The Economist had a nice chart out today with the poll results for countries most in favor of capitalism. It would have been interesting to contrast these results from the same poll 20 years ago, but alas, the data is from 2010 only. Take a look, digest, and then my thoughts below.
Germany – It doesn’t surprise me at all that Germany ranks high on the list. While they are “old Europe”, Germans (IMHO) tend to “get it” and not rely on the government nearly as much as other old Europe member states like France. Germany is pretty much calling all the shots in the EU on bailouts for other member states and they have the strongest economy. They’re pretty much pulling everyone else’s weight.
Brazil? Not a surprise – they’ve been enjoying the spoils of decimating their rain forests and depleting their natural resources at a rate the world has never been witness to. They are literally changing the earth’s ecosystem virtually overnight. They’re rolling in cash and loving it. I don’t think they’ll be lovin’ it in a few decades but right now it’s working for them.
China - After just getting a taste of true capitalism over the past several years, the Chinese view it as an alternative to the way their parents lived. The internet and global outsourcing have opened up new riches to millions of would-be peasants and farmers. Even though the government censors quite a bit, they don’t necessarily inhibit capitalism. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive apparently.
Italy – This was a bit of a surprise for a country where working long and hard is sneered at. Enjoying life over money, LOTS of time off of work, a VERY slow and long dinner and looking down on America – the prior poster-child for capitalism was the norm when I was in Italy. This poll has proven me wrong!
The US – I’m not shocked we’re not at the top of the list. A decade ago we would have been. But the media and the administration have conditioned the average American to associate the financial/housing crash and Wall Street scandals with “capitalism”. No mention of why we enjoy high standards of living and virtually everyone on Earth wants to live here. There’s a growing disdain for capitalism. Hollywood makes movies questioning its place in America. I think most Americans that aren’t in favor of capitalism – by its definition – don’t really understand what it means. I can’t think of any other rational explanation.
Source: The Economist