Via the The Economist, consider the chart below covering faith in the free markets. It is at present at a low in the US, the world’s biggest free-market economy:
In 2010, 59% of Americans asked by GlobeScan, a polling firm, agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” that the free market was the best system for the world’s future. This has fallen sharply from 80% when the question was first asked in 2002. And among poorer Americans under $20,000, faith in capitalism fell from 76% to 44% in just one year. Of the 25 countries polled, support for the free market is now greatest in Germany, just ahead of Brazil and communist China, both of which have seen strong growth in recent years. Indians are less enthusiastic despite recent gains in growth. Italy shows a surprising fondness for markets for a place that is uncompetitive in many sectors. France under a third of people believe that the free market is the best option, down from 42% in 2002.
I wonder if the unbridled embracing of Free Market ideals, taken to excess the past few decades — self-regulation, Efficient Market Hypothesis, radical deregulation, which were eventually followed by the massive financial collapse and subsequent government bailouts of girlie men bankers — might have anything to do with this?
Fascinating stuff . . .