Americans are smarter than the Democrats think.According to a Rasmussen Poll released today, over three-quarters of American Voters prefer a free market economy to one that is managed by the government. Beyond that the understand that the real victim of a government manged economy are the small buisness people, who create Jobs. And while they may not trust big business, they really hate when big business is working together with big government:

Support for Free Market Economy Up Seven Points Since December

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of U.S. voters say that they prefer a free market economy over a government-managed economy. That’s up seven points since December.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey also found that just 11% now prefer a government-run economy, down from 15% four months ago.

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Free markets are preferred by 94% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats and 78% of those not affiliated with either major party. Adults under 30 favor free markets by a 79% to eight percent (8%) margin.

Support for free markets does not equal support for a purely laissez faire approach, however. Voters are evenly divided over the need for more government regulation of big business: 46% support the idea, and 43% are opposed. In December, 52% favored more regulation, and only 35% were opposed.

The 77% support for free markets provides an interesting contrast to another recent survey which found that just 53% prefer capitalism over socialism. It appears that many people make a significant distinction between capitalism and a free market economy.

“Free markets are seen in a better light than capitalism because of the recent behavior by America’s largest corporations,” notes Scott Rasmussen, founder and publisher of Rasmussen Reports. “It’s hard for people to embrace a system that lets big business keep profits in good times and then asks for taxpayer bailouts when times are tough. If that’s the way capitalism is perceived, it should be no surprise that people prefer free markets.”

Seventy percent (70%) of voters believe that big business and big government are generally on the same team working against the interests of consumers and investors.

A plurality of voters (46%) say that small businesses benefit more from free markets than big business. Thirty-five percent (35%) hold the opposite view. Most Democrats think big businesses benefit more from free markets, while most Republicans and unaffiliated voters say small businesses are more likely to benefit.

By a 62% to 23% margin, voters also believe that small businesses are hurt more by regulations than big business. This finding is likely driven by public understanding of the way Congress works. Earlier surveys found that 68% say most business leaders contribute to political campaigns primarily because the government can do so much to help or hurt their business.

Other data shows that 59% of American adults believe that when members of Congress meet with regulators and other government officials, they do so to help their friends and hurt their political opponents. In a solid display of agreement across party lines, a majority of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliateds share this view.

Looking back, most Americans still think that the federal bailouts were a bad idea. But America’s Political Class holds an entirely different view.

1* Which is better, a free market economy or an economy managed by the government?
77% Free market economy
11% An economy controlled by the government
12% Not sure

2* In the United States today, is there a need for more government regulation of big business?
46% Yes
43% No
11% Not sure

3* Who benefits more from a free market economy—big businesses or small businesses?
35% Big business
46% Small business
19% Not sure

4* Who is hurt more by government regulations– big businesses or small businesses?
23% Big business
62% Small business
15% Not sure