Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

64 Percent of Millennials Favor a Free Market Over a Government-Managed Economy

|

Reason-Rupe has a new survey and report out on millennials—find the report here.

Millennials are free marketeers. When asked to choose which is the better system, 64 percent of millennials say a free market system and 32 percent favor an economy managed by the government. By a narrower margin, 52 percent favor capitalism and 42 percent choose socialism.

Millennials appear to be more favorable toward socialism than a government-managed economy, even though the latter is arguably less interventionist. This raises the question: Do millennials know what socialism means?

Perhaps not. A 2010 CBS/New York Times survey found that when Americans were asked to use their own words to define the word "socialism" millennials were the least able to do so. Accord to the survey, only 16 percent of millennials could define socialism as government ownership, or some variation thereof, compared to 30 percent of Americans over 30 (and 57% of tea partiers, incidentally).

This may explain why socialism garners greater support than a government-managed economy. Interestingly, millennial support for a government-managed economy (32%) mirrors national favorability toward the word "socialism" (31%). Millennial preferences may not be so different from older generations once terms are defined.

Another way to look at this is that millennial preferences become more pronounced when the economic system is described precisely. Language about capitalism and socialism is vague, and using these terms assumes knowledge that millennials may not have acquired yet. Moreover, these words may have taken on different meaning in the minds of most millennials, especially for a cohort who didn't grow up during the Cold War and came of political age during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. For instance, capitalism may imply government favoritism instead of a free market, and socialism may imply protecting the vulnerable.

Millennials Like Markets But Aren't Sure if they Promote Opportunity

Millennials like the market-based economic system. However, they are unsure if markets are the best means of promoting economic opportunity. This uncertainty over whether markets or government help drive income mobility may be a significant factor in their increased support for government action.

When asked to choose, 37 percent say the free market system is the "most effective in promoting economic opportunity" while 36 percent think "government programs and services" are the best way to promote opportunity. A significant share, 27 percent, are not sure whether markets or government programs do the best job ensuring economic opportunity. While many people think both the free market system and government programs are important, the question was intended to measure which was most important.

Belief that markets better promote economic opportunity rises with education. Of those with high school degrees or less, 31 percent say markets work best, but among college graduates this number rises to 44 percent. (Education does not increase the view that government services best provide opportunity).

Self-described conservatives (54%) and libertarians (76%) strongly endorse markets as the best vehicle for climbing the income ladder. Conversely, pluralities of liberals (45%) and progressives (42%) think government programs and services are most effective. Moderates are divided, with 40 percent expecting government services and 36 percent expecting markets to best drive income mobility.

Ambivalence Over Market- or Government-Driven Income Mobility May Be Behind Increased Millennial Support for Government Action

Millennials' uncertainty about whether markets or government drive people up the income ladder may partly explain their views on activist government.

Among those who think markets best promote opportunity, 59 percent think government is doing too many things, 54 percent don't think it's necessary to increase government spending for the poor, and 58 percent say government shouldn't redistribute wealth to reduce income inequality.

Among those who think government programs and services are most effective in promoting economic opportunity, 67 percent think government should be doing more than it's currently doing, 74 percent want to increase government-provided financial assistance to the poor, and 56 percent say government should redistribute income.

Millennials came of an impressionable political age in the midst of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. A third are living at home with their parents. Gallup has reported that one in three young adults are underemployed, more than twice as likely as older Americans. 38 Moreover, 46 percent of millennials believe they will be worse off than their parents' generation, 36 percent believe they will be the same, and only 16 percent think they will be better off.

For a significant share of millennials, who have not yet experienced or observed market-driven mobility and success, government action appears to be a viable alternative. Consequently, greater support for government among this cohort may be in part driven by the difficult economy that has undermined the view that markets offer more upward mobility than the state.

Download the PDF

To learn more about millennials, check out Reason-Rupe's new report.

NEXT: What's the Ideal Job for an Identity Thief? IRS Tax Examiner!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. 64 Percent of Millennials Favor a Free Market Over a Government-Managed Economy

    Still too few. And coupled with the discrepancy in the first poll, I see nothing to be excited about.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking.

      Millennials are free marketeers. When asked to choose which is the better system, 64 percent of millennials say a free market system and 32 percent favor an economy managed by the government. By a narrower margin, 52 percent favor capitalism and 42 percent choose socialism.

      Too many of them still favor government control. Forty-two prefer socialism!! And that’s good news?!

      The only thing that even remotely sounds good about socialism is the impossible, utopian part. From a realistic perspective, socialism is all bad. How could anybody like it without being brainwashed first.

      1. They’re still too young-and still full of the ideas stamped upon them in school-to have any life experience. Their decisions are based only upon what they’ve been taught-rather than what they know. Shame.

  2. Please stop the Millenial Polls.

    1. C’mon…she only has 2 or 3 left for today, right?

    2. I prefer they get it out of their system all at once rather than the alternative of dragging it on for a whole week.

  3. Maybe what they could do is have Emily post one of these poll stories every day, instead of posting them all in one day.

    Not that I want to say anything bad about Emily or anything…after the Lucy situation and all.

  4. I’m polling all millennials. If you are one, please respond with the updated total (I’ve already included mine):

    1) Do you want to see more millennial polls?

    []yes [x]no

    2) Do you want more alt-text?

    [x]yes []no

    1. 1. No
      2. Yes

    2. 1) No, thank you, but no.

      2) HELL YES!

    3. 1-Yes
      2-No

      And I voted three times.

      1. Sorry, you don’t seem to have any ID.

    4. 1) []
      2) [x]

    5. All the older commentators can get off my lawn.

    6. 1) [x]

      2) [x]

      What? I wanted to be different. Like a good Millennial.

      1. You get a trophy. He gets a trophy! Everyone gets a trophy!

    7. 1) YES!

      2) DEER LORD, YES!!!

  5. 64 Percent of Millennials Favor a Free Market Over a Government-Managed Economy

    Absence of evidence proves the fact? That’s what we’re going with?

  6. “Our businesses have added 10 million new jobs in the last 52 months.” ?President Obama #OpportunityForAll

    ? Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 10, 2014

    [removed][removed]

    OUR

    1. And the population has gone up by about 9 million in the past 48 months…

  7. It’s poll day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How many posts can reason suck out of a single poll . . . 5 . . . 6. . . 7 . . 8 . . lay your money down.

      1. Up to 4 now and closing in on 7.

  8. Any Millennial should see Facebook’s rise from nothing to a $167 billion enterprise in their lifetime and sing the praises of capitalism.*

    *yes, I know, to wingnuts Zuckerburg is some type of socialist.

    1. Yes, I know, to wingnuts Zuckerburg is some type of socialist.

      You just had to put that in there, right Mr. Facesplooge?

    2. Didn’t one of the facebook billionaires move out of America because it was too damn socialist?

      And didn’t all the socialists cry “the roadz means we own you and all your billions” when he left?

    3. I have never heard anyone say Zukerburg is a socialist or “some type” of one but I guess I haven’t been talking to wing nuts.

      Anyways, Facebook is not the best model of capitalism imo only because it has now money making potential. It is terribly overvalued. Tons of investors that are pushing up the stock price but it will all fall down once they realize no money is being made.

      1. No*

      2. FB is probably overvalued but the market will figure it out. At least when they crash they won’t put peoples deposits at risk (bank crash of 2008).

      3. Anyways, Facebook is not the best model of capitalism imo only because it has [no] money making potential.

        They made $3.7 Billion in 2011. In 2013, they made $7.8 Billion. This year they are on target to clear $10Billion.

        Perhaps when you said they had no “money making potential” you meant that they are not a sovereign government or counterfeiter?

        1. Their forward P/E is 17 then. They are still fairly cheap as a stock in that case.

    4. Goddammit.

      Don’t. Don’t lock eyes with it.

      It’s Thursday, people.

    5. FB is not a $167 billion enterprise. That may be its current market cap, but it does not bring in $167 billion in revenue per year. Very important distinction.

      The largest, most profitable company in the world is not that big. FB is a current phenomenon that will eventually shrink in market cap and may even go the way of Netscape, or even MySpace. Zuckerberg is still young and naive.

      1. See “Overt” above. If he is right FB is hauling in the profit unlike MySpace or Netscape.

        1. Yes, I saw that after I commented. Even $1 billion would be pretty big. But again, you conflate different things. You said: “FB is hauling in the profit” but Overt was referring to revenue. While $10B is a very healthy revenue, it is extremely large for profit.

          Perhaps you need to familiarize yourself better with business and political science because you’re confusing market cap with revenue, revenue with profit, and fascism with traditionalism/conservatism.

          1. While $10B is a very healthy revenue, it is extremely large for profit.

            Not certain what you are saying here. Facebook made about $1.5 Billion last year in net income- profit if you want to call it that, though they don’t distribute profit and instead plow it into reserves for making purchases.

            1. I’m just saying that PB is throwing around numbers without thinking about whether they make any sense.

      2. That may be its current market cap, but it does not bring in $167 billion in revenue per year.

        And?

        Perhaps you are not aware of this, but there are very, very, very few investments that return 100% of your investment back to you in the span of one year. Even for a small business, the expectation is that you don’t recoup your investment for 5 – 10 years.

        FB will probably clear about 10 Billion in revenue this year, and make a profit of 3 Billion. Revenue growth has been roughly 40% Year over Year- and it only recently started flexing it’s advertising muscles. Even if today they stopped getting new visitors, the amount of room to monitize what they do have is huge. It is not unrealistic to expect at least 25% growth over the next 8 years, which certainly supports a $160B market cap.

        Now, I’m not arguing that FB is a great investment- though I did make about about 100% return on it in previous years. What I’m saying is that given the market assumptions about its revenue growth, its valuation is not extraordinary. And I realize those assumptions may be inaccurate. But the idea that it is WILDLY overvalued or that it has no money-making potential is just absurd.

        1. Just for a bit of additional perspective. 10 years ago, Google debuted with an IPO Market Cap of around $23 Billion. That year their revenues were $3.2 Billion. There were plenty of detractors back then who insisted that there was no way Google’s revenues supported that price. But the market saw very quickly that Google’s revenue was growing by over 100% every year. Flash forward to 2013, and Google is booking $55 Billion per year and $13 Billion in profit. Suddenly that 2004 IPO valuation looks like peanuts.

        2. I’m just telling PB that revenue is not the same as market cap. He then goes on to conflate revenue and profit. My whole point is that he is talking out his ass.

  9. I disagree that “socialism” = government ownership. That’s the Communist Party definition of the word. It really means a welfare state.

    No, the reason so many people answer the two questions differently is that most business people — and the media — use “capitalism” to mean the crony-fascist system we have now.

    1. It is conservatives who don’t know what “socialism” means.

      Warren Buffett and George Soros (probably our two greatest capitalists) are routinely mislabeled as socialists by conservatives.

      Both have written several books on capitalism and practice what they preach.

      1. Fascism is a type of socialism.

        1. Leave Cheney out of this.

          1. You obviously have never studied fascism or its beginnings. Cheney is not a fascist. Obama is close than Cheney to fascism.

            The very idea of using the fasces as an emblem is collectivism–strength through nationalistic collectivism.

            Obama is far more the collectivist than is Cheney.

            1. Bullshit. Fascism is a right-wing political system and not an economic one.

              1. I didn’t say that fascism was an economic system. However, economy is just people doing what people do. If anything, politics is a subset of economy. They are not mutually exclusive.

              2. Fascism is left wing and merely one of the various flavors of socialism.

                Now as to the question of what flavor of socialism Obama is I have to say in regards to communism, socialism and fascism he is Neapolitan in his flavor choice. Some from all flavors.

                1. Backwards bizzarro world again. If the north pole south of us too! Is Mars closer to our sun? Is a 70 IQ like you have smarter than a 130?

                  ———–
                  fas?cism
                  ?faSH?iz?m/Submit
                  noun
                  an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

            2. I’ve won this argument here many times, btw.

              1. I don’t see how.

                1. Socialism is where the government runs the means of production.
                  Fascism is where the state regulates privates business with regulations, rules, laws and other forms of red tape. In this form of government (fascism) dictates to the producers what they can and can not do as far as means of production.

                  1. Common usage would contain certain elements – especially authoritarianism and close co-operation between corporate and state interests.

                    Of course, it’s the more extreme version of that – like the Kochs (owners of this site) wining and dining the SCOTUS at private retreats and spending 100’s of billions of private corporate money to establish their own political institutions.

                    The opposite of “free market”, unless free market include the proposition of always being able to buy or ripoff anything you can. Example – under Kochism, you should be able to sell seniors and those with very low IQ’s anything you can fool them into buying. If it’s an insurance policy which pays out 3 cents on a dollar, but you give them a candy bar to sign, that’s free market.

                    Under our current system – which is neither socialism or fascism – but REGULATED capitalism with a side of “the commons” and another of “the people”, these things are moderated to account for the bell curve(s).

      2. Don’t. Don’t lock eyes with it.

        It’s Thursday, people.

      3. It is conservatives who don’t know what “socialism” means. …

        Both have written several books on capitalism and practice what they preach.

        Well, it doesn’t help that socialists have defined their preferred model as the nordic model, which is capitalism plus a welfare state.

        However, socialism is typically defined as “Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy”.

        So, it seems that socialists have forgotten what socialism means.

        1. Brian, why do you think lack of radicalism is an example of lack of vision on the part of socialists? Ive always thought of socialism as pragmatic– emphasizing a not-too-rigorous egalitarianism, quality of life, vigorous public sector, high labor union participation rates, generous social welfare benefits. All of these things basically were pillars of American life and politics in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Maybe you are defining socialism too narrowly . Do you think that Nordic societies that have labor union participation rates of 50 and 60% aren’t societies where there is social ownership of production?

          1. american socialist:

            I’ve always thought of socialism as pragmatic– emphasizing a not-too-rigorous egalitarianism, quality of life, vigorous public sector, high labor union participation rates, generous social welfare benefits.

            For your own personal use, you can define socialism to be whatever you want. You can define it as “pragmatic”, “progressive”, “goodness”, “sweetness,” “light”, and “chocolate bunnies”, if you want to. However, there’s an accepted definition used by people who know what they’re talking about above, and if your definition deviates, then it’s possible you’re not really socialist at all, much less an alternative to capitalism. If libertarians are immature for driving on the roads while disliking government, how ridiculous is it to whine about capitalism greed, when your favorite social programs depend on capitalism for their vary existence?

            Do you think that Nordic societies that have labor union participation rates of 50 and 60% aren’t societies where there is social ownership of production?

            Uh, you do know the distinction between union participation and ownership of production, right? One involved owning a company, and the other, working for it. The distinction between the two is fundamental in Marxist thought, and if you haven’t figured that out yet, maybe you should go back and do some reading on the foundations of your political beliefs before you go endorsing them.

    2. What are you basing that on? I’m unaware of any early socialist thinker who would have defined it as such.

  10. So today is survey dump thursday, eh? In that case let me survey the commentariat:

    Pop quiz hotshot, you’re out and about last night at some open bar event and end up stumbling upon couple of cute young Aussie chicks. You spend most of the night talking with them, bounce to a few different venues nearby. As the night is winding down, you and some buddies take them to In n Out so they can experience that on their last night in the States. After the In, your buddies go home and you get invited back to their hotel room to continue drinking.

    On the way there, you discover they are sisters. This pretty much rules out the threesome, but when you arrive at the hotel and have the first glass of wine, it occurs to you that you have a logistical nightmare in trying to hook up with one sister with the other in the small room (I think I could’ve taken my pick between them). What do you do?

    1. Quick text a buddy to get back out to the hotel.

    2. See which one appears most interested. Banzai charge after that.

    3. Suggest the threesome anyway.

      1. I think this wins

        1. I really regret not trying it the time I had the chance.

      2. Turn to page 72.

    4. Do both sisters in your room. Two is twice as nice!

  11. This raises the question: Do millennials know what socialism means?

    Probably not in any sense.

    1. Lets Break it down.
      Social-relating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other.
      Ism:a suffix that forms abstract nouns of action, state, condition, doctrine.

      Sounds awesome.

  12. Millennials should floss between their ears after every meal.

  13. Do millennials know what socialism means? ….

    when Americans were asked to use their own words to define the word “socialism” millennials were the least able to do so. Accord to the survey, only 16 percent of millennials could define socialism as government ownership.

    This is extremely telling. There’s a great tendency among the left to define socialism as the system where “we’re all about community and giving and sharing and unicorns and rainbows” and capitalism is where “we’re all greedy and oppressive and fearful and selfish and big, fat meanies”. This is literally their question-begging definition. They don’t know how else to articulate it.

    Uh, no. They’re both ways of distributing control rights over objects. That’s about it. But you see this fallacy again and again on the left. As usual, it’s ALL about intentions, even when defining terms of .

    I recently finished reading Jason Brennan’s Why Not Capitalism? and he sees this even among contemporary Marxist philosophers. He even has a name for this line of arguing on the left. He calls it “The Other Cohen Fallacy: Identifying Regimes with Values or Motives”. Highly recommended reading.

  14. I meant “As usual, it’s ALL about intentions, even when defining between capitalism and socialism.”

  15. Leftists like to define socialism as the opposite of capitalism, but it is really the opposite of liberalism–classical liberalism.

    Classical liberalism is about individual liberty and rights (including property rights), while socialism is about shared rights and shared property. Opposites.

    It is very telling that the left tries to pass itself off as “liberal.”

    1. We believe freedom should actually mean something and not be merely theoretical for 99% of the population.

      Also, you cannot justify property rights with your stated principles. It’s an exception and an arbitrary one.

      1. We believe freedom should actually mean something and not be merely theoretical for 99% of the population.

        Perhaps you could kick off some meaningfulness by writing something with meaning. This means nothing. It is gobbledygook.

        Also, you cannot justify property rights with your stated principles. It’s an exception and an arbitrary one.

        Again you fail to say anything meaningful. There is nothing to prove about property rights. Property is more of an archetype for humans. There will always be the concept of property and ownership with humans. The issue is not whether to have, or not to have property. It is who will own and control property. You can say what you will about shared property, but we know from historical evidence and recent experience that people will not share everything all the time. We are predators after all. We are destine to live according to self interest. Go against basic human nature and you get shit.

        1. Property is more of an archetype for humans.

          What a convenient way of getting around the fact that it still requires taxes and coercion to exist.

          Why shouldn’t property rights be as theoretical as you want to make all the other ones? You get to keep what you claims is your property, but you have to pay to defend it. So, like all the other freedoms, just get rich enough to afford it (and armed security and bribes and a moat, etc.).

          1. What a convenient way of getting around the fact that it still requires taxes and coercion to exist.

            I was under the impression that raw materials existed in nature, then people converted them into something useful and traded for other things they wanted.

            Why shouldn’t property rights be as theoretical as you want to make all the other ones?

            You seem to be under the impression that if you have a right, then I have a duty to help you exercise it. Is your freedom of speech theoretical if I don’t buy you a bullhorn and force people to listen to your babbling bullshit at gun point.

            1. So I shouldn’t have to pay taxes to fund police and courts to coerce others from violating your property right?

              1. So a socialist society would allow theft? Or would everyone be so nice that they would never think of abridging the rights of their fellow socialists?

          2. What a convenient way of getting around the fact that it still requires taxes and coercion to exist.

            No it doesn’t. It merely requires agreement. Of course property cannot peacefully exist in the presence of envy.

            And that’s where socialists come in to the picture again. Socialists and socialist-wannabes are envious of the works that others produce and want the fruits of labor without laboring. Hence they advocate theft and redistribution.

            This is where your definition of freedom comes in. You want to freely have without producing. You want to have freely, but you don’t like property because it keeps you from claiming the property of others. You’re just an envious thief and you hate property rights because they prevent you from taking. You don’t like the right to defend oneself and property (gun rights) because they prevent you from stealing.

            I have no problem defining property. It’s you who has the problem of defining no-property because property is such an obvious concept.

            1. I didn’t say I don’t like property, I said libertarianism that allows for property is fundamentally incoherent.

              Does your world only work if it has no envious people in it?

              1. I said libertarianism that allows for property is fundamentally incoherent.

                It’s only incoherent based on false assumptions and strawmen. Bravo.

              2. Tony:

                Does your world only work if it has no envious people in it?

                Actually, these kinds of arguments work more against you, than for you, and especially with your views of democracy.

                You say that property rights require the government. OK, lets assume then, that every single person in the world agrees with and agrees to live by Tony’s version of property rights (you do like property, after all). This implies that everyone is respecting everyone else’s property rights, as defined by Tony. At this point, why exactly, do we need the government to provide property rights protection? We don’t. Yet, in this situation, here we have everyone respecting everyone else’s property rights as defined by Tony, without the government, yet Tony insists that property rights are defined by government. Without enforcement, Tony would conclude that they have no property rights, despite the fact that they all agree with and live by his concept of property rights.

                The distinct thing about your worldview is that, once everyone agrees (wouldn’t that be great in a democracy), it completely self destructs and invalidates itself. Your definition of property rights requires disagreement and conflict and aggression, without which, it ceases to have any meaning. By everyone merely agreeing with each other at the scale of interest, it’s completely invalidated.

                At least in hypotheticals where everyone agrees with libertarians, the entire concept doesn’t self-destruct.

          3. What a convenient way of getting around the fact that it still requires taxes and coercion to exist.

            Even if we accept what you said is true, you’ve merely justified taxation for the purpose of protecting property rights.

            How you think such an argument somehow justifies taxation for anything else you can think of is a pure hasty generalization fallacy, even if we take your assumption as true.

            In other words, bravo for proposing an argument squarely pointed at the most extreme anarchists in the libertarian camp. You’ve managed to form an argument in support of positions even further libertarian than John Stossel.

            1. It potentially is justified for anything else because choosing property among all the possible things to pay taxes for is arbitrary. There is no fundamental reason it’s OK to coerce people off your property but it’s not OK to coerce them to pay for food stamps.

              We appear to be in agreement. Any collectively funded program should be accepted or dismissed on its merits alone, not on the premise that it’s unethical to coerce people.

              1. It potentially is justified for anything else because choosing property among all the possible things to pay taxes for is arbitrary.

                That’s just question begging. You’re assuming that people are just arbitrarily deciding that it’s OK for taxes in order to protect private property.

                In other words, you’re assuming that there’s no argument being made for why its OK for property rights to be supported by taxation.

                And, I understand why: once there’s a consistent argument establishing that something is permissible for support with taxes, then all such programs have to be consistent with it, and, by god, we can’t have arguments and principles getting in the way of good policy, now, can we?

                I’m sorry, but garbage in, garbage out. If you’re going to start with false premises, there’s not much hope for ending with good conclusions.

                1. “In other words, you’re assuming that there’s no argument being made for why its OK for property rights to be supported by taxation.”

                  No, he’s saying that argument IS made — constantly, especially here — and that all such arguments arbitrarily endorse one direction of coercion over another while at the same time loudly pretending that the argument doesn’t rest on coercion at all.

                  Property is coercion. Wear it.

                  1. No, he’s saying that argument IS made — constantly, especially here — and that all such arguments arbitrarily endorse one direction of coercion over another while at the same time loudly pretending that the argument doesn’t rest on coercion at all.

                    Arbitrary: based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

                    Anyone can claim that the conclusion of someone’s argument is “arbitrary”, but if you’re just ignoring the argument and declaring it arbitrary, it’s just question begging, which you’re doubling down on.

                    For example, some minarchists believe that allowing someone to benefit from universal courts and military without paying creates a free rider problem, and such a person is engaging in coercion themselves, by enjoying a benefit without paying for it. Therefore, taxes, in that case, address coercion, instead of create it.

                    You can agree or disagree, and make an argument, but declaring the argument “arbitrary” is just hand waving it away, and pretending it doesn’t exist: Let’s pretend the conclusion is just a random brain fart.

                    So, fine, disagree. But if your goal is to falsely inform someone their reasons are arbitrary in order to create false equivalency between taxes for property rights and any other program you can pull out your ass, then you’re not going to go anywhere. Unless you just happen to be talking to someone who is actually, just randomly asserting ideas.

                    Good luck with that argument.

                    1. You forgot the part where Every Libertarian Ever Decries Coercion Itself As If Property Rights Weren’t Coercive.

                    2. Property rights aren’t coercive.

                      I own myself. Who have I coerced? Potential slave masters?

                      You own yourself. You’re using your self-ownership and posting on this board. Who are you coercing?

                      If you own a bunch of bitcoins, who are you coercing?

                      If that’s your idea of coercion, then you’re using a definition that’s meaningless, and no one should take you seriously.

      2. No, you believe in the fair fairy, who makes scarcity and opportunity cost disappear. And you don’t care how many lives will be ruined in the quest for equality,or even if poor people are even poorer so long as its all even.

        Property rights are a natural and logical part of self owner-ship. See John Locke.

        1. You see John Locke. He was one of the original social contract theorists. He also saw economic inequality as a real problem for government to deal with.

          1. “Property rights are a natural and logical part of self owner-ship. See John Locke.”

            Ha ha ha ha ha.

            Classical liberal no like words in classical liberal texts.

            Classical liberal more like classic illiterate.

    2. It is very telling that the left tries to pass itself off as “liberal.”

      I think it’s telling that socialist dropped communism last century, and adopted capitalism for themselves.

      Any socialist with any credibility holds up the nordic model as their supreme example of the alternative to capitalism.

      And, what is this nordic model? Essentially, capitalism + welfare state. They’ve given up central management of the economy and social ownership of the means of corruption. They’ve drastically scaled back their expectations, and merely want to tack on a welfare state to a largely free market, capitalist economy.

      And, yet they talk as though their presenting some alternative to capitalism, despite the fact that the main engine they want driving the economy and distributing resources is capitalism.

      I had no idea that the alternative to capitalism looked so much like capitalism.

      1. Some libertarians might remind you that “capitalism” is a Marxian word, and that trade and capital exist no matter what kind of regime you’re in. There are subtle differences between people who call themselves socialists (in the Scandanavian sense) and people who call themselves liberals, but they’re not important. We all believe in a mixed economy, as you said. Of course, you believe in a mixed economy too, just one that only socializes property protection and little else. Arbitrarily.

        1. …trade and capital exist no matter what kind of regime you’re in.

          Maybe so, but theoretically speaking, trade requires a sense of property. We cannot trade something we don’t own or control. I will not accept a deal if I don’t get to control the good or service that I’m trading a good or service for. It makes no sense.

          Perhaps what you have just explained is that socialism can never exist without a good deal of munging of terms and forcing of relationships.

          Free markets and property make sense. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” makes no sense.

        2. Of course, you believe in a mixed economy too, just one that only socializes property protection and little else. Arbitrarily.

          Right. If we just make believe that people aren’t making arguments, then they stop existing.

          How conveniently lazy for you.

        3. Some libertarians might remind you that “capitalism” is a Marxian word, and that trade and capital exist no matter what kind of regime you’re in. There are subtle differences between people who call themselves socialists (in the Scandanavian sense) and people who call themselves liberals, but they’re not important.

          Exactly, it’s not really important. I mean, who gives a shit? I don’t know why you even shared this.

        4. I’ll bite.

          First off, let’s dispense with “All __ believe” BS. Let’s also blueprint the argument you posited: You believe (elected-by-majority-of-voters) bodies of people should select which property(ppty), how much ppty, and from whom the ppty should be forcibly confiscated in order to distribute to another person(s). In this case foodstamps. You then equate this to those selfsame bodies deciding which person(s) can access other person(s) property? Excuse the grammar, but is that more or less correct?

          1. Which brings us to how they are nothing alike.

            Maybe at one point this acre was “nobody’s” or the Seminole’s but it wasn’t when I bought/inherited it, so that’s moot. To “protect” my right to own it – and all the privileges therein – might require legal codification which carries costs that must be extracted coercively, and if you’re against that then welcome to the Anarchist Wing my friend (no cookies). But my right to own the land burdens no one past what I mentioned, whereas the “right” to the food on my land clearly burdens me.

            You’re in essence arguing for someone to have property rights to my property – arbitrarily.

          2. I have no idea what you’re trying to say, sorry. This isn’t difficult, and Brian is desperately trying to obfuscate a very simple matter. A regime with property rights necessarily entails taxpayer funded police and courts, etc., to secure them. But we’re told that social welfare programs are bad because they are coercive/redistributive. But property rights are inherently coercive and the government functions that secure them are redistributive (like all government functions).

            I say you should have to defend or argue against a policy on its merits rather than because it is fundamentally immoral, if those same immoral practices apply to property, which they do.

            1. Securing Property Rights — require coerced taxes to administer.

              Entitlements — require coerced taxes to administer + add’l coerced property

              Some believe the taxes needed to secure property are also fundamentally immoral, but entitlements require a FURTHER coercion by definition. I’ll happily argue the merits of each but they are not beginning from the same baseline as you argue.

            2. Tony:

              This isn’t difficult, and Brian is desperately trying to obfuscate a very simple matter. … But property rights are inherently coercive…

              Sorry, but the point of your argument is that property rights are just as coercive as anything else, and if your making the argument by declaring that property rights are just “inherently coercive”, then you’re assuming what you’re trying to prove, which is classic question begging.

              Yeah, I know question begging is very simple. How much simpler can it be to just assume what you want to prove? However, it’s that simple because it’s that lazy.

              The only obfuscation going on is your attempts to try to question beg with a sufficiently large number of words such that it goes unnoticed.

      2. “I had no idea that the alternative to capitalism looked so much like capitalism.

        We are in total agreement here. It’s social democracy or regulated capitalism, call it what you will.

        In our fairy tale land, for example, the state of VW would contain contented people who have a very decent standard of living (like the nordics) because – after all – they are very hard workers and have yielded vast resources to us (the country and world)……

        In your fairy tale, they would be exactly as they are now – drug addicted, polluted, hopeless worker bees (when they can beg work from their masters) whose profits flow to Wall Street and the original Robber Baron who bought up their mineral rights.

        Which is better? Well, I call myself a Social Democrat, so you can call me one also….

        (my apologies to my WV friends – a beautiful place but abused by Capitalists – anyone reading the history could not deny that)

  16. I remember taking a push poll a while ago that defined me as a left-libertarian. This poll is more of the same.

    1. Well indeed you could the 7% self-professed Libertarians who believe government programs and services better promote economic opportunity.

      Surely that 7% must be left libertarians, otherwise it just proves the point that Millennials are rather dim witted.

    2. Cuz we all know the left built the roadz and therefore own along with the gays, and blacks, gen y’s political opinions.

    3. Those polls – like the world’s shortest political quiz – are paid for and designed by Libertarians….to make most everyone a libertarian by their results!

      Heck, I come out WAY on the libertarian end of that one – Rand Paul would be WAY to my right on that poll because of his belief in faith and government being a pair, in making reproductive choices for women and for keeping the defense budget as big (or almost) as it is.

      These are all silly metrics. I just had a visitor here who was a card carrying libertarian – ripped up his card when he personally realized what the state (we) do for the disadvantaged – including one in his family.

      That’s generally the libertarian way. Their strong beliefs hold up….well, until they lose something.

      Tell you what….ask Millennials how many thought the shutdown of the US Government along with the parks, war memorials, SS checks and vast numbers of others services – was a GOOD thing. Those who say it was….probably 10$ – those we could call libertarian leaning. The other 90%, according to folks here, are welfare living coddled socialist statist commies.

  17. I’m as interested in a compromise between free markets and socialism as I am in a compromise between slavery and freedom.

    1. As you collect your pennies in your flea market stall, you’ll be loving the free market, but when a bigger guy hits you over the head as you leave and grabs your bag of cash, you’ll be calling for those socialistic police…

  18. http://exiledonline.com/its-hi…..tarianism/

    “Oh, but the kiddies are cool with gay marriage and tired of bombing brown people overseas? No shit. That just makes them normal people living in the 21st century. I’m for single-payer health care and can’t stand Barney Frank. Does that mean I sip the Kool-Aid at the Lyndon LaRouche compound?

    None of this should be too surprising. For almost two decades, roughly two-thirds of the American public have supported what we’d call a moderate European welfare state?putting the average U.S. citizen significantly to the left of the Democratic party, a center/center-right organization saddled, much to their dismay, with a perpetually-disappointed center-left constituency.

    But hey, our ruling class would shit a brick if any of that wealth redistribution stuff happened over here. Which is why “this is a center-right nation” has been a favorite Fox News talking point for over ten years. It’s only now?after Occupy Wall Street forced their hand?that the media is finally willing to admit that it might be bullshit.

    But libertarianism? Our ruling class is totally fine with that. Smoke your reefer and sodomize whomever you please, just keep your mouth shut and hand over your Social Security account.”

    Ha ha.

  19. Yet, in a little bit of irony, on this same site is an article about how these same kids plan to vote Dem. Seems like it would be more practical to increase the voting age to 21-rather than re-write the first amendment.

  20. Considering they don’t read newspapers (and that we haven’t got any decent ones left) or watch TV (ditto) and what they are taught in school, it’s surprising millennials know ANYTHING.

  21. There is a significant fraction within this group who say they prefer capitalism, yet they they vote for socialism. What’s up with them? Are they just plain stupid?

    1. Actually, like most human beings, they are capable of complex and critical thought and don’t buy into simple yes or no propositions like many here…

      As if a vote for Romney, McCain, Bush or Paul would be anything different? Nah. They know it, which is why do few vote.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.