Americans have traditionally been the most enthusiastic champions of capitalism. Yet a recent American public opinion survey found that just 50 per cent of people had a positive opinion of capitalism while 40 per cent did not. The disillusionment was particularly marked among young people 18-29, African Americans and Hispanics, those with incomes under $30,000 and self-described Democrats.
By Lawrence Summers
The opinions expressed are his own.
The principal problem facing the United States and Europe for the next few years is an output shortfall caused by lack of demand. Nothing would do more to increase the incomes of all citizens—poor, middle class and rich—than an increase in demand, which would bring with it increases in incomes, living standards, and confidence. A more rapid recovery than now appears likely would reverse, at least partially, a growing disillusionment with almost all institutions and doubts about the future.