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Global Dissatisfaction with Free Market Capitalism, BBC Poll Shows

9 November, 2009

Interesting global survey from the BBC.

Free market flawed, says survey

By James Robbins
Diplomatic correspondent, BBC News

More than 29,000 people in 27 countries were questioned. In only two countries, the United States and Pakistan, did more than one in five people feel that capitalism works well as it stands.

Almost a quarter – 23% of those who responded – feel it is fatally flawed. That is the view of 43% in France, 38% in Mexico and 35% in Brazil.

And there is very strong support around the world for governments to distribute wealth more evenly. That is backed by majorities in 22 of the 27 countries.

Of course, I have to wonder why the survey was conducted and whether it was intended to isolate those in the U.S. who still believe in, and are strongly lobbying for, less involvement of government in the economy. At present the government of the U.S. is on course to regulate nearly every facet of daily life as well as the economic situation: health care including abortion rights, energy use including cap and trade, internet use including net neutrality, gun control, privacy including open-ended eavesdropping and reading of internet correspondence, and assuming control of financial institutions, automotive companies and dealerships, etc, etc.

The list is long. Many of my readers agree with this insertion of government into our private life and choices. Many do not. So I raise two questions: are we meant to be influenced by this poll?  And do we care what the rest of the world believes?


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