Has the World Lost Faith in Capitalism?
A new survey suggests that restoring confidence in free enterprise will mean ensuring that the same rules apply to everyone
By Tim Montgomerie
Nov. 6, 2015
If you want to find people who still believe in “the American dream”—the magnetic idea that anyone can build a better life for themselves and their families, regardless of circumstance—you might be best advised to travel to Mumbai. Half of the Indians in a recent poll agreed that “the next generation will probably be richer, safer and healthier than the last.”
The Indians are the most sanguine of the more than 1,000 adults in each of seven nations surveyed in early September by the market-research firm YouGov for the London-based Legatum Institute (with which I am affiliated).
The percentage of optimists drops to 42 in Thailand, 39 in Indonesia, 29 in Brazil, 19 in the U.K. and 15 in Germany.
But it isn’t old-world Britain or Germany that is gloomiest about the future. It is new-world America, where only 14% of those surveyed think that life will be better for their children, and 52% disagree.