Socialism and Millennials

I was so impressed with Jonah Goldberg Commentary In the Las Vegas Review-Journal Sunday May 14, 2016 Page 4E   Millennials Not Clear On Meaning Of Socialism. I wanted to share a good bit of it with you. The following are excerpts from Jonah Goldberg’s commentary.

Various polls show that millennials have a more favorable view of socialism than of capitalism. And millennials generally are the only age group that views socialism more favorably than unfavorably.

Some conservatives aren’t surprised. Schools have been force feeding left-wing propaganda to kids like it was feed for geese at a foie gras factory.

On the other hand, what are we to make of the fact that only a fraction of the young people who say they like socialism can express what it is? IF left-wing indoctrination is so effective at getting kids to like socialism, you’d think it would have more success at getting kids to at least parrot back a serviceable definition.

Writing in The Federalist, Emily Ekins and Joy Pullimann note that many of these young people think socialism is federaly mandated niceness. A 2014 Reason-Rupe survey asked millennials to define socialism. They had in mind a more generous safety net, more kindness and, as one put it, more “being together.”

Young people understandably are drawn by the promise of “being together.” But they think the federal government can make it happen. If government planners can’t even provide goods and services efficiently, how will they ever provide togetherness? Esther’s thoughts – Do millennials think of Socialism as their “Santa Clause”? esthergoodday@gmail


  1. Michelle Poe says:

    How much more insulting can that be? We “millennials” don’t understand socialism because it was force fed to us so therefore the baby boomers need to educate us? Did you ever think that maybe the millennials gave you a simple definition to help you understand the broader meaning of a term that conservatives were force fed to be afraid of and associate with communism? “Being together” is working together to take care of our community not expecting the federal government to make everyone be nice to eat other. Thank you for sharing such close minded thoughts and opinions. You misspelled Santa Claus. Ho ho ho Merry Christmas.

  2. Terry Donnelly says:

    Ms. Goodday, Only in Marxist theory is Socialism directly linked to Communism. The Socialism discussed by Sen. Sanders, many millennials, a lot of Europe, and even a few old baby boomers like me has nothing to do with communal living. Simply enough, the government, or public, should take over from Capitalism the several services that are either too difficult to operate for a profit, or those in which private enterprise is not interested in managing. The “not interested” facet is the post office. FedEX and UPS have no interest in delivering to every household in the country every day. As for too difficult, we are seeing that the experiment with privately owned prisons isn’t working too well and should be run by the government. Healthcare insurance, as opposed to healthcare delivery which should remain in the private domain, is one that is too costly and complicated to run effectively for profit. We should install Medicare for all. The problems Anthem and the other giant private insurance carriers are experiencing with the ACA can be fixed with universal, single payer insurance. Prescription drug costs can be more easily negotiated with our 320 million people banned together to get better prices–that’s the togetherness of which we speak. Cars, banana splits, and plumbers–along with docs– should all stay in the for profit world of Capitalism. I taught for 32 years and indeed did discuss Socialism as an economic system along with Capitalism and others, but never made any attempt to bias one over the other. Students need to get information, learn to evaluate what is presented, and make their own decisions. I think most of the younger generation can do that quite well on their own.

    • Teri Nehrenz says:

      I beg to differ on two points Terry, Young people today, most of them anyway, are not being taught to think on thier own. Not the way we were as children. We had to problem solve, learn logic, how to research and observe things, we had government classes that taught us how to prepare taxes and what our government’s responsibilities were depending on what branch of the government you were discussing. We said the pledge of allegiance and learned what it meant, we had to do things that required work, reading and cognitive skills and how to do math in our heads or on paper. Most importantly we were taught HOW to do something… Not anymore… Everything is done for them through technology. It is on an elementary school supply list that students should own calculators. How many people under the age of 25 can count change back? Few and far between. They have computers and calculators to do all of that for them. What are young people to do if technology crashes, we have a lengthy power outage? They’d be lost.

      And as far as prisons go…I believe that violent and repeat offenders, with the exception of addiction issues, should all be put somewhere to fend for themselves. Ever see the movie Escape from New York with Kirk Russel? Great concept! They’re killing each other and innocents on the streets now, at least in that situation they’ll be segregated from the general population who won’t need to fear falling victim to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
      Prison, either privately owned or run by the government doesn’t work (too much bureaucracy in goverment run prisons and a waste of our tax dollars). Recidivism rates are high all across the country and prisons don’t rehabilitate. People supposedly serve “Penance” but what they really do is get education and inspiration. Penance, Hah! Prison is nothing but an adult version of a “Time out”; it’s a joke. When it comes to punishing violent and repeat criminals, I will quote Stephanie Frehner on this one, “It all comes down to three words, “choice and consequence.”

      Addiction should be treated…and is a completely separate issue. Prison does nothing to help them and the recidivism rate for addicts is among the highest. I don’t know what the answer to addiction is but I do know it isn’t the present penal system public or private.

  3. Terry Donnelly says:

    Teri, The addiction and drug use question is completely separate from whether prisons are publicly or privately operated. So is who should be incarcerated where. I totally agree that recidivism needs to be addressed, but it is just too easy to say that there is too much bureaucracy in government and that they waste tax dollars as a defense of private ownership. Assaults on both prisoners and staff are higher in private prisons. It can also be said that the profit factor in private prisons makes for a conflict of interest when recidivism and the possible elimination of jail time for many non-violent crimes are being considered–fewer prisoners lower the profits. When profit is taken out of the equation, seeing systemic problems becomes more straight forward.

    As for the education of this generation, we can have a much more lengthy discussion about the quality of and utility of education today. Check back on some of my columns where I discussed the advantages of “new” math and a consistent common core curriculum.

    • Teri Nehrenz says:

      Yes, Terry I agree, it is a separate issue the addiction but what I’m saying is publicly or privately funded, prison doesn’t work period.
      You’re so right, take the profit out the equation and you can reveal a whole string of issues.

      As far as the common core…you completely lost me and many other parents on that one. Why remake the wheel? I don’t think common core streamlines anything in math. It’s just as easy to do math the way we learned as kids and it takes far fewer steps to find your answer. As far as the rest of the cirriculum…not nearly as much learning happening today as when I was in school. I’ve got 5 kids that attended a variety of schools from suburban to rural and they range from 23 to 33… I’ve seen the course of study vary greatly in that decade between the oldest and youngest and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

  4. Terry Donnelly says:

    I don’t know where your kids went to school, but an inferior education may be due to a number of causes. Common Core standards will not address the issue of dedicated teachers, public funding, community commitment to education, or a number of other choice issues. What it will do is provide a well studied set of hierarchical objectives that have been standardized nationwide so that teachers can make use of current data when applying appropriately leveled challenges to students. For example, Texas has curriculum evaluation committees that are highly political. Due to this, the foundation of what is taught in schools, and requested to be presented in textbooks is in flux. The hot button issues have been creationism vs. evolution, or putting Phyllis Schlafly on an historical par with Thomas Jefferson. If adopted, these issues may be discussed, but will be refereed by a much larger group of scholars and will only make it into curriculum after much scrutiny. One issue that helps kids learn is consistency.

    As for “new” math (It ain’t at all new) is that it deals with a different learning modality than the single measure of rote memorization we were taught. It gives kids with a different learning style (and lots of kids and adults claim a lot of trouble with math) a chance to “get it”. Basically, it is set theory. Addition and subtraction are making a group larger or smaller depending on the application. Multiplication and division are related by working with equal sets, or equal groups. Mult. makes the group larger by a number of equal groups and division makes the original set smaller by taking away a number of equal sets, or groups (81 divided by 9 is: how many groups of nine can be subtracted from a group of 81?). The only way the process is longer, or takes more steps is if you don’t understand or are just beginning to learn. Repeated subtraction for division can be done very quickly and efficiently by those that learn best in that more visual modality.

    Where Common Core and “new” math intersect is that set theory and rote memorization will both be offered to teachers as methods to get kids to understand, make decisions about, and compute math problems. I hope you are no longer lost.

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