Just after the 10th anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers, co-founder of the Home Depot (HD) Ken Langone cited the market crash that followed as the reason many millennials have a negative view of capitalism.
“They were 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 years old,” Langone told Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche at the All Markets Summit on Sept. 20. “So capitalism did not present itself very well.”
Langone went on to suggest that countries that have adopted a socialist system aren’t doing well. To the millennials who seem to favor socialism, Langone said: “I’ll put you in my plane and I’ll fly you down to Venezuela, and let’s see how good socialism is doing down there.”
Democrats are hemorrhaging support among millennials according to a new poll from Reuters/Ipsos.
Their biggest losses are among young white men who went from favoring Democrats over Republicans 48-36 in 2016 to favoring Republicans over Democrats 46-37 in 2018.
The online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.
Although nearly two of three young voters polled said they do not like Republican President Donald Trump, their distaste for him does not necessarily extend to all Republicans or translate directly into votes for Democratic congressional candidates.
That presents a potential problem for Democrats who have come to count on millennials as a core constituency – and will need all the loyalty they can get to achieve a net gain of 23 seats to capture control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November.
Time and time again, we’ve discussed how America’s millennial generation is burdened by debt, effectively precluded from home ownership and increasingly disgruntled and pessimistic about their future prospects for wealth and happiness.
In its latest Global Wealth Report, Credit Suisse said the millennial generation has faced “a run of bad luck”, much of which was centered around the financial crisis.
“The “Millennials” – people who came of age after the turn of the century – have had a run of bad luck, most clearly in developed markets. Capital losses in the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 and high subsequent unemployment have dealt serious blows to young workers and savers. Add rising student debt in several developed countries, tighter mortgage rules after 2008, higher house prices, increased income inequality, less access to pensions and lower income mobility and you have a “perfect storm” holding back wealth accumulation by the Millennials in many countries.”
According to the latest findings from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, 50 percent of today’s American millennials view socialism or communism as the ideal political ideology. Half of them have found their heroes in dictators such as Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong. Lenin, Che, and Kim Jong Un.
The country that grew into the wealthiest on earth through capitalism is showing alarming signs of turning away from its roots.
Much of this trend is due to historical illiteracy and a failure to teach an entire generation about the destruction that have been perpetrated by previous communist regimes. At the same time, they are uninformed about the failures and desperations experienced in current communist countries, such as Venezuela and Cuba. Today’s millennials are hard-pressed to even define socialism and communism. They feel at odds with capitalism and simply feel any alternative would be better, although many haven’t started working or become a part of the workforce thanks to the pro wall street policies practiced by the Federal Reserve.
One of the lures of socialism is the same one proselytized by Karl Marx: the division of wealth. High earners and inherited wealth are seen as unfairly depriving the rest the population of their “fair share,” although most millennials are unable to elaborate clearly on the concept. A mere third of millennials can even correctly define socialism. Only half can identify capitalism as the free market economic system that lured millions of their ancestors to American shores.