On Friday during Real Time, Bill Maher discussed the “night and day” differences between the millennial perspective of socialism and that of baby boomers.
“Let’s not romanticize socialism the way conservatives romanticize capitalism. These are economic systems, not your first kiss,” Maher said, referring to millennials’ ideas of socialism as a method to obtain free items from the government.
“Millennials don’t remember a threatening Soviet Union,” he said, and “may be ready for a little too much socialism.”
Socialism, removed from its real-world implications, has become a popular label to promote as an alternative. That doesn’t mean Maher shies away from it, though. Last week, he discussed how “socialism was something America needs more of to curtail capitalism.”
“Everyone has to admit that although Bernie Sanders didn’t win the nomination, he’s already won the future,” Maher said.
Millennials can’t get enough of the 74-year old Democrat.
“We are living in an age that is the product of austerity measures, deregulation, skyrocketing student-loan debt, high unemployment and a lack of affordable housing, noted Nikhil Goval of Time.
“Many of us cannot remember a time when the U.S. was not dropping bombs on the Middle East. Democratic socialism sounds like a much better alternative than our current system,” Goval wrote.
Despite his loss to Hilary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders’ authenticity stuck with the 18-to-34-year-old crowd. A recent poll showed 65 percent of millennials would prefer Sanders to run as a third-party candidate before considering Clinton as the next president.
“Almost two-thirds of Sanders’ voters want free college, and free universal health coverage, for no more than an extra thousand dollars in taxes … even though that’s not really socialism,” Maher said. “And look, no one is arguing that millennials haven’t gotten a rotten deal in this economy, but they’ve also gotten too used to getting sh** for free.”
A recent Washington Post article discussed this dying trend, as more millennials are beginning to “reject the actual definition of socialism— government ownership of the means of production, or government running businesses,” Emily Ekins wrote.
“Only 32 percent of millennials favor ‘an economy managed by the government,’ while, similar to older generations, 64 percent prefer a free-market economy. And as millennials age and begin to earn more, their socialistic ideals seem to slip away,” Ekins wrote.
Ironically, the dream world of free education and health care that Sanders preached to millennials throughout his campaign sounds less and less appealing as millennials age and earn their own money.