Letter to the Editor: Millennials are not enamored with capitalism

Caricature of 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, from campaign poster | Stock image, St. George News

OPINION — As a society, we have done millennials a disservice. An entire generation of young people in America came of age during a decade of sluggish economic growth, and as a result, many are skeptical of free enterprise and capitalism.

In this 2016 AP file photo, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders holds a sign at a campaign rally in Spokane, Washington, Thursday, March 24, 2016 | AP photo by Young Kwak, St. George News

A stunning 2016 Harvard University survey of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 found that 51 percent of respondents do not support capitalism. Millennial support for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary was proof that young people today aren’t enamored with capitalism.

During the Obama years, the 18-29 age group heard countless presidential speeches railing against the evils of “crony” capitalism. President Obama told impressionable young voters if only the rich paid more taxes, everyone would be better off. But Obama’s tax and spend policies produced a predictably stagnant economy that stifled economic opportunity for young people.

The Obama agenda also attacked the notion of personal responsibility, killed on the altar of universal “rights” and the politics of victimhood. The Left preached that everyone has a “right” to free child care, free health care, a free college education and a roof over their head. And that the state will provide no matter what, so there’s no need to save, no need to work hard or pay your mortgage or student loans.

This is also the first generation raised by guilt-ridden parents who did their part, however well-intentioned, to undermine personal responsibility. Too many of today’s parents do everything for their children and shield them from learning life’s hard lessons.

Then they went off to a higher educational system that produces an oversupply soft-science and humanities majors, many of whom have no marketable skills. Not able to put their expensive educations to use, they became unemployable.

Being highly educated and yet working at Starbucks, waiting tables or living in your mom’s basement can indeed make you cynical about the benefits of hard work and free enterprise.

That cynicism was also fueled by pseudoscience courses they took in college. The curriculum of too many educational institutions is rooted in anti-capitalist, socialist philosophies that paint free enterprise as inherently unfair. In fact, our very founding principles of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are under withering attack on politically-correct university campuses all across America. Remember most college teachers work for the state, ergo feed at the public trough.

But capitalism and free enterprise, not socialism and welfare, have proven to be the key to prosperity and to reducing global poverty and inequality. As recently as 1980, the World Bank estimated that 50 percent of the global population lived in abject poverty.

But with the collapse of Soviet communism in 1988 came the global spread of free-market institutions, abetted by freer flows of international trade and private capital. By 2015, the World Bank estimated that less than 10 percent of the world’s population was living in extreme poverty. Capitalism has demonstrably improved the lives and general welfare of millions of people.

With such empirical proof, why aren’t more leaders, academic and otherwise, putting forth a spirited defense of free enterprise? We have the evidence to dispel the notion that socialism is inherently fairer than capitalism in its ability to create jobs and reduce poverty. We can show that success lies with individual opportunity, which in turn leads to wealth creation.

As I said, we have done millennials a disservice. Perhaps a booming economy eventually roaring along at 4 percent growth and churning out jobs by the hundreds of thousands will change the minds of America’s youth when it comes to capitalistic free enterprise. Perhaps not. But socialism is certainly not the answer to America’s woes.

Written by CRAIG DAVIS, St. George, Utah

Letters to the Editor are not the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews


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  • Stephen Joe July 29, 2017 at 8:33 am

    It’s “Obama’s fault” and “Socialism” are really poor excuses used by those who are incapable of recognizing what is truly wrong in our country. Your pathetic conservative whining is getting really old and disgusting in the age of Trump. You Seriously need to reconsider your priorities and learn what will solve the problem. Hint: austerity is not the answer.

    • 42214 July 29, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Let’s see. I’m in tremendous debt and my income won’t sustain my ability to pay bills and be independent. I think the answer is buying a new Cadillac, not austerity. I thought Einstein died but he is alive and well in the form of Stephen Joe.

    • desertgirl July 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Stephen Joe, you need to look in the mirror and try to find a human that appreciates human dignity, self-reliance, compassion (throwing money at everything and everyone, worse yet just enough to make them dependent and lazy, doesn’t work for a civilized successful society). Austerity is not the answer. Tell it all the jerks, young and old alike walking around with their IPhones and claiming poverty. Grow up and act like something other than a brat. btw Get over it….
      Trump is president. Try, try to act civilized and not a sheep of the Marxist manipulators.

  • NotSoFast July 29, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Good, timely, logical piece. (now where’s my new cell phone)

  • comments July 29, 2017 at 10:51 am

    The system we have now is rigged in favor of the ultra wealthy. Obama made a lot of pretty speeches about the rich paying their share but nothing ever came of it politically. Today we live in what is essentially oligarchy. Why doesn’t the author touch on how the last republican administration collapsed the economy and then bailed out the ultra-wealthy elitists with our tax dollars. This is something very different from “free enterprise” and “free markets”. To these right-wing idiots why does history in their mind always ignore the 8 years of Bush II and skip right from obama to clinton? It’s almost like a mental disease. Also, try going out in stg with just a hs diploma and getting and entry level job and try actually living on such wages. Capitalism isn’t working for the younger folks because the elitists and idiot right-wingers don’t think citizens deserve living wages for hard work. For a lot of folks, they can work there asses off in this country and get nowhere. It’s a rigged system that this Craig fellow knows very little about, obviously–another idiot that just regurgitates right-wing propaganda. Craig why don’t you wander off somewhere and find something to do besides writing in useless drivel regurgitated right-wing propaganda. 😉

    Isn’t this about the 3rd letter that this guy has written in in a somewhat short period of time? Might be a bit excessive, or?

    • desertgirl July 29, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Brain-washing; pure and simple. The Marxist/socialist ideology has infiltrated the entire public education system, and has been doing so for decades. The left-wing IDIOTS have embraced big government dictating every aspect of human life; freedom and liberty are dirty words. The left-wing IDIOTS, and their dangerous anti-human propaganda encourages weakness, dependency, racism, criminality, lack of self-responsibility, no moral standards, and laziness. Do just enough sheep, so you can take care of the government officials and their fave entertainers. Stay in line and we will give you your pittance. comments, you are a perfect dupe. Go encourage the progressives asses; . pat a lazy, immoral, snowflake on the head and have a great day

      • comments July 29, 2017 at 5:26 pm

        the problem with you and the other loons is that u think your beloved republican party is that much different. There may have been a time. Not anymore. Just another flavor of the same corruption.

  • dogmatic July 29, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    More left wing whining, still waiting for their free stuff from B. Obama, and waiting for a 15.00 wage at McDonald’s before applying for the job. I got news for you, it’s not going to happen, B. O. Was lying to you.
    I started a small 1 man business in 2008 at the bottom of the recession and made 75,000.00 in my first year.
    It is simple innovation and hard work, so get of your butt, you can do it. ??

    • Real Life July 29, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Exactly. Why do these people “deserve” 15 bucks an hour, when they more than likely are in that position because of the poor choices they made in life? We have created a generation of self deserving morons.

  • DudePolitic July 29, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Progressive socialist policies does eventually create equality somewhat among the classes. It is the quickest way to make everybody (except the ruling party elite) poor. When you take away the profit motive that capitalism employs, you take away innovation. Despite what people have posted above, anybody (with or without a college degree) can make not only a living wage, but even more through hard work. My nephew, who recently took free computer coding classes online, finagled his new-found expertise into a $22/hour job. No college diploma. A friend of mine worked at a call center (which he hated) and saved up $3,000. He used that to start his own pest-control business. He marketed his business not only to businesses but with door to door flyers. In his first year he made over $45,000. In his second year he has seen several repeat customers and will add about 30% more. And this is a field that has several competitors. You can make it in this economy with hard work. Socialism has never succeeded ANYWHERE. Before too long the people who are sacrificing more and more to prop up the people who are the recipients of that hard work–leave. California has seen the loss of over 200,000 businesses over the last ten years. People are going to go where they can put more money in their pockets. Taxes are not supposed to be about the redistribution of wealth. When that is the goal, the tax becomes unconstitutional.

    • comments July 29, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      man oh man the r-wing lunacy is really ingrained in around here. God forbid you loons ever get into a workplace accident and become disabled or something because then you’ll likely have to use EVIL SOCIALIST LIBERAL SAFETY NETS just too survive. That will make you idiots full on hypocrites. But from what I’ve seen the typical r-wing loon is a hypocrite nearly every day of his life. Way too much of a clown circus. Cheers to you loons and nutters 😉

      • DudePolitic July 30, 2017 at 6:35 am

        Ahh, the typical liberal response. When facts and supporting anecdotes get in the way of your narrative, respond with name-calling and hate. “When they go low, we go high”, right? The “party of tolerance” rears its ugly head once again.

        • comments July 30, 2017 at 11:04 am

          Beside you whining and pouting about “name calling”, tell us, would you even hesitate for a moment to sign up for liberal socialist gov’t disability if you had a severe workplace injury? You’d be using socialism and you’d also be a hypocrite. So yes or no?

          • DudePolitic July 30, 2017 at 6:22 pm

            Whining and pouting? You can tell that by a written post. Trust me, the only whiners and pouters I see on TV today are on the left side of the aisle. I am actually pretty happy right now. The country is finally going in the right direction. I merely pointed out that you did not address my previous post at all, except with a childish response. Something I would have written in the third grade. Are you claiming that assistance to the disabled is exclusive to socialism? Free market capitalists also believe in assisting the disabled. But 23% (over 58 million) of the U.S. population were receiving government assistance in 2016. I am pretty sure that they were not all disabled. In fact the passage of the recent Georgia law (which should be replicated nationwide), forcing able-bodied people to work for the public assistance they receive resulted in 7,000 people dropping off the first day the law went into effect. I am guessing they did not want to work for their money. No we are not the evil, mean-spirited monsters that progressives paint us to be. We just happen to have more common sense.

          • comments July 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm

            The last conservative republican presidential administration we had brought the economy to near total collapse. It was salvaged and kept limping along with trillion dollar bailouts of taxpayer money to inept/corrupt financial institutions. I know you r-wing hate obama, but i’d say he did fairly well with the mess Bush II left him to clean up. Let’s just hope trump turns out better than Bush Jr. I know you r-wing folks are still in denial about Jr’s 8 years of “conservative” republican “free market capitalist” policies that brought the economy to collapse. Let’s just hope your boy ‘the donald’ does it a little better. And all gov’t assistance from disability to medicare/medicaid, and also social security are 100% socialist programs. These are not “free market capitalist” policies. Our entire system of gov’t is a mix of capitalist and socialist policy, but the whole thing has become very corrupted–not holding my breath for the donald to fix anything. Good Lord. here I am arguing with idiots, who won’t learn, period. If folks didn’t learn from what was essentially total economic collapse (caused by “conservative” republicans) then they won’t learn–just flat out simple and dumb. Ya’ll nutters have a good night, sleep tight, hope the bedbugs eat ya’ll for dinner …. cheers 😉

  • debbie July 29, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    This is a logical summery of a complex divide and conquer strategy put Inplay by foreign entities. U r absolutely correct. Our colleges r full of professors feeding from the free enterprise taxes whilst destroying young impressionable minds. In the 80s Americans grew hungry to save all inhabitants of the globe. One in three commercials was sally struthers begging for help for starving children in Ethiopia. China was shown on our lbs channels as so poor we could go there with 20 dollars and that would b a years wages there’s! We Americans gave and grave and gave, sent ambassadors doctors nurses in droves and teachers to change the poverty of all nations, we succeeded in so many ways, only to be thanked most malisciously by morose countries not satisfied that we should give more and more and more! While they brainwash our youth that capitalism is bad, their countries r slowly adopting it.

    • comments July 30, 2017 at 11:11 am

      It was actually “our” own political leadership that sent all the jobs to china and the 3rd world. China, etc didn’t come and “steal” the jobs. YOu’ve been listening to too much loon radio and trump. And most of you clowns don’t even know what socialism is. For example “mesa man” on here rails on and on about the evils of socialism, yet his entire life depends on a fully socialist pension that the gov’t pays him. That makes him the worst kind of hypocrite. All those old people living off of social security are living off a fully socialist gov’t program, which I don’t even think will be around when I turn 65. I prefer to not pay their way, with my taxes going to their SS checks and medicare, but they’d starve by the millions if their socialism was cut off. You loons and nutters I don’t think will ever learn……

  • commonsense July 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    The uninformed and misguided resort to name calling. When I hears “loons” , “nutters”, “idiots”, I know the comments lack reason and information about the topic at hand.

    • comments July 30, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      ok doctor, and i’m still waiting on you to have an intelligent thought. “It’s all the libruls’ and democrats’ fault” is about the extent of everything you say. No originality to anything u write, just regurgitated useless right-wing drivel that has proven to be wrong time and time again. cheers bud, will await more of your stupidity 😉

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