Global poll finds disenchantment with capitalism | National Union of Public and General Employees

Global poll finds disenchantment with capitalism

20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall people around the world want governments to be more active in regulating business.

Ottawa (11 Nov. 2009) - Capitalism is losing favour around the world because of its poor record in redistributing wealth, the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) has found in a massive global poll of 27 countries.

Timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, when capitalism was broadly embraced as the economic future of the world, the poll finds broad disatisfaction with the way capitalism now operates.

Only 11% still believe in a completely free market economy and most of those live either in the United States or Pakistan. Almost one quarter - 23% - of all respondents believed capitalism is fatally flawed - a view that rises to 43% in France, 38% in Mexico and 35% in Brazil.

A majority in almost all countries (apart from the U.S. and Pakistan) believes that the government has a greater role to play in the economy, a finding researchers attributed to fallout from the devastating global economic crisis of the past year.

The break up of the Soviet Union is still viewed as a good thing, according to 80% of Americans and 75% of people in Germany, France and Great Britain. But citizens in Egypt, India and Indonesia do not agree, and former eastern block countries are divided over the issue. Most Russians and Ukrainians regret the break up whereas the Czechs and Polish are pleased with it.

The poll found only 11% now believe free market capitalism is working well.

Majorities almost everywhere want government to be more active in regulating business, researchers say.

In Canada, the poll found that 20% now believe capitalism to be "fatally flawed" while another 40% feel it can be fixed with regulation and reform.

In total 29,033 citizens in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone from June to October this year.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

More information:
Wide dissatisfaction with capitalism 20 years after fall of Berlin Wall