Americans under 30 more likely to resent rich and even support violence against the wealthy, says study
While 39 percent of young Americans feel resentful towards the rich, 35 percent justify violence against them. As high as 44 percent feel angry when reading or hearing about the rich.
The US has been the heart of capitalism over the past few centuries but a recent study has shown that the country’s young people are feeling more annoyed vis-a-vis the rich and are even supporting violence against them. The Cato Institute’s annual survey on attitudes towards welfare, work, and health found that Americans aged below 30 are more likely to resent the rich and even support violence against them.
According to the study, 39 percent of Americans aged between 18 and 29 feel more resentment than admiration towards the rich as against 16 percent of those over 65. Among the youth (18-29), 44 percent feel angry when they read or hear about the very rich and 35 percent believe that citizens could be justified by taking violent action against the rich.
Among those aged above 65, only 11 percent feel angry when reading or hearing about the very rich people while only 10 percent justify violence. Thirty-nine percent of the youth also believe that it is immoral for society to allow people to become billionaires. Only 13 percent of those above 65 feel the same.
52% Americans under 30 feel rich got rich by exploitation
The under-30 generation’s radical thinking also becomes evident when 52 percent of them say that most rich people in the US got rich by taking advantage of other people. While only 27 percent of people above 65 conform to this view, a staggering 72 percent of them believe that most wealthy Americans “earned their wealth” without exploiting others.
American youth prefer socialism
Another interesting finding of the study said that more young Americans have started feeling supportive of socialism than capitalism now, even if the difference is wafer-thin.
Fifty percent of those aged between 18 and 29 said they favored socialism while 49 percent were in favor of preferring capitalism. In the 65-plus age group, those favoring capitalism are as high as 76 percent.
If seen across age groups, however, capitalism still has its sway over socialism with 59 percent of Americans viewing the former word more favorably. Only 39 percent favor socialism. In the Democratic camp, self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has a huge following among the young Democrats who are three times more likely to support the former for the Democratic presidential nomination for 2020. Forty percent of Democrats under 30 support the Vermont senator as against only 14 percent of those aged above 65. Among the older Democrats, Joe Biden is the frontrunner.
The survey was conducted by polling firm YouGov between March 5 and 8 and it collected responses from 1,700 Americans aged 18 and above.