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Millennials’ Rejection of Capitalism

Capitalism and Millennials' Rejection of It

A couple of weeks ago I came across an article that shocked and dismayed me: something to the effect that the majority of the millennials would prefer communism. I wished I had kept the link to that article because now I can't find it.

First off, I complain a lot here about capitalism due to its unrelenting focus on the shareholders to the detriment of everything else. Society as a whole is being hurt by the kind of capitalism we have today, but I do not want to totally throw it all out because it has some good qualities. The competition generates innovation that tends to improve our lives, if done correctly. Capitalism has gone off the rails when it went from considering the benefits to society as a whole to just managing firms for the shareholders and only for the shareholders. It would be one thing if shareholders included everyone in society and the entire society was receiving the benefits; it's another when shareholders seem to be just a tiny slice of society and that tiny slice is reaping all of the benefits. Yes, "anybody" could own stock in companies via mutual funds but let's be realistic about that reality. Even the average guy owning stocks are probably not getting the full benefits of stock ownership.

But, like I said, I don't want to throw out capitalism - I just want its value system to change so that society in general benefits.

I found it disturbing that the millennials would prefer communism over capitalism so I decided to go back and find that article. I was unsuccessful but found this one which suggests that I may have either read the article wrong or the article itself made the wrong implications. It turns out that the majority of millennials prefer either socialism, communism or fascism over capitalism. It's still disturbing that some favor communism or fascism but it turns out that 44% favors socialism. I guess I have a better view of socialism because a) Bernie Sanders is said to be a socialist and he doesn't seem like a bad guy, although I would worry about his spending, and b) some European countries are socialist in nature, Sweden, Denmark and Norway being mentioned the most often, and they don't seem to be having problems with its constituents. These countries are socialistic economically but appears to have a more democratic government. Russia looks like it may have a form of capitalism (maybe a brutal one) but its government appears authoritarian.

Anyway, I decided to do some research to get a better understanding of what is socialism because Americans have a fear or abhorrence for socialism and I was unclear as to exactly what socialism is.

From the Marion-Webster or the FreeDictionary, I getsocialism - definition

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also from the Marion-Webster or FreeDictionary I get the following for communism: Definition of communism - from Marion-Webster and FreeDictionary

So it turns out socialism is very similar to communism so I was a bit confused at first. I've now decided that both are regarded as welfare states (which a lot of Americans abhors) but communism is authoritarian while socialism could have more democratic qualities. America actually has some socialistic qualities due to its Medicaid and Social Security, which the republicans wants to get rid of so we can move toward a more rigid definition of capitalism - no welfare at all.

During my unsuccessful search for the article that kicked off my musings, I found another article that provided a very good set of reasoning of why millennials may be turning towards socialism/communism: the impact of the 2008 Great Recession on their ability to get jobs and make a living. They've seen all of the horrors of capitalism and found it's not working for them. So it makes sense for them to look toward Europe and think the Europeans, especially Sweden, have a better life. This is a good article and makes a lot of sense.

So there's a message behind the findings about millennials' preference: if businesses continue to make life difficult for average citizens, they run the risk of a revolution. Currently, we have millennials in the alt-right (most of those guys in Charlottesville, Virginia protests were young and some say they could not find jobs because they went to the "others") and we have millennials in the antifa (which could be a forerunner of some kind of leftists fanatics), and both sides are willing to use violence. Think of those students in colleges protesting very violently and not letting alternate viewpoints being expressed, no matter how abhorrent. They are no longer interested in listening to the other side. By the time these millennials start moving into positions of power, in maybe 15 to 20 years, we may be facing some kind of civil war or revolution. The seeds are in the Great Recession and the turn away from capitalism. Businesses need to start broadening the purpose of capitalism: move away from the narrow focus of shareholder and broaden to society.

 

Update

A new article came out providing yet another viewpoint on why millennials would be attracted to other types of governing/economic systems. Business people really need to pay attention to this.

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