There have been many times in my life that I’ve called into question the intelligence of the American people and after looking at the results of a recent Rasmussen poll I am forced to question it once again. According to the report only 53% of Americans believe that Capitalism is better than socialism with 20% thinking that socialism is better and 27% without a solid grasp of what they believe.Â The way I see it, this isn’t so much that 47% of Americans disagree with the free market system but that 20% of Americans have been duped and/or brainwashed and 27% of Americans are either uneducated, ignoramuses, or are otherwise incapable to understand the Capitalism vs. Socialism debate. Whatever the reason, it is scary to think that 143,905,599 people in this country just plain have no comprehension of the untold wealth capitalism has afforded each and every one of them. No matter how often the public service announcements claim that poverty in America is the worst thing since sliced bread, it turns out that poverty in America is kingly extravagance compared to much of the rest of the world. It is also scary to think that those nearly 144 million people have no knowledge of the fairly recent history which should have taught them the failures of socialism.
That being said there is at least a little hope. A similar poll taken at the end of December 2008 showed that “70% of U.S. voters say a free market is better than one managed by the government” with only 15% undecided and 15% suggesting that a government managed economy is better. The question that we must ask is whether or not the discrepancy of these two surveys has to do with a change in mindset or if it has to do with the definition and understand we as a nation have for the words capitalism and socialism. I hope it is the later and that people seem to understand that a ‘hands off’ approach by the government is the best.
I fear that public opinion has simply changed. We have seen little public rage about the president firing the CEO of a private business and yet have seen plenty of rage when a private business decided to honor it’s prearranged contracts. We aren’t just approaching socialism anymore we are embracing it and with it we are embracing the policies of the great socialists of the past: FDR, LBJ, Woodrow Wilson, Vladimir Lenin, Hugo Chavez, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler. While some of these men were not “socialists” by name (although many were), they all share the same basic economic principles and it is these principles that are diametrically opposed to ours. The progressives of the early 20th century hailed Mussolini just the same way the progressives now hail Chavez and Castro. We stand on the edge of a cliff and we can choose to follow the economic failure of some of the worst scum on earth, or we can follow the example in our own country where we have prospered in the free-market and miserably failed when we forsake it. If this poll is any indication, we are moving in the wrong direction.
To prove that not all of my statistics are made up on the spot you can feel free and check out the poll here.