February 9, 2016

"Why Young Democrats Love Bernie Sanders... They have a lot in common with Ron Paul supporters."

According to Nate Silver. "Young voters have a more favorable view of socialism," but...
That doesn’t mean America is undergoing a leftist or revolutionary awakening, however. The biennial General Social Survey has a long-standing question about wealth redistribution, asking Americans whether the “government in Washington ought to reduce the income differences between the rich and the poor … perhaps by raising the taxes of wealthy families or by giving income assistance to the poor.” ...



... What’s distinctive about both the Sanders and Ron Paul coalitions is that they consist mostly of people who do not feel fully at home in the two-party system but are not part of historically underprivileged groups.

76 comments:

MayBee said...

I was talking to a young man the other day who didn't seem especially politically astute, but liked "the old man" because he seemed like a grandpa.

mccullough said...

Lenin and Trotsky didn't come from a family of serfs either

MisterBuddwing said...

"I was talking to a young man the other day who didn't seem especially politically astute, but liked 'the old man' because he seemed like a grandpa."

Weren't there John McCain supporters, some of them middle-aged, who unconsciously - or even consciously - thought of him as a "father figure" (i.e., a true grown-up)?

cubanbob said...

Yet another reason why voting should be only for those who pay income taxes in excess of ten thousand dollars a year.

mccullough said...

Ron Paul had nowhere near this number of supporters. Sanders is showing that a lot of people identified as Dems are much further to the left on economic and military issues as the party leadership.

MayBee said...

Ron Paul had nowhere near this number of supporters. Sanders is showing that a lot of people identified as Dems are much further to the left on economic and military issues as the party leadership.

Yeah, it's kind of funny because the Dem's own populist rhetoric is finally coming back to haunt them. All the talk about the "rich" and "fair share" and the income gap, and people start to notice the Clintons, the Obamas, Arianna Huffington, etc, are all very very wealthy people.

darrenoia said...

@mccullough Or possibly that a large number of Dems don't like Hillary and will gravitate to whatever the alternative is. And have no historical or present-day conception of the horrors of socialism.

Achilles said...

What is distinctive about bernie supporters is they are a product of a public education system that fails to teach both economics and history. They are as ignorant and stupid as their hero.

Ron Paul was popular because while he was a crank he was very intelligent. Everything he has said about the fed and how our system is rigged for the wealthy has been proven true.

Every progressive policy Obama has implemented has enriched his Wall Street donors, who gave him record amounts of money. But he knew what he is doing. Bernie is an idiot in search of a village.

MayBee said...

John McCain might have seemed like a father figure, but he's not very grandfatherly.

Young people today are coming from broken families and want to be nurtured.

Gahrie said...

The kids don't associate Socialism with wealth redistribution. It's called ignorance.

Original Mike said...

Libertarianism, Socialism, whatever.

David Begley said...

Yeah. Both groups are nuts.

Henry said...

If you break this down by class you might consider that the people who like socialism and libertarianism are the people who expect to run the machine. To be highly reductive, young socialists expect to run regulatory regimes. Young libertarians expect to run businesses.

The classical definition of socialism is that the state seizes the means of production. But Sanders' great call is to seize the means of distribution -- at least for health care. Within our state-sponsored universities and media entities, talk of "human capital" conflates intellectualism with production. The actual means of production are an abstraction, something involving environmental waste and corporate evil. The means of production are to be exorcised, not owned.

European socialists were under no illusions about what seizing the means of production meant. Our new socialists are under the delusion that the means of production are themselves.

AllenS said...

Good luck trying to take the Clinton's, Kennedy's, Kerry's money.

PB said...

Those who think kindly of socialism haven't met reality.

traditionalguy said...

Lenin was a theroretical guy. But Stalin and Trotski were the set pieces for Socialist system leaders.

Bernie is Trotski, but who is the realist Stalin? That would have to be be the current President and his mini-me woman of Steel, The Hillaryness.

Todd said...

I can understand going for Bernie because your only other choice is Hillary but there are some actual Bernie supporters that are actually for Bernie because he is Bernie.

For those "true blue" Bernie supporters, walk up to them, ask them how much money they have on them. Take at least half and when they complain, explain to them that is exactly what they are planning to vote for. Maybe then they will begin to understand...

garage mahal said...

Sanders is showing that a lot of people identified as Dems are much further to the left on economic and military issues as the party leadership.

Especially young voters. That's why they gravitate to Sanders. It's not that difficult to figure out. Neither the pundit class or the Clinton camp get that. Pundits are by and large, old, and I think they see themselves as Sanders when they were young, before they sold out.

This train-wreck is a beautiful thing to watch. Hillary trots out 80 year old women to scold young women voters into voting for Hillary? It's astonishing how clueless they are.

garage mahal said...

Good short read on this here.

cubanbob said...

The kids think that they are smart, elect Bernie and they will get all the free stuff. Of course being young and dumb they don't consider that ole Bernie is going to pay for this by taking out some huge loans and that the kids today who support him will be in 25 years time the middle-aged farts who will be made to pay back the loans with interest.

tim in vermont said...

The master stroke was to convince the occupiers that the Tea Party was evil. When the differences between them were largely cultural.

tim in vermont said...

Bernie will break into these kids' parents' bank accounts and give them the money their parents are cruelly withholding from them.

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
Good short read on this here."

The Dire Straights summed it up better with their lyric "Money for nothing and chicks for free". These young fools think that someone else is going to pick up the tab, they just haven't figured out the simple rules of gambling: the house never loses and if you don't know who the mark is, then you are the mark.

Just Mike said...

Detached from reality is no way to go through life. Unless you learn to work the levers and pulleys, the levers and pulleys are going to work YOU.

Roost on the Moon said...

Maybe the kids are thinking:

If any redistributive taxation is socialist,
And all the civilized world has had progressive taxes for generations, to great social benefit,
_
Then there's nothing too wrong socialism.

In hindsight, conservatives fooling themselves into thinking Obama = Stalin probably wasn't wasn't the best move on the board.

Original Mike said...

"Yeah. Both groups are nuts."

Yeah, getting the hell out of other people's life's. That's just crazy talk.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Why Young Democrats Love Bernie Sanders... They have a lot in common with Ron Paul supporters.

Sure. Both groups don't want to have to work to pay for certain people's expenses. The Ron Paul supporters don't want to have to work to pay for other people's expenses. The Sanders supporters don't want to have to work to pay for their own expenses.

Like peas in a pod.

cubanbob said...

Roost on the Moon said...
Maybe the kids are thinking:

If any redistributive taxation is socialist,
And all the civilized world has had progressive taxes for generations, to great social benefit,
_
Then there's nothing too wrong socialism.

In hindsight, conservatives fooling themselves into thinking Obama = Stalin probably wasn't wasn't the best move on the board.

2/9/16, 11:45 AM"

Clever but not clever enough. Money doesn't come from heaven and they haven't for all of their supposed education come to the conclusion that today's free lunch will be paid later by them with a lot on interest.

Fernandinande said...

"Why Young Democrats Love Bernie Sanders... They have a lot in common with Ron Paul supporters."

Apparently what they have in common is that they're young: "Young Democrats are Young".

n.n said...

Redistributive change under Marxism and derivative quasi-religions only works in a homogeneous society that recognizes intrinsic value. American society has become dysfunctional under class diversity policies and corrupt under the state-established pro-choice religion that violates human rights with the resumption of sacrificial rites. While Soviet, Chinese, German, etc. leftists corrupted society from the top, American leftists have corrupted society from the top and bottom, and are squeezing the majority middle through excessive immigration, devaluation of capital and labor, and debasement of human life with with termination of over one million Americans annually in the abortion and reactive parenthood industries. The progressive corruption was predictable and a dysfunctional convergence is inevitable.

Titus said...

I don't think he is going to be loved that much down south.

Those are New England kids-likely come from wealthy liberal families.

Bernie's too East-he won't fly in much of the country.

wendybar said...

It's funny that the young want socialism. In the end..THEY are going to be the ones paying for this mistake!!

Rick said...

mccullough said...
Ron Paul had nowhere near this number of supporters. Sanders is showing that a lot of people identified as Dems are much further to the left on economic and military issues as the party leadership.


For decades the Dem base has implemented a 'no enemies to the left' policy the primary weapon of which is that anyone trying to stop the leftward plunge is racist / sexist / homophobic. Right now the activists who implemented that policy and thought success would mean basking in glory are instead screaming that the tactics were never meant to be universal, but only applied to conservatives or centrists.

As much as the Reign of Terror was regrettable there's a certain justice they guillotined Robespierre before it was over.

wendybar said...

Sorry...... Blogger cubanbob said...
The kids think that they are smart, elect Bernie and they will get all the free stuff. Of course being young and dumb they don't consider that ole Bernie is going to pay for this by taking out some huge loans and that the kids today who support him will be in 25 years time the middle-aged farts who will be made to pay back the loans with interest.

2/9/16, 11:40 AM

I should have read your comment first!!

David said...

Scott Adams had it right. Young voters know the least, and have the least responsibilities. (They hate hearing that. I know I did.)

Crazy Jane said...

It only makes sense. The young are inspired by the socialismo success story that is Venezuela.

SteveR said...

With Democrats, there is a large group that actually believes in the things that are describable as "far left", things the party establishment may also believe but can't openly espouse. This is, of course, true on the right in a similar way.

The difference is that the "far right" often does not vote for the party and cedes elections to the Dems and the MSM generally characterizes them as "extreme", "unsophisticated" or even evil.

So while the infighting goes on, the party can plan on staying in power while equating electoral prowess with doing the right thing.

n.n said...

Another problem with socialism and Marxist derivatives generally, is that people are not entitled to the products and services created by another person's labor. So, universal health care in a society that rejects intrinsic value, and with a large and progressive welfare population, serves to increase capital and control for a ruling minority, enslave the working class, and while it suppresses environmental toxicity through distribution of opiates, leads to developmental retardation and progressive corruption of the lower class in Marxist societies, and of the upper ruling minority class in every society.

As young lives, as unplanned lives, we are born liberal or with a high degree of variance (e.g. pro-choice). This idealistic state persists until with increased knowledge and skill earned through experience we adopt a set of observable, reproducible principles, which are ideally internally, externally, and mutually consistent.

Principles matter. They are evidence of orientation (i.e. bias) and first-order predictors of behavior (e.g. prejudice). They are a standard for judgment to identify hypocrisy that engenders progressive corruption.

Bob Ellison said...

Wow. That's a crappy graph.

YoungHegelian said...

When asked what constitutes a "socialist" country, the modern Bernie-ites will reply "Sweden".

It just makes you wonder how it was that those damn Republicans got the Soviet Union to call itself the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. God, they're insidious.

Yes, ye Young Socialist Pioneers, there are many problems with the word "socialist" & what exactly it means. But, please, don't blame conservatives when they're confused about what you could possible mean by calling yourself "socialist". That wound is completely self-inflicted by the Left.

Hunter said...

Henry said...
If you break this down by class you might consider that the people who like socialism and libertarianism are the people who expect to run the machine. To be highly reductive, young socialists expect to run regulatory regimes. Young libertarians expect to run businesses.

That is likely true of those who think highly of themselves. But there are plenty of people in both camps who just see themselves as regular people, who believe the system they support would serve them better than they are being served now.

As someone who tends toward the classically liberal viewpoint, I believe that more classically liberal policies would improve my life through economic growth, a smaller tax burden, and more personal freedom.

Socialist regular-people believe their lives would be improved by having government-provided health care, paid family leave, a much larger welfare state in general, and tons of regulations that force businesses to act better than they currently do.

I think there is little evidence to support socialists' belief that those policies would improve the lives of regular people and lots of evidence to suggest that classically liberal policies would (though not in the egalitarian manner that socialists would prefer).

J. Farmer said...

I can see that my pleas to stop calling Bernie Sanders a socialist have gone unanswered. It's 2016, and we're still trying to draw historical parallels between current political candidates in the United States and Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. This is just pathetic.

Unknown said...

College is a socialist indoctrination camp. There's a reason Bernie wants to give everyone college for free.

Bob Ellison said...

It's OK, J. Farmer. Sanders is just be a wannabe.

Sergei Medvedev was a good socialist.

J. Farmer said...

@Bob Ellison:

He isn't a wannabe. He's employing a very common strategy of taking up a word that is usually deployed against people of his ideological bent as a slur. It takes a lot more intellectual energy and nuance to explain why one is not really a socialist than just say, yeah, I'm a socialist. Even the social democracies of northern Europe, which modern liberals have wanted to emulate for at least 30 years, are not socialist. Their economies run primarily on private property and private capital. Just like the US.

tim in vermont said...

I can see that my pleas to stop calling Bernie Sanders a socialist have gone unanswered. It's 2016, and we're still trying to draw historical parallels between current political candidates in the United States and Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. This is just pathetic.

Yeah, labels used by the left have to be changed periodically so that the stink acquired by lefty policies can have some time to dissipate.

tim in vermont said...

"Recalled one attendee: 'She [Hillary] sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.'

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/clinton-speeches-218969#ixzz3zhtWbjQq"

Henry said...

@Hunter -- Agree with your comments. My only add is that when you consider the young people who are actively supporting Sanders you are largely talking young, white, educated, upper class kids. Meanwhile Clinton has a strong grip on the more traditional democratic constituencies; while that includes many very wealthy donors and limousine liberals, it also includes minority groups and what's left of the democratic working class.

I tend to think the Sanders kids do think highly of themselves. They are confident that they can manage a managed economy.

Likewise the young, white, educated kids who supported Ron Paul also thought highly of themselves and their ability to succeed in an unmanaged economy.

tim in vermont said...

The real problem you and Bernie are having, J. Farmer, is that the closest correct economics term for Bernie's vision is 'fascism,' so, given the choices, he goes with 'socialism.'

Henry said...

Uh, no.

Brando said...

Of course they're similar--just like Occupiers and Tea Partiers, they tend to be whiter and more educated and well off than the average American, so they fear they have more to lose in today's environment, so therefore they become more strident and activist. They also latch on to whoever can best reject the status quo that they see cheating them.

Take Tea Partiers who skew older than the Occupiers but share a lot of the same sense of impending loss. The older ones played by the rules (as they understood them) and invested in homes, educations, and jobs and expected comfortable retirement only to see a lot of that exploded in the last crash and never fully recovered. The younger ones don't have the homes, but see their chances of getting one get smaller--and they still have the education debt but worse job prospects, even though they were always told education was a great investment.

Likewise, Bernie and Ron before him could appeal to these types--particularly the younger among them--because of how completely they reject the status quo. No modest minimum wage hikes for Bernie--he wants $15 nationally. He wants to break the banks, and full single payer health care, and free college. Not that he'll get any of that, but it's a strident wish list.

Ron wanted the gold standard, massive shrinking of the government, and a vast libertarian agenda.

Neither has much hope of getting what they want, but they can make noise and rage against their respective establishments. When the dust settles, it'll be back to gridlock and the status quo.

Rusty said...

To support any one of the two democrat candidates you have to be young or willfully stupid.

bagoh20 said...

The young and dumb like free stuff from adults. It's revolutionary!

David said...

That graph is spectacularly unilluminating.

elkh1 said...

This time is different. With a student loan that goes thru the roof, and a degree that is worth much less than the paper it's printed on, it's time to demand somebody else pay.

"From each according to their ability, to each according to their need." Young Democrats have lots of need and no ability. Socialism is a godsend from the god of free stuff.

n.n said...

One by one, the slaves came. Dragging a cradle of spare parts behind them. They were preceded by mortal gods and goddesses promising opiates for everyone, and shared responsibility administered by the best and brightest.

jr565 said...

why do young people like socialism? Because they are young and stupid. Also because they are growing up under an American under decline and so think that's the only way to achieve. Plus they are indoctrinated into the socialism ideals by teachers who habe been pushing socialism since work at schools which are socialist, and they don't have to get jobs in private sector where they have to compete.
Young people have gone from rugged individualists to coddled herd mentality types who want a safe space.

Birches said...

Yeah, it's kind of funny because the Dem's own populist rhetoric is finally coming back to haunt them. All the talk about the "rich" and "fair share" and the income gap, and people start to notice the Clintons, the Obamas, Arianna Huffington, etc, are all very very wealthy people.

Kind of like the Cultural Revolution, eh?

Michael K said...

I don't think he is going to be loved that much down south.

Those are New England kids-likely come from wealthy liberal families.


I agree. I think Bernie is going to peak tonight and it's downhill from there. It isn't that he is going to beat Hillary. What Democrats are seeing is a collapse of turnout as the Obama coalition is turned off by Hillary.

I'm reading an interesting book about the changes in American politics. The author has an opinion that Democrats are a coalition of rent seekers and Republicans, especially the Tea Party type, are a coalition of those who want to stop the rent seekers. Those who want to stop the rent seeks want to be left alone, which is kind of a forlorn hope these days but big changes are coming. The other theme of the book is that big change can come quickly. It's kind of similar to James Bennet and Michael Lotus' book "American 3.o." The only thing I disagree with them on is that I think they are too optimistic.

Michael K said...

"Young people have gone from rugged individualists to coddled herd mentality types who want a safe space."

Yes, I have a very accomplished daughter who is a Bernie supporter and I hesitate to point out that she is 35 and I am still paying some of her bills.

Gahrie said...

I can see that my pleas to stop calling Bernie Sanders a socialist have gone unanswered. It's 2016, and we're still trying to draw historical parallels between current political candidates in the United States and Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. This is just pathetic.

1) Socialist is literally his chosen designation. If we didn't call him socialist, people would be upset about that.

2) Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin were not Socialists, nor were their western lackeys. They were Communists.

mccullough said...

Let's not pretend that vast swaths of our economy aren't rigged. Crony capitalism isn't capitalism.

A lot of people have seen their jobs sent to other countries that don't have the regulations (labor and environmental) we do and have seen the largest banks get bailed out by the federal government. Many state and local governments are no better when it comes to crony capitalism. So the question is whether it's reasonable for these young people, many of whom have crushing debt and semi-bleak long term economic prospects, to prefer Bernie's European style economic plans or the cronyism we have. Because we don't have capitalism in the US. You can't bail out banks and car companies and claim we have capitalism. We have private gains (for the politically connected) and socialized losses.

I don't agree with Sanders proposals but let's not say that young people are naive or ignorant. It's ignorant to say we have capitalism in the US.

Gahrie said...

It's ignorant to say we have capitalism in the US.

So the answer is to move farther away from free market capitalism?

Bob Ellison said...

My nearby strip mall has a bank, a pharmacy, a pizza shop, and a bunch of other businesses. Every one of them is practicing entrepreneurial capitalism. That's how they earn their livings, and they're doing it pretty well. The cupcake shop, I dunno; it probably won't survive.

We don't have capitalism in the USA? Where the hell do you live?

Michael K said...

The capitalism we see is small business like Bob Ellison describes. They, of course, are under attack if they provide any service that can be related to gay pride, like cakes, flowers and photos. Still, lots of people are still doing things and some are succeeding.

The Big Business types are all Democrats now but they will flip back if the GOP wins the election. The key is to realize that they are not "on the team" and are just for the money and the bennies.

Who knows ? If Trump wins and does half of what he says, construction jobs might come back.

Phil 3:14 said...

Liberaltarians.

Paddy O said...

"Young people have gone from rugged individualists to coddled herd mentality types who want a safe space."

I taught undergrads for a number of years and studied a lot of history over the course of my life, and I don't think this "gone from... to being" is true. Generations get labeled by certain outliers. It's like saying all Boomers were hippies and point to Woodstock and San Fran. But most Boomers didn't live those. They just lived life. So too young people. There are a lot of young entrepreneurs. There are a lot of rugged individualists. But do you know what the rugged individualists are doing? Neither do I. They're not spending their life online.

The US has always gathered the young individualists from all the countries. Even as the non-rugged and comfortably wealthy stay home. The West was developed by rugged men and women, while the less rugged and more comfortable stayed home. Now we don't have a geographic movement, so all the rugged folk and the stay at home folk are mixed in together. But there's definitely a good mix of both in every crowd, at any age.

mccullough said...

I'm at Bob,

I live in a country that gives trillion bailouts to large banks, AIG, Chyrsler and GM. Where the Ex-Im bank can't even be eliminated by Congress, where ethanol and sugar subsidies abound, etc.

Where do you live?



J. Farmer said...

@Bob Ellison:

The two most popular pieces of public policy are Social Security and Medicare. One is a forced savings scheme, and the other is a single-payer health program. Many Republicans and many self-described conservatives want these programs and want them secured. "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" may just be apocrypha, but it expresses a real sentiment.

We don't have a socialist system. We have a mixed system. Pretty much every advanced country on the planet has a mixed system. Norway has a mixed system. There is a high level of entrepreneurialism in Norway, and they have a large state sector and welfare state. Now, I happen to think they have a well functioning state because of unique historical phenomenon, and I do not believe we can just copy their policies and get anything close to their result.

The larger point is that in the modern era, distinctions like "capitalist" and "socialist" are anachronistic.

BN said...

"The larger point is that in the modern era, distinctions like "capitalist" and "socialist" are anachronistic."

Maybe. But feudalism/fascism is forever.

BN said...

You can't fight human nature.

J. Farmer said...

@BN:

"Maybe. But feudalism/fascism is forever."

More pointless anachronisms swiped from history.

Rusty said...

The larger point is that in the modern era, distinctions like "capitalist" and "socialist" are anachronistic.

No they're not.

Drago said...

J. Farmer: "The larger point is that in the modern era, distinctions like "capitalist" and "socialist" are anachronistic."

Just keep telling yourself that.

J. Farmer: ""Keep your government hands off my Medicare" may just be apocrypha, but it expresses a real sentiment."

If it's "apocrypha", then what is the "real" evidence for your assertion?

And shouldn't you be differentiating between welfare programs (something for nothing) and other gov't programs that people were forced to pay into over many years and thus view those programs differently than "charity"-type programs?

Whenever I read someone painting Medicare or Soc Security as a "welfare" program I know immediately they are not arguing in good faith.

Drago said...

Birches: "Kind of like the Cultural Revolution, eh?"

It's all fun and games until they start digging holes.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

"No they're not."

Yes, they are.

@Drago:

"If it's 'apocrypha', then what is the 'real' evidence for your assertion?"

I am not necessarily saying that it is apocryphal. I am saying that even if it were, it still expresses a real sentiment. Read a Pew poll or any of the survey data done on American political opinions. It's actually a bit of a joke that even among Americans who agree in the abstract about cutting spending and reducing government, when they are asked about specific government programs they generally rate Social Security, Medicare, and defense quite favorably while things like foreign aid are rated quite low. If you want to peruse such data, here is a link to a survey from 2013.

"And shouldn't you be differentiating between welfare programs (something for nothing) and other gov't programs that people were forced to pay into over many years and thus view those programs differently than "charity"-type programs?"

No, because that has nothing to do with the point I was making. Take Medicare. That's a single-payer healthcare program. But it's not socialist, right? I agree, it isn't socialist, which is why I think trying to use a word like "socialist" to describe modern economic policy in the US is largely a dumb distraction. Now if you were talking about something like post-Chavez Venezuela, which included nationalization of industry, institution of price controls, seizure of private property for redistribution, draconian exchange rate processes, etc., then the word "socialist" actually makes some kind of sense. But in a country where even among registered Republican voters, 24% of Republicans want increase Medicare spending versus 21% who want decreased spending, I don't thin charges of "socialism" make much sense.