Reason Roundup

Large Majority of Millennials and Gen Z Support Private Health Insurance While Nearly Half Say They Want Socialism: Reason Roundup

Plus: Klobuchar thinks government should profit when Big Tech sells your data, and the FDA drops a ban on genetically modified salmon.


Shay Horse/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Another poll offered as evidence that young Americans love socialism actually shows strong support for business. A new Harris Poll, taken in late February and publicized by Axios under the headline "Young Americans Are Embracing Socialism," looks at U.S. attitudes toward health policy, socialism, free enterprise, and immigration, among other things.

Among millennial and Gen Z respondents—roughly, adults ages 18 to 38—a full 78.9 percent agreed that "government should allow private insurance." And 67.1 percent agreed that high earnings are a "result of free enterprise." (Among poll respondents of all ages, these numbers were slightly higher: 71.2 percent and 86.5 percent, respectively.)

Meanwhile, about 73 percent of Gen Z and millennial respondents said government should provide universal health care (for all age groups, it was 66.7 percent). In addition, 67.1 percent said government should provide free college and 49.6 percent said they would prefer a socialist country.

So, once again, a poll heralded as a big socialist spike actually shows more ambiguous results, with strong support both for "socialism" and for private enterprise.


Klobuchar wants a cut of tech data dealing. Sen. Amy Kobuchar (D–Minn.) doesn't like the idea of tech companies using user data in unethical or unapproved ways—at least not when they won't cut the government in. If tech companies are making money off of user data, "maybe…we can put some kind of tax on it," Klobuchar said.

Obviously, companies like Facebook that selll user data must report the proceeds from those sales as regular profit, so they're already being taxed on that money. And obviously, government getting a bigger cut isn't going to protect user privacy—in fact, a double penalty on particular types of data usage might just cause companies to be less transparent about what exactly they're doing and selling. But Klobuchar apparently thinks that adding extra penalties for private companies while failing to protect consumers is OK as long as the government can shake down some cash in the process.


Genetically modified salmon will return to U.S. supermarkets. "The FDA originally cleared AquaAdvantage salmon, which is genetically engineered to grow year-round and thus reach the market twice as fast as unmodified salmon, in 2015 following a lengthy, years-long review," notes Gizmodo. "However, Congress passed a law in 2016 mandating the formation of labeling guidelines informing customers that the fish was genetically modified—standards that weren't finalized until late last year."

Now that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has finalized the standards, the Food and Drug Administration "no longer has the authority to issue labeling guidance," Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Friday.


• The U.S. House of Representatives just voted in support of D.C. statehood. "It's the first time that either chamber of Congress has passed a measure endorsing D.C. statehood," points out Keara Dowd at WTOP.

• Russian libertarians are protesting plans to wall off the country's internet.

• Medical marijuana moves forward in Ohio.

• Life is lonely for politicians with principles: