This loss of confidence was particularly pronounced in countries strongly impacted by the ongoing euro crisis. In Italy, confidence fell by 23 percent and, in Spain, by 20 percent. In both countries, there has been a steep decline in support for the premise that hard work can lead to increased prosperity.
Greater Optimism In Emerging Economies
The poll also found a sharp distinction between the rather optimistic mood in emerging economies, such as those of Brazil, China, India and Turkey, and the pessimistic attitude found in Europe, Japan and the United States. Less than a third of Americans stated that the country's economy is doing well at the moment. For countries in Europe, the average proportion of people thinking the same thing about their country's economy was only 16 percent, while the share has sunk to 7 percent in Japan.
What's more, the poll found that only one in 10 Europeans or Japanese believes that it will be easy for their children to achieve improved prosperity or better incomes. In contrast, 57 percent of Chinese are convinced that their children will be able to socially advance without problems.
The survey also found that disappointed citizens around the world have been losing confidence in their governments during the crisis. In 16 out of the 21 countries covered by the survey, the majority of respondents found that politicians were primarily to blame for the current economic malaise.
The complete study can be found at: pewglobal.org/
Intellpuke: You can read this article by Spiegel journalist Gregor Peter Schmitz, reporting from Washington, D.C., in context here: www.spiegel.de/international/world/pew-study-finds-steep-declines-in-faith-in-politicians-and-capitalism-a-844127.html