The French Institute of Public Opinion recently asked people in several countries whether the market system and capitalism work quite well and should be retained or if they are malfunctioning and should be abandoned.
By a four-to-one margin, Americans believe the market system should be retained. Overall, 55 percent believe the capitalist system works quite well, 32 percent believe it does not work very well but there is no better alternative, and just 13 percent believe it should be abandoned.
But guess who really likes free economies? People who aren’t very free.
Chinese citizens who believe the capitalist system works quite well outnumber those who believe it should be abandoned by nearly a 22-to-one margin. Only 3 percent of people in China believe that capitalism should be abandoned. In Brazil, popular support for capitalism outnumbers opposition by more than eight to one.
According to The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, China has the world’s 135th-freest economy, Brazil has the world’s 113th-freest, and each is rated “mostly unfree.” Support for the market economy in these countries, accounting for 22 percent of the world’s population, is greater than in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, or France.
Perhaps freedom, like many things in life, is something best appreciated it by those who don’t yet have it.