Everyone loves the party game/icebreaker “two truths and a lie.”

Socialist policies continue to be embraced by many Democrats running in the 2020 presidential race, including Bernie Sanders who is a self-proclaimed socialist. 

Can you identify which of the following is NOT true about socialism?


  1. Polls show that socialism is gaining in popularity in the U.S., particularly among Millennials and Generation Z.

  2. Nordic countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland have socialist economies.

  3. Venezuela’s socialist policies have caused its citizens to lose on average almost twenty pounds due to food shortages.


Let’s take these statements one at a time:

  1. TRUE! When asked in a recent Gallup poll if socialism would be a good or a bad thing for the country, about four in ten respondents said it would be a good thing, an 18 percent increase since 1942. 

Socialism is most appealing to Millennials and Generation Z, half of whom say they would prefer living in a socialist country. In fact, another recent poll found that 7 in 10 millennials say they would vote for a socialist candidate.


  1. FALSE! Nordic countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland may have robust welfare programs, but none of their economies qualify as socialist. They actually have capitalist, not socialist, economies. In fact, even Denmark’s own Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasumssen, said, “Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.

  1. TRUE!  Venezuela has been plagued with food shortages due to its socialist policies, causing citizens to lose on average almost twenty pounds. It is so bad that some Venezuelans have had no choice but to eat their own pets to survive. Sadly, this is not all that surprising. Historically, socialism has never worked in any society resulting in shortages of basic goods, poverty, and tyranny.

This is not to say that our the American economic system is perfect. Many Americans still live paycheck to paycheck and some find themselves unable to pay their bills. We should focus on ways to help those who are struggling to make ends meet.

A true opportunity economy, which will ensure individuals are afforded the greatest degree of freedom over their enterprises and earnings, leads to better outcomes for everyone and can allow Americans of all income levels, especially low-income Americans, to thrive.


To learn more about socialism, check out IWF’s review of The Case Against Socialism.