In the midst of the confusion and chaos of the Iowa Caucus, it’s clear that Bernie Sanders is a frontrunner and a force to be reckoned with in the Democratic race for the presidency.
For many middle-age and older Americans, it’s surprising that so many young people are ardent Sanders supporters. After speaking with a number of people in their 20s to early 30s, it shed light on their intense interest in Sanders and his brand of democratic socialism.
The schools have not taught much about the ravages of socialism and communism in China, Russia, Venezuela and other countries. To young people, socialism is an abstract concept. Due to their current situations, many young people feel that they have little to lose if America pivots from capitalism to socialism. Since they don’t view their current circumstances and future outlook with any degree of confidence, it’s worth it to take a chance and change things up.
Younger people face the frightening realization that they may be the first generation to have a lower standard of living than their parents. They are understandably concerned about how they can be self-sufficient, financially independent and live the American Dream, which was promised to them.
A combination of crushing student loan debt, low-wage jobs and escalating home and rental costs has a huge impact on Millennials and Gen-Zers. If a person does not feel financially secure nor confident about their future, it’s natural to hold off making big commitments, such as getting married, purchasing their first home and having children. These things were once taken for granted by older generations. Now, it’s a hard-to-reach and nearly impossible dream for many people.
If a young person wants to buy a home, they will have to come up with a sizable down payment and closing costs. To maintain the home, they’ll have to pay high real estate taxes, interest on the loans and upkeep to the property. Add a car—if you live in the suburbs—and home furnishings. For a person paying off a large student loan with a job that doesn’t pay that well, this is an unattainable goal.