Obama argues that government action is required to redress the growing disparity between rich and poor, diminished opportunities for upward mobility and economic stagnation. Public opinion, at least according to the Stimson analysis, is moving in precisely the opposite direction. A 2011 Pew Research Center survey gives us a glimpse of some of the headwinds Obama faces. Pew found that among all voters, capitalism (a rough proxy for deregulated markets) is viewed favorably by a 50-40 margin and socialism (a rough proxy for interventionist government) negatively by 60-31.
— Does Rising Inequality Make Us Hardhearted?, Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times, today
Wow, whata surprise. By a 50-40 margin, Americans polled by the Pew Research Center in 2011 preferred capitalism to socialism.
Excuse me, but, so what?
Folks, I’m really, really liberal on economics issues, but I am not nor have I ever been a Socialist or a supporter of actual socialism. (I swear, Sen. McCarthy!) My best guess is that that’s also true of a majority of, say, Swedes, Canadians and Germans. As is reflected in their government’s policies. They hold liberal views on economic and fiscal policy. They are not socialists.