Millennials aren't satisfied with capitalism — and might prefer a socialist country, studies find

Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event.
Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign event. Wikimedia Commons - Phil Roeder from Des Moines, IA, USA

Ask a millennial if they would rather live under a socialist or capitalist country, and they’re likely to give an answer much different than their parents or grandparents would.

That’s according to a new YouGov study commissioned by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an anti-communist organization, which found that 44 percent of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country, with another 7 percent saying the same about communism.

Meanwhile, just 42 percent of millennials said they would choose to live in a capitalistic country like the United States, according to the survey of 2,000 people.

Overall, according to the survey, 59 percent of American adults would rather live in a capitalist country than a socialist one. And among Baby Boomers, only 26 percent would want to live in a socialist country, showing a generational divide between the young and old.

Those findings are backed up by other studies — and the voting patterns of millennials in the 2016 presidential primaries.

A 2014 poll by Reason-Rupe, a libertarian think tank, discovered that 58 percent of those aged 18 to 24 have a favorable view of socialism, while just 56 percent of that age group said the same about capitalism. In comparison, just 23 percent of those between the age of 55 and 64 look favorably upon socialism.

Also, Gallup found in a 2016 poll that while more millennials have a positive perception of capitalism than they do for socialism (57 percent to 55 percent, respectively), the two economic systems are well-within the poll’s margin of error.

And even when a 2016 survey from Harvard University determined that only 33 percent of millennials support socialism, it also found that a majority of that generation — 51 percent — don’t really like capitalism, either, according to The Washington Post.

Those beliefs were evident during the 2016 election, when Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, easily won the vote of that younger generation.

The Washington Post reported that just over 2 million people under the age of 30 voted for Sanders, who ran on a platform of healthcare for all and raising taxes on the wealthy, in all primaries and caucuses.

That’s more than all of Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s votes from that age group during the primaries and caucuses combined.

There’s a likely reason that millennials voted for a socialist candidate during the primaries — the YouGov survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 53 percent of that generation believes the United States economy “works against me.”

That troubles Marion Smith, executive director of the foundation, who described the survey’s findings as a “troubling turn.”

“Millennials now make up the largest generation in America, and we're seeing some deeply worrisome trends," Smith told Fox News. "Millennials are increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative.”