Rasmussen released a shocking poll last week about Americans' views regarding capitalism and socialism. Here's an excerpt from their report:
Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.
Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided.
These numbers clearly reflect some disenchantment associated with the poor economy. Still, these data startle and worry me. Do young people truly understand what socialism means? Do they recognize that, throughout our history, well-meaning Americans of all political stripes have worked very hard to build and defend our system of democratic capitalism. This economic and political system has brought freedom and posterity to many parts of the world. Socialism has brought nothing but ruin, and with it has often come dictatorship and oppression. As an educator, I worry that perhaps we are not teaching our young people the critical lessons of history. As educators, we should never flinch from teaching that capitalism is far superior to socialism, while acknowledging that people of different political affiliations may have different views on the form of capitalism that should be employed.