While right-wingers are still using red-baiting to try to scare people by calling Obama a socialist, etc., it appears that this tactic is not working. A new survey from Rasmussen shows that just 53% of American adults believe that capitalism is better than socialism.
What is even scarier is that for adults under the age of 30, only 37% prefer capitalism, while 33% prefer socialism, with 30% undecided.
But what makes this very interesting is that if asked if they prefer a “free-market economy” then 70% say yes. They deduce that many people are concerned whether capitalism — as it is practiced in the US — actually relies on free markets. Indeed, 67% believe that big government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors.
So people are still concerned about freedom, they aren’t sure our current economic system is really free.
This has been something I’ve been curious about since I visited places like China and VietNam. Both China and VietNam supposedly have communist governments, but in many ways their economies are more free-market than ours (in fact, most of the ways in which they are not based on free markets is due to corruption, not on how the government manages the economy).
UPDATE: FiveThirtyEight.com has a good analysis of this survey.