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Gen Z are rejecting capitalism

In a world where our young people are less able to buy into the same lives that their parents could we are seeing a youth in revolt.

"Eat the rich" is one of Gen Z's favourite rallying cries. Pre-pandemic this was already popular but in a post-covid world this has gained even more traction.

As this article puts it: The virus has validated the core socialist tenet that we are all dependent on each other. “When one nation lacks the public-health infrastructure necessary to contain an infectious disease, the public health of all nations is undermined,” Levitz says. “If millions of Americans cannot afford to stay home from work or access medical care when they are ill, the well-being of all Americans is jeopardized.”

It's not just a feeling or some very good anti-Bezos memes that prove this though. According to a report published in July by the rightwing thinktank the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), younger Britons have taken a decidedly leftwing turn. Nearly 80% blame capitalism for the housing crisis, while 75% believe the climate emergency is “specifically a capitalist problem” and 72% back sweeping nationalisation. All in all, 67% want to live under a socialist economic system.

In London, the punishment of not having the money to buy property is clear and very concerning - with rent accounting for 74.8% of the average person's take home pay.

Nearby in Berlin the Germans are making a move to try and tackle their own housing crisis. It was announced this week that voters had overwhelmingly backed a referendum to seize property from mega-landlords (those that own more than 3,000 properties). If the move does go ahead it would see 240,000 properties (15% of Berlin's total housing stock) become publicly owned.

When the pandemic is over and the mega wealthy have become even wealthier it will be interesting to see how this trend continues to unfold around the world.

Zara Cooper

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