Most American Women Prefer Socialism to Capitalism: Poll
Signs that socialism is gaining popularity in the United States are popping up everywhere. Publications such as The Economist, The Guardian and The New York Times have all been saying for some time that American millennials are more interested in socialism than capitalism these days, with one 2017 Guardian piece even framing it as a youthful love affair with a not-so-young idea. Then there was Bernie Sanders’ unexpected popularity among young voters during the 2016 primaries, with polls showing that the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist “won more votes from the under-30 crowd than Trump and Clinton combined.” Add to this the rise of figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and polls showing that Democrats are increasingly embracing socialism, and it’s clear the term no longer holds the misguided Cold War stigma it did for decades.
Now a new Harris poll conducted for the show “Axios on HBO” reveals 40% of Americans would take socialism over capitalism. Perhaps more significantly, the poll finds a whopping 55% of women between the ages of 18 and 54 would prefer to live under socialism. Given a lack of policies in capitalist America that benefit or protect women, these numbers should be unsurprising.
A system in which women are underpaid compared with their male colleagues, under which reproductive rights are consistently undermined, and which doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave or affordable child care is clearly not a system that takes women, who are most often the primary caregivers in American families, into consideration. It seems women aren’t just fed up with these conditions, but are taking their dissatisfaction directly to their local and national governments. As Axios’ Alexi McCammond commented regarding the findings, “We’ve seen this pattern of behavior where women are turning out in higher numbers as voters and as candidates than we’ve ever seen. They’re getting elected in higher numbers than before. They’re pushing the conversation in different ways.”
As Axios also points out, however, there’s some disagreement over what American socialism would look like. But when it comes to some of the key policies being put forward by progressives like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez—such as single-payer health care, a living wage and tuition-free higher education—most Americans polled seem to agree:
- Universal health care: 76%
- Tuition-free education: 72%
- Living wage: 68%
- State-controlled economy: 66%
- State control and regulation of private property: 61%
- High taxes for the rich: 60%
- State-controlled media and communication: 57%
- Strong environmental regulations: 56%
- High public spending: 55%
- Government “democratizes’’ private businesses—that is, gives workers control over them—to the greatest extent possible: 52%
- System dependent on dictatorship: 49%
- Workers own and control their places of employment: 48%
- Democratically-elected government: 46%
Given these numbers, and the fact that even Fox News viewers seem to support policies like Medicare for all, as evidenced by Sanders’ recent town hall on that cable news channel, at the same time Democratic 2020 hopefuls move further left on many of these very issues, it could be only a matter of time before American women get their wish to live in a socialist country.
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