The world is losing faith in capitalism, says Pew.
The American pollsters have just released their Global Attitudes Report, soliciting opinions primarily on the economy. Everywhere, people are gloomy about it — no surprise there. More striking is how deep the mistrust goes:
The global economic crisis has eroded support for capitalism. In 11 of the 21 nations surveyed, half or fewer now agree with the statement that people are better off in a free market economy even though some people are rich and some are poor.
Pew also asked whether “most people can succeed if they are willing to work hard“. The results are a little odd. The US comes out among the believers in hard work — this is the American Dream codified, after all. But it’s pipped by Pakistan, where 81% believe in hard work. Tunisia, Brazil and even India follow close behind. But in China, which seems from outside the paragon of workaholism, less than half accept the idea.
Pew give no historical data, and there’s sufficient international variation in Neither/Don’t Know answers to make me wonder if the question was misunderstood in some countries. Still, interesting thing to ask.