According to Gallup, about 60% of Americans still support capitalism. While that’s somewhat good news, as it means the supermajority of the populace is still holding onto capitalism, it’s bad news that 40% of the nation stands against the economic situation that made us so prosperous.
What’s even worse news is that 38%, nearly the entire remainder, supports socialism. That’s right, 38% of the population supports the same ideology that killed about 100 million people in the last century.
Gallup, which has measured the opinions Americans have had about capitalism and socialism since 2010, has found the results generally stable, with a constant 60% for capitalism and a high-30s level of support for socialism.
That could be taken positively, as it means Americans are holding the line and defending capitalism despite the rhetoric of the Bernie Sanders left, or negatively, as it means socialism isn’t gaining, but also isn’t being beaten back.
What is positive is that, according to Gallup, “Socialism ties with “the federal government” as the lowest rated of the six terms included in the 2021 survey. In contrast, Americans are most positive toward small business and free enterprise, while they are slightly more negative than positive toward big business.”
Americans reactions to the term small business was 97% positive, with 84% responding positively to the term “free enterprise,” with capitalism coming in much lower at 60%. The term “Big Business” received only 43% support, with socialism and the federal government both receiving about 38% support.
Perhaps those that want state control are equally okay with the state as it currently exists. What isn’t clear is how those people that support both small business and socialism can wrap their minds around an ideology that would not only do away with small businesses, but, if Stalin and Mao are guides, kill all the small business owners.
Gallup reports that the Big Business level of support was somewhat of a dip, while the other terms have stayed relatively stable:
This year’s survey did show a modest decline in positive ratings of big business, from 52% to 46%, which mirrors declines in confidence in the institution of big business and in satisfaction with the size and influence of major corporations.
Though it’s unmentioned, one reason for that dip in support might be that Big Business raked in billions while small businesses, which are incredibly popular, struggled during the Covid pandemic.
The least surprising result of the survey is that Republicans support capitalism at a higher rate than Democrats, many of whom have become more openly socialist in recent years:
Majorities of Republicans and Democrats have positive opinions of capitalism, but Republicans rate it higher. Whereas roughly seven in 10 Republicans and Republican leaners have viewed capitalism positively since 2010, about half of Democrats have done so. This year, 72% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats have a positive image of capitalism.
The two partisan groups’ opinions of socialism diverge even more, with 14% of Republicans and 65% of Democrats saying they have a positive image of it. Democrats’ opinions of socialism have gotten slightly more positive over the years, moving from 53% in 2010 and 2012 to over 60% in the past two surveys. Republicans have become slightly less positive toward socialism than they were in the initial surveys.
Overall, the survey is full of good and bad news. It’s good that Americans are gradually growing less friendly toward Big Business while remaining quite positive about small businesses, but it’s highly concerning that such a large chunk of the population, particularly the Democrat-leaning population, remains in favor of a murderous ideology.