Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
Is the sleeping giant of the American electorate awakening to the destruction of our country by greedy corporatists? Well, maybe.
A new poll released by a Toronto company shows that Americans’ enthusiasm for capitalism has dropped from 80% in 2002 to 59% in 2010.
Since 2002, Globescan has been asking the question “Is the free market the best ecomonic system in the world?” every year to citizens in 23 countries.
According to an article in Globalpost, Americans are less happy with the free market than citizens in Germany (the happiest capitalists at 68%), China (aren’t they supposed to be communists? 67%), or Brazil (67%). Those socialists in France, of course, really don’t like capitalism; only 30% of the French said capitalism was a good economic system. From Globalpost…
“America is the last place we would have expected to see such a sharp drop in trust in the free enterprise system,” Globescan chairman Doug Miller said in a statement announcing the results. “This is not good news for business.”
The U.S. figure dropped 15 percentage points from 2009. It was led by a huge decline in America’s poor and women. Here’s how Globescan parsed the decline in these two groups:
“Americans with incomes below $20,000 were particularly likely to have lost faith in the free market over the past year, with their support dropping from 76 percent to 44 percent between 2009 and 2010. American women have also become much less positive, with 52 percent backing the free market in 2010, down from 73 percent in 2009.”
I find it telling that the Germans are the happiest capitalists, since Germany has the strongest unions in the world + has a thriving economy (because they didn’t dismantle their manufacturing base, as the US and the UK did). Comparing the Germans with the low-income Americans, you find that happy, well-paid workers who have universal healthcare say that capitalism is a good system, which underpaid and/or underemployed US workers with little or no healthcare say capitalism is not working for them.
By oppressing unions in the US and trying to squeeze every once of productivity out of workers while cutting wages and benefits, the capitalists are unwittingly breeding unrest. Now that the capitalists own the US House of Representatives and several state Legislatures, I don’t see the greed train slowing down any time soon. If Teapublicans continue to cut jobs in the name of fiscal responsibility while freely doling out corporate welfare, Americans are going to continue to be disgruntled. Is it November 2012 yet?