Many Black Americans Have a Very Dim View of Capitalism

A new study from the Pew Research Center finds that most Black adults say the U.S. economic system does not treat Black people fairly and they are increasingly dissatisfied with capitalism.

In an August 2022 survey, 54 percent of Black adults said they had a very or somewhat negative impression of capitalism, up from 40 percent in May 2019. Four-in-ten Black adults held a very or somewhat positive view of capitalism in 2022, down from 57 percent in 2019.

The vast majority of Black Americans said the U.S. economic system does not treat Black people fairly and that major changes to the system are needed. Roughly eight-in-ten Black adults (83 percent) said the economic system either needs to be completely rebuilt (37 percent) or needs major changes (46 percent). Only 11 percent said the system requires only minor changes.

About six-in-ten Black adults said in 2021 that these necessary changes are little or not at all likely to occur during their lifetimes. A quarter said such changes are somewhat likely to occur, and just 12 percent said such changes are extremely or very likely to occur.

Despite having generally pessimistic views of capitalism, nearly six-in-ten Black adults said that supporting Black-owned businesses is an extremely or very effective tactic for helping Black people move toward equality in the U.S. This view was widely shared among Black adults regardless of age and gender.

The full study, “Black Americans View Capitalism More Negatively Than Positively but Express Hope in Black Businesses,” may be found here.

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