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Capitalism loses fans thanks to recession

Capitalism, you aren’t as popular as you used to be.The economic doldrums of the last five years has eroded the global popularity of the economic institution of the free market economy, a new report from Pew Research Center finds.Americans are slightly less likely to support capitalism than they were five years ago. The report found that 67 percent of people completely or mostly agreed that most

Capitalism, you aren’t as popular as you used to be.

The economic doldrums of the last five years has eroded the global popularity of the economic institution of the free market economy, a new report from Pew Research Center finds.

Americans are slightly less likely to support capitalism than they were five years ago. The report found that 67 percent of people completely or mostly agreed that most people are better off in a free market economy even though some people are rich and some people are poor.

That’s down from 70 percent in 2007, the year the U.S. economy officially fell into recession.

But capitalism’s reputation has really tanked in places like Italy, Spain, Poland, Britain and Pakistan.

Just 50 percent of Italians agree that people are better off in a free market economy, down 23 percentage points from 2007.  In Spain, less than half of those surveyed agreed people were better off in a free market. Both countries have been plagued by economic problems in recent years.

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In Poland, where citizens are relative newcomers to free market ideals, 53 percent of respondents said people were better off in the free market system, down 15 percentage points from 2007.

The free market economy also isn’t winning any popularity contests in Pakistan and Japan, where the Pew report found that less than half of those surveyed thought people are better off with the system.

Capitalism did gain a few fans in Germany and France. Leaders from both those countries have been shouldering much of the burden of dealing with the financial problems dogging the European Union.

The survey of 26,000 people in 21 countries was conducted between March and April of 2012.