The Occupy Movement likes to market itself as a global awakening, a spontaneous reaction to capitalism’s implicit unfairness and corruption. Of course the movement turned out to be a western oriented whine-fest from those who were middle class enough to have the time and resources to designate themselves the spokespeople of the victims of capitalism.
In North America and Western Europe the Occupy movement’s favorite target is the banks and financial services who supposedly caused the crash of 2007.
While amongst the whining and bitching middle class that created the Occupy movement it is fashionable to blame banks and financial services for the economic situation, this attitude is far less prevalent that the Occupyers would like you to think.
A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows that ninety-two percent of Indians blame the government for their economic situation, while only seventeen percent blame banks or financial institutions. Ninety one percent of Mexicans and Japanese also claim that the government is the primary or secondary culprit responsible for economic hardship.
Among those who think the economy is doing poorly, people in 16 of 21 countries fault their own government, some overwhelmingly so. Particularly angry at their leadership are the Pakistanis (95% blame the government as a primary or secondary culprit), Indians (92%), the Mexicans (91%), the Japanese (91%), the Czechs (91%) and the Poles (90%).
Young people in Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Tunisia, Mexico, Brazil and Japan tend to blame the government. And in Britain, France and the Czech Republic, women are more likely than men to blame the government for the economic crisis.
One of the most revealing parts of the study is the measurements of attitudes towards capitalism across the world. Between 2007 and 2012 the number of people in the United States who believed that the statement “Most people are better off in a free market economy” was either “completely true” or “mostly true” fell from seventy percent to sixty-seven percent. The biggest measured drop in confidence in capitalism was in Italy where confidence in capitalisms ability to make people better off fell from seventy three percent to fifty percent. Surprisingly, one of the only two countries to have an increased confidence in capitalism is socialist-led France.
While it is not surprising that attitudes towards capitalism have shifted since the 2007 crash, some might be surprised about who is getting the blame for the current economic situation.