America swings to the left?

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Just 53% of American adults say that they definitely prefer capitalism to socialism! 20% say socialism is better. 27% cannot decide between the two. 

This isn’t just me plucking numbers out of thin air – it’s according to a recent opinion survey carried out by Rasmussen Reports.

Amongst young Americans (those under 30) the divisions are even starker: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% want socialism, 30% can’t make up their minds!

Who would have thought a couple of years ago that this sort of language would be featuring in US political debate?

Ok, so a lot of it is just down to desperate right-wingers trying to undermine Obama and the Democrats by going hunting for reds under the bed.

Also: before predicting imminent revolution in the States, fervent lefties would do well to bear in mind that another recent poll suggested a whopping 70% of Americans are still in favour of a free-market economy (even though they want more government regulation).

Methinks this is probably more indicative of a slight historical re-run. In the economic turbulence of both the Progressive Era and the Great Depression discontent with the rich and powerful became widespread as overbearing capitalism seemed to threaten America’s traditional promise of equal opportunity. Increased government interference in the economy soon sorted things out (more or less) and the same will probably happen today…

But those numbers are still fun to look at.

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