Just 53% Say Capitalism Better Than Socialism

Bill Bumpus's picture


Only 53% of American adults 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

Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for
those who do not invest, 40% say capitalism is better while 25% prefer

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.

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The question posed by Rasmussen Reports did not define either capitalism or socialism

It is interesting to compare the new results to an earlier survey in which 70% of Americans prefer a free-market economy.
The fact that a “free-market economy” attracts substantially more
support than “capitalism” may suggest some skepticism about whether
capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets.

Other survey data supports that notion. Rather than seeing large corporations as committed to free markets, two-out-of-three
Americans believe that big government and big business often work
together in ways that hurt consumers and investors

Fifteen percent (15%) of Americans say they prefer a government-managed economy, similar to the 20% support for socialism. Just 14% believe the federal government would do a better job running auto companies, and even fewer believe government would do a better job running financial firms.

Most Americans today hold views that can generally be defined as
populist while only seven percent (7%) share the elitist views of the Political Class.