Reason Magazine is after it again criticizing a new poll that shows Millennials aren’t exactly excited about capitalism. It isn’t a wonder why. Our “free market” capitalism has left many people by the side of the road. Many young people are ready for a different system that actually helps real people. It isn’t a wonder that democratic socialism is on the rise.
Capitalism Has Screwed Them Over
For most Millennials, capitalism, as it is practiced right now has been a raw deal. In Europe, high youth unemployment rates make it hard for a young person to get ahead today. In Spain and Italy, the rates of youth unemployment can reach 20% or more. This has left a generation struggling to make their way in the world or even get ahead. Back in the United States, many young people are burdened with student loan debt and jobs that don’t require degrees. Still more are struggling to pay the bills with the rising cost of housing, healthcare, and transportation. There are few social services unless you are very poor and buying a house or having children, for many is simply out of reach.
The US Economy is Hardly Capitalist
The interesting part about the modern American economy (Europe too in a different way) is that the American economy is not very capitalist. Industries are subsidized and supported by the government and the wealthy are enjoying the lowest taxes they’ve ever had at the expense of everyone else. Corporate control of the government has reached an all-time high with former executives of companies heading up many major agencies. This regulatory capture means that the relationship between government and business is closer than ever before. This makes changing the government and its regulation of the economy even more difficult than before. This can lead to apathy among some and lead others to seek out bold moves to radically change government.
Better Marketing Won’t Save Capitalism
Reason Magazine reasons that capitalism has suffered from poor branding and that the key is to improve the brand of capitalism and let people know how much better capitalism is as opposed to other systems currently proposed. However, better marketing won’t save capitalism. The system’s flaws are on full display with low wages, high taxes for the working class, and the lack of housing and other options. These problems cannot be solved with a clever ad campaign. The system must be fixed and it looks like young people are ready for a change.