Name one successful socialist country in the history of the world.
Hear those crickets? That means there aren’t any.
But that apparently hasn’t stopped many from thinking it’s a good idea.
According to one of the best pollsters out there, only 53% of Americans believe capitalism is better than socialism.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.
Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.
There is a partisan gap as well. Republicans – by an 11-to-1 margin – favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism.
Fortunately, this last paragraph means most of 3BP’s readers aren’t idiots. Though you have to wonder what Republican could ever consider socialism superior to capitalism.
An important observation is that Rasmussen didn’t define the differences/histories of capitalism versus socialism. I’d like to think this was on purpose so as to determine Americans’ basic understanding of economic systems. I’d imagine explaining the complexities of each would have been damn near impossible in this kind of poll.
What does that mean? Three things.
- Too many Americans don’t properly understand the positives and negatives of both systems.
- Academia and the media have not adequately defined and challenged those that support socialism.
- Many of our leaders, in an effort to amass power, have demagogued the economic debate.
What can you do? Take responsibility. Educate your children. Debate your friends.
Help everyday Americans better understand that the economic system that made our country great isn’t out of date.