Socialism is kind of like the “Broad City” finale of political ideologies: millennials and Generation Z types love it now, whereas everyone else is probably wondering what the heck is wrong with our country.
According to Business Insider, a poll released in October 2018 found that 31 percent of millennials identified as a democratic socialist or a socialist. Among millennial Democrats, that number increased to 48 percent.
So, when the folks over at Campus Reform traveled to Florida International University, they had no trouble finding socialists who were more than willing to defend their ideology.
Just don’t expect them to live it out.
As a bit of an experiment, Campus Reform decided to ask the young students what they thought about socialism. They were pretty psyched about it in a low-key sort of way.
“Like, I have family in Europe, they go to college for free, their health care is paid for, they don’t have to worry about it at all,” one individual told Campus Reform’s Cabot Phillips.
“Socialism is more geared toward helping people in your — you know, the governed,” another said.
All right, then. None of these individuals is making a lot in the free market economy right now. But they did have something they could give away — their GPA points. Would they be willing to do that to help, you know, the studying?
“No,” one said, “What about the ones who aren’t really working hard for your grades?”
“There would be no point to having a GPA, then,” another said. “Is it fair for everyone to have the same outcome or the same opportunity?”
“I’m all for helping; I wouldn’t give some of my points,” a student said. “I’ve lost a lot of sleep, I don’t know if I would be fair.”
It’s almost like they don’t want equality of outcome. But I thought that’s what they were supporting. After all, if they don’t support it in school, what’s going to happen when they get out into the economy?
For socialism to work, they would have to give away substantial sums of income to those who don’t work hard to get where they are — unless, of course, they plan on taking those substantial sums from others in exchange for not working.
That’s the hook of the new socialism. Everyone seems to assume they’re going to be the ones coming out on the winning end of things.
They’re not going to be the ones doing the hard work but paying astronomical marginal tax rates. They’re going to be the ones who’ll be able to not work as hard thanks to the fact that there’s a soft, wide safety net for them to fall back upon.
If only it worked like that. Eventually, one of two things is going to happen: They’re going to become the ones on the losing end of the bet, or the system’s going to fail as there simply isn’t enough productivity because there isn’t enough incentive for it.
These are lessons in economics and human behavior that conservatives have understood since time immemorial and which the left has been trying to overcome. They’ve continued to fail.
But this time, they swear, it’s going to work. Just like the last time it was going to work, and the time before that, and so on. Not every attempt ends up as badly as, say, Venezuela has, but none has ended particularly well.
In reality, socialists aren’t socialists. They haven’t the slightest idea what it means. These kids aren’t going to be handing over their GPA the same way that Bernie Sanders isn’t going to hand out the keys to any of his three houses.
As the students start growing up, they’re going to begin to realize the import of what they’ve signed up for — and they’re not going to like it.
Whether they continue to profess to be socialists is anyone’s guess, but while they may be such in word they certainly won’t be in deed. Let’s hope they forget about it quicker than we all forget about “Broad City.”
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