Via the The Economist, consider the chart below covering faith in the free markets. It is at present at a low in the US, the world’s biggest free-market economy:

In 2010, 59% of Americans asked by GlobeScan, a polling firm, agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” that the free market was the best system for the world’s future. This has fallen sharply from 80% when the question was first asked in 2002. And among poorer Americans under $20,000, faith in capitalism fell from 76% to 44% in just one year. Of the 25 countries polled, support for the free market is now greatest in Germany, just ahead of Brazil and communist China, both of which have seen strong growth in recent years. Indians are less enthusiastic despite recent gains in growth. Italy shows a surprising fondness for markets for a place that is uncompetitive in many sectors. France under a third of people believe that the free market is the best option, down from 42% in 2002.

I wonder if the unbridled embracing of Free Market ideals, taken to excess the past few decades — self-regulation, Efficient Market Hypothesis, radical deregulation, which were eventually followed by the massive financial collapse and subsequent government bailouts of girlie men bankers – might have anything to do with this?

Fascinating stuff . . .

The Economist

Category: Bailouts, Digital Media

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

20 Responses to “Which countries are most in favor of the free market?”

  1. AHodge says:

    There is no free market, epecially in finance.
    as anyone sitting in a dealing room knows
    there are a raft of rules
    delivery, who deals when, price display on and on and on.
    what is meant is free price discovery, lack of government in that,
    and a reduced amount of other regulation
    except contract enforcement and on ond on
    anyone want to claim there is now free market pricing in MBS? the govt did its dam’dest to keep it from trading and pricing in 08
    and still is messing mightily w the pricing by holding off market .
    how about a free market in something that has massively different prices on each side of the deal?

    crawl back under a rock
    spouters of platitudes you have no understanding of

  2. AHodge says:

    forks are for free market pricing
    except when its fire sale pricing
    or a price they dont like
    but wall st got that fixed for them

  3. foosion says:

    There is no free market in banks and other financial institutions, because of explicit and implicit government guarantees. Deregulation created an environment in which high risk taking made sense for the players and their investors (especially bond investors) – heads they win, tails the loses are socialized.

    To call this arrangement free market, and to decry regulation as anti-free market, as many do, is perverse.

    Businesses don’t want a free market. They want government subsidies and protection from competition, then to call those activities free market.

    Textbook economics says you need government regulation when conditions aren’t right for a free market, such as externalities, monopolies, lack of information, etc. Those who like saying free market don’t seem to understand this.

  4. Jeff L says:

    It would be interesting to see what these numbers would be like if any of these were truly free markets, where banks were allowed to fail, where all companies had to follow the same rules, pay the same taxes etc. In short, none of the people answering the survey have a clue what a free market really is…

  5. AHodge says:

    right and tell me how a free market for bankruptcy works

  6. DeDude says:

    No surprise that the hard time has created doubts. When capitalism works for ME, it is the best thing since sliced bread, when it doesn’t it’s sh!t

  7. DeDude says:

    Question is, as more and more people find that the “free markets” are just stripping them naked, what will happen in this democracy of ours. When the time comes where less than 50% can even “somewhat” agree that the free market system is the best, will we see some real change? What if Ryan gets his way and poor former middle class workers are left with a voucher to give to the free markets for their health care needs, will we see a majority saying that the free market system is the worst? and what will then happen? I doubt that the american people will stand for having Wall Street and the GOPsters turn this country into a banana republic with 95% of the wealth belonging to the top 5%.

  8. DL says:

    I would say that, as a semantic matter, in arguing “for” or “against” free markets, one should also express an opinion as to how the Federal Reserve fits in (or should fit in)

  9. realgm says:

    Free market is just an illusion when there are so many things the riches and banksters can do to influence the “free” market.

  10. I’m surprised to see China so high up on that list. Comes to show that the Chinese aren’t such Communists as the americans think after all.

  11. b_thunder says:

    “Girlie men bankers” – excuse me, but i’ve not seen those yet. What I saw were financial terrorists making demands for unending bailouts or they’d destroy entire fin. system.
    From Jamie taking $30B for Bear Sterns, to Paulson’s “bazooka”, to the TARP, to Goldman’s unending summer-of-2010 “research” which was essentially a veiled threat that if there’s no QE2 – they were guaranteeing another deep recession.
    Terrorists, not girlie men.

  12. lunartop says:

    Is the US really the biggest free market economy or the biggest financialized corpocracy.

  13. Global Eyes says:

    The Free Market became very expensive!

  14. Jack says:

    So nobody prints the headline: “63 PERCENT OF AMERICANS DON’T BELIEVE IN CAPITALISM”?



  15. Sunny129 says:

    The so called Capitalists in USA especially Banksters are AFRAID of FREE MARKET since 2008!

  16. Rouleur says:


    …if any country could use the advise of mises, it is BR…

    …(sorry Barry, kinda funny though – your initials are a proxy for Brasil)..

    …in any case, the country is really moving up…old retired fiat currencies, or not…


  17. Liminal Hack says:

    “I wonder if the unbridled embracing of Free Market ideals, taken to excess the past few decades — self-regulation, Efficient Market Hypothesis, radical deregulation, which were eventually followed by the massive financial collapse and subsequent government bailouts of girlie men bankers – might have anything to do with this? ”

    Nah, none of that. If people had their job security back and were able to go the mall reasonably often (maybe not as much as the last few years mind) and there was something good on telly then they wouldn’t think twice about all that stuff above.

    Interesting that Japan is at the bottom. I’m sure sentiment in Germany will match that in japan in a decade or two.

  18. lalaland says:

    Ha! Germans think a free market is reduced wages instead of layoffs, stimulus described as austerity, and refusing to take the haircut on bad investments. Brazil is finally using it’s resources wisely so I’d be surprised if they thought otherwise (they earn a credit here), but China is run by a committee of engineers. WTF do they know about free markets?

  19. gordo365 says:

    Look – a market without rules/boundaries is called anarchy. A “free” market needs rules/laws/oversight to function. Get over it.

    The degree to which those rules/laws help or hinder business pursuit of profit is up for debate and is constantly changing. And difffers greatly from country to country.

    Bottom line – US government and business need to work together to compete on global playing field.

    Wanting government to “help” and not “hurt” profit potential is a natural knee-jerk response. But wanting the help and then demonizing the boundaries/oversight is a fool’s position.