Even as leftwing Democratic politicians have pursued an agenda of expanding government into every corner of American lives, Americans have grown more distrustful of the federal government and not budged on their approval of capitalism and disapproval of socialism, survey results released Wednesday show.
“Socialism ties with ‘the federal government as the lowest rated of the six terms included in Gallup’s 2021 survey of public opinion. In contrast, Americans are most positive toward small business and free enterprise, while they are slightly more negative than positive toward big business,” Gallup said.
Capitalism is viewed positively by 60 percent of Americans and socialism by 38 percent. That is in keeping with the results in the previous six polls Gallup has conducted asking Americans their opinion of the terms small business, free enterprise, capitalism, big business, and socialism.
“Sen. Bernie Sanders and progressive Democratic politicians have pursued an expanded government role in addressing healthcare, poverty and early childhood education — policies their critics describe as moving the U.S. toward socialism. Likewise, Americans’ opinions of capitalism have not varied, even with greater discussion of income inequality in the U.S. and the concentration of U.S. wealth in a small percentage of people,” Gallup said.
The federal government has declined in popularity. Back in 2021, 51 percent said they approved of the federal government. In the 2019 and 2021 surveys, that number was down to 38 percent. In other words, the federal government fares no better than socialism when it comes to public approval.
Approval of big business has declined thanks to Republicans becoming increasingly alienated by the woke politics of U.S. corporate leaders and the spread of economic nationalism as an alternative to globalism. Approval of big business fell from 52 percent to 48 percent from 2019 to 2021, a period that coincided with many big businesses making donations to Black Lives Matters-related groups, pushing leftwing climate change and social justice agendas, advocating for Critical Race Theory related diversity and inclusion agendas, and often supporting crackdowns on freedom of speech. Back in 2012, nearly 60 percent of Americans had a favorable view of big business.
In his annual letter to chief executives last year, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink wrote that “climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects … But awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.” The world’s largest money manager has also been pushing corporations to more aggressively pursue a CRT agenda of diversity, inclusion, and equity (or DIE).
“Just as Republicans are responsible for the overall decreases in public confidence in big business and satisfaction with corporate influence, shifting Republican views account for the less-positive perceptions of big business. Currently, 56 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, down from 72 percent in 2019, have a positive opinion of big business,” Gallup said. “Democrats’ and Democratic leaners’ views are stable, at 36 percent.”
In other words, woke capitalism has pushed away Republicans but not attracted support from Democrats.
Another change has been the shift toward socialism among Democrats, which may explain why the party has been pushed so far left and why its supporters in corporate America have become so politicized.
“Since 2018, Democrats have rated socialism more positively than they have rated capitalism. Before that, they held similar views of the two economic systems,” Gallup explained.