Socialism is trending in America. Politicians once ran from the term; now more embrace it. And polls show younger people are favoring it.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., won a seat in Congress by promising free health care for all, free college tuition, and something called climate justice. According to her Green New Deal, climate justice includes a government-guaranteed “basic income” for everyone, including all those “unwilling to work.”
Unfortunately, something-for-nothing socialist rhetoric has a strong appeal. A recent Gallup survey found more than half of America’s young people have a positive view of socialism.
So why is socialism gaining popularity?
Part of the reason lies in our schools. Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried – from the former Soviet Union and to Mao’s China – and killed tens of millions through violence and starvation in the process.
Yet students get little of that history today. Instead, they are often taught the evils of capitalism – that it creates inequality, rewards the privileged few at the expense of the many, and is an engine of oppression and exploitation of the masses. This perverse indoctrination is echoed and amplified in the media.
In truth, capitalism has done more to lift the world out of poverty than any other economic system ever devised. Over the last 25 years, the spread of policies that promote economic freedom has cut the global poverty rate by two thirds.
And capitalism does more than “just” improve general prosperity. Academic studies show that economic freedom is also strongly correlated with greater individual freedom, better health, more educational options, and a cleaner environment. In other words, all the things that socialism promises but can’t deliver.