SURVEY: Less than one-quarter of students have a positive view of capitalism

Only 23% of students said that they had a 'positive' view of capitalism.

About 74% of students believe that a professor should be reported to the university for saying something offensive.

A new survey from North Dakota State University found nationwide support among students for policing professors’ speech on “offensive” topics, and a staggering lack of support for capitalism among students. 

Only 23% of students said that they had a “positive” view of capitalism.

When asked to define capitalism, over half (56%) of students across all political spectrums—liberal, conservative, and independent—say they associate it with the free market, and less than one-third (30%) associate it with cronyism, according to the survey. 

While nearly half of conservative college students report having a positive view of capitalism, the number drops to 15% for liberal students. About 66% of conservatives who associate capitalism with the free market have a positive view of it, while 24% of liberals who associate it with the free market view capitalism positively. 

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Most students do not believe that capitalism can solve big challenges. The highest number believing so are conservatives, and yet, less than half (46%) of them have faith in capitalism solving the world’s problems. 

Most students across all political groups say that “at least a few” of their professors have shared their views on socialism and capitalism, with most favoring the former over the latter. 

Three-quarters (74%) of students are in favor of reporting professors to the university for saying anything the students find offensive. That number jumps to 81% for liberal students and drops to 53% for conservative students. 

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of students say a professor should be reported to the university for stating an opinion or fact related to affirmative action, police shootings, guns, vaccines, gender, and biological sex. That number increases to 75% when liberal students responded to the same nationwide survey

About 58 percent of students say that another student should be reported for saying something other students find offensive. The number increases to 66% for liberals and drops to 37% for conservatives. 

These responses were generated from a survey which asked over 700,000 students representing more than 1,500 American college campuses questions about their feelings on a number of social and political issues.  

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The survey, released by the Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth, was conducted between May 11 and June 2. The purpose of the annual survey, working in collaboration with College Pulse, is to measure and identify problems, such as freedom of speech, within universities.