nice house or car if they worked hard enough.

Bernie claimed he wanted “democratic socialism,” but people need to realize that we shouldn’t be for democracy since we are a Constitutional Republic. Our founding fathers were not for democracy. We should not be for a majority rule because that enslaves just as much as a dictator can. The Bernie phenomenon is worrisome because there are large groups of people who are just saying, “Yes! I like free stuff!” However, they’re not thinking of the consequences. Hillary was no better than Bernie. He was just more honest about it, but they wanted the same thing.

Surveys now show just how badly millennials in particular have been indoctrinated. Polls from Gallup, Reason-Rupe, Harvard, and Washington Post show that not only do they have an affinity for socialism; more of them actually believe that President George W. Bush killed more people than Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. 58% of Americans ages 18-24 said they viewed socialism favorably.  45% of the youth said they would vote for a socialist, and 21% said they would vote for a communist! Additionally, 53% of millennials said that America’s capitalist system “works against me.” Even worse, most millennials were not familiar with brutal communist dictators throughout history.

Millennials simply do not understand what the words socialism and capitalism really mean.

The word capitalism is generally unpopular on college campuses around the country. All day long, we are bombarded with anti-free market propaganda. Oddly enough, most of this anti-capitalist rhetoric is available to us through mediums that exist only because of the free market. For example, every time young, enthusiastic socialists tweet about the injustices of capitalism from their iPhones, they are living proof that millennials love the free market. Millennials have no patience. They want everything immediately. They are used to instant news, instant satisfaction, and instant entertainment (Google, social media, the latest app, Spotify, Netflix, wikipedia, ebay, etc), which capitalism provides. They have access to anything they could possibly want shipped to them within two days from Amazon Prime. Millennials can be entrepreneurs. We are using technology to our advantage and making the world run quickly and efficiently. Though some might speak loudly in favor of unions and collective bargaining, on a late night, when no cabs can be found, a millennial knows that a safe ride will be available within minutes by opening the Uber App. Apps like Square, Venmo, and PayPal have allowed us to start small businesses and collect payment with ease. Sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram allow us the opportunity to gain exposure and promote whatever it is we are working on or selling without ever leaving our homes. Millennials love to actively participate in the market process. Active participation is one of the fundamental principles of the free market. If we are not willing to give feedback and review our purchased consumer goods, we will not get the most innovative processes or the best quality products available. Millennials have grown up in a world where every thought and opinion is shared on social media. Platforms like Yelp have become important tools in the hands of young consumers who are either pleased or completely outraged about the goods or services they received. Yet, in spite of all of these aspects of the millennial mindset, Millennials still claim to identify with socialism.

The problem is that too many people don’t understand that in almost every aspect of their lives, they are capitalists. If millennials truly want to dedicate themselves to the ideals of socialism, they will have to surrender their iPhones, their Amazon accounts, their craft beer, the hipster beard accessories, and pretty much every other aspect of their daily lives.

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” ― Adrian Rogers