Sunday 20 September 2009

Capitalism versus the Free Market

Recent surveys that have tried to gauge Americans' opinions about capitalism reveal either a public terribly confused about it, or remarkably perceptive about differences between its theory and its American manifestation. In the dark days of December 2008, as General Motors careened toward bankruptcy, a poll by Rasmussen Reports found 70% of voters endorsing a "free market" over any economy steered by government. A subsequent poll, just months later, found only 53% endorsing "capitalism" over socialism, while a third, around the same time, found that two out of three Americans believe government and big business collude in ways that hurt consumers and investors. "The fact that a ‘free-market economy' attracts substantially more support than ‘capitalism' may suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets," said pollster Scott Rasmussen, trying to square the results. Americans seem to believe in free markets; they're just not sure they're getting them.
From today's National Post. The skeptics are right...

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