The crux of the problem

Rasmussen reports that we truly are governed by an elite class at odds with the people:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Likely Voters prefer free markets over a government managed economy. Just 14% think a government managed economy is better while 11% are not sure. . .

America’s Political Class is far less enamored with the virtues of a free market. In fact, Political Class voters narrowly prefer a government managed economy over free markets by a 44% to 37% margin. However, among Mainstream voters, 90% prefer the free market.

Outside of the Political Class, free markets are preferred across all demographic and partisan lines. This gap may be one reason that 68% of voters believe the Political Class doesn’t care what most Americans think. Fifty-nine percent (59%) are embarrassed by the behavior of the Political Class.

ASIDE: Rasmussen defines the political class (4% of the population), as those whose answers to a set of questions show an affinity for government. The mainstream class (65%) answer the opposite way.

Rasmussen also notes an interesting gap between affinity for “capitalism” and “free markets”:

A Rasmussen Reports survey last year caused quite a stir by showing that just 53% of Americans prefer capitalism over socialism. That stat even made its way into a Michael Moore film. By April 2010, the preference for capitalism was up to 60%. However, there is still a significant gap between support for capitalism and support for free markets. While some politicians and economists use the terms interchangeably, just 35% believe a free market economy is the same as a capitalist economy.

One reason for the gap in support for capitalism and free markets is clearly the behavior of some large American corporations. Seventy-three percent (73%) of Americans believe that Goldman Sachs is likely to have committed fraud as charged by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. Seven-out-of-10 Americans believe that government and big business work together against the interests of consumers and investors.

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