Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

The death of capitalism? Survey shows American citizens’ support waning

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?

9 comments on “The death of capitalism? Survey shows American citizens’ support waning

  1. Eldensword
    April 11, 2011

    Of course Capitalism is losing popularity! There aren’t anymore hard working, do-it-yourself type people left! Hand-out after hand-out, generation after generation of kids that don’t even know where their food comes from, who the 1st President was and that would fold like a bed sheet at the first sign of an economic meltdown. Moms and Dads, teach your kids accountability and self reliance! THEN they’ll see that Capitalism is the best thing since sliced bread and bottled beer. Socialism is for a weak people. Give me a nation where there is opportunity around every corned for those strong enough to take it.


    • steve
      April 11, 2011



  2. brad85719
    April 11, 2011

    Eldensword is right.
    He’s got plenty of time to complain. Get to work. Are you lazy or what?
    I guess Eldensword thinks that working two-minimum wage jobs counts as being lazy and ripping people off counts as “hard work?”
    What a pervert.


  3. Fraser007
    April 11, 2011

    Ask the Chinese what they think. That would be before you go to your free-enterprise/capitalistic/for profit job.


  4. leftfield
    April 11, 2011

    Interesting that the nations cited above are all in the “developed” category.  I am curious what the response would be if the people of Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, etc, were asked, “What is your opinion of globalized capitalism”?

    Of course the happiest would be those who are sitting pretty right now.  But capitalism is based on exploitation and that exploitation is global now.  Let’s ask those upon whose exploitation and misery our relative comfort is enjoyed what they think.  Where to start?  Just go into your closet and read the labels telling you where your clothing is made. 


    • dft
      April 13, 2011

      leftfield has hit on the heart of the matter.  Well said.


  5. Jim Hannley
    April 11, 2011

    Thank you for the very interesting post. I was not aware of this very important poll. It is interesting to note that the benchmark for the poll is one taken in 2009. Mr. Eldensword above asserted that “they” would fold at the first sign of an economic meltdown. Well, 2009 was the heels of a very near global meltdown and the effects of the “Great Recession” were still very sharp. To have a some 72% approval rating at that time is amazing. The Chinese I am sure characterize their economy as capitalistic not socialistic at this juncture, so it’s not surprising they have such a high approval rating for it. They are also witnessing economic growth at a pace nearly twice that of the US so they likely see opportunity for significant personal economic advancement. The French have a very good understanding of socialism and their workers will go to great lengths (witness shutting down major freeways) to preserve their very broad and generous “entitlements”.  Not mentioned in the article is Finland. This is a very mixed capitalist/socialist economy. At a recent global forum on education, their educational system was a shining example for the rest of the world (http://educationworldblog.com/2011/03/what-can-american-education-learn-from-finland-2/). A more socialist economy is not inevitable for the USA but we are facing extremely brash and well coordinated efforts to severely disrupt the American economy and prospects for future growth and development, all in the name of “anti-socialism”.


  6. Pingback: The death of capitalism? Survey shows American citizens’ support waning – Tucson Citizen | The Write Article

  7. jd
    April 13, 2011

    “..China (aren’t they supposed to be communists? 67%)..”

    That about sums up how seriously this research should be taken.  If you want to live in a socialist country, please feel free to move.


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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