In today's Washington Post, Harold Meyerson reports on findings of the Rasmussen poll, which find that while overall Americans favor "capitalism" over "socialism" by 53% to 20% (rest undecided), among those under age 30, that ratio is only 37% to 33% (rest undecided). This leads Meyerson to speculate that partly this is due to the end of the Soviet Union, and the shift in terminology of "socialism" to mean the "social capitalism" of the Social Democratic parties of Western Europe. Or, as he puts it, "the left bank of the Seine in Paris does not invoke the same terror that Stalin's gulag did." I note that rather than "social capitalism," the much older term is "social market economy" from the German "sozialmarktwirtschaften," which was cooked up after WW II in West Germany by such Ordo-liberals as Walter Eucken, who, ironically, were friendly with Friedrich Hayek.
Meyerson goes on to speculate that besides the fading away of the Soviet threat, and the apparent capitalism of the still-officially "communist" China, another reason why younger people might have a more favorable impression of "socialism" than their elders is because of Rush Limbaugh and his cronies in the right wing nucase media. They have been loudly denouncing Obama as a "socialist," and his popularity ratings among younger people is much higher than the 60+% one finds overall in the US. So, by linking this very popular president among young people with the term "socialism" so deeply, Rush and company are leading the "socialist" revolution!