It should not be all that surprising that most Latino Americans have a negative view of socialism, considering that many have fled socialist countries such as Cuba and Venezuela in pursuit of the American Dream in recent decades.
In fact, according to a new poll conducted by Pew Research, 53 percent of Hispanics have a negative impression of socialism while only 41 percent view it positively. On the other hand, 54 percent of Hispanics have a positive view of capitalism whereas only 41 percent view it negatively.
Somewhat expectedly, 50 percent of Hispanics who self-identify as Democrats view socialism positively while 48 percent do not. Among Hispanics who self-identify as Republicans, a whopping 72 percent have a negative impression of socialism compared to only 24 percent who have a positive impression.
On par with national trends, younger Hispanics tend to view socialism more positively than older Hispanics. For instance, 46 percent of Hispanics aged 18 to 39 view socialism positively while only 32 percent of Hispanics aged 50 to 64 have positive impressions of socialism. For comparison sake, 50 percent of Hispanics aged 18 to 39 have a positive impression of capitalism whereas 60 percent of those aged 50 to 64 view capitalism positively. Across the country, 60 percent of all adults have a negative view of socialism.
Interestingly, 54 percent of all Hispanics view capitalism positively, which is in line with all U.S. adults, of whom 57 percent agree.
So, what does this all mean for the future of socialism in America?
On one hand, given that Hispanics are the fastest growing demographic group in America, one can surmise that their general antipathy towards socialism does not bode well for a socialist America. However, on the other hand, polls show that young Americans (including young Hispanics) are more willing to vote for socialist candidates.
There are many reasons young voters tend to skew toward socialist rhetoric, namely because they lack real-world experience and the utopian ideals expressed under the socialist banner appeal to students and young Americans who have not yet entered the work force. But, I do not think we should discount the fact that many young Americans are dissatisfied with capitalism because they have grown-up in an America that has become more crony capitalist than classic capitalist.
While one might discount the difference between crony capitalism, in which big government and big business work hand-in-hand to aid one another, that is the antithesis of classic capitalism, wherein freedom rules the day.
Perhaps, if the United States were to shun crony capitalism and re-establish a robust system of free-market capitalism, in which everyone has equal opportunity to pursue the American Dream, we would begin to see more young Americans become more likely to support capitalism in general.
PHOTO: New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo by nrkbeta. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute and a researcher and editor at StoppingSocialism.com.