“If the American economic system is set up to reward risk takers, what happens when the majority of Americans are no longer willing to take risks?” said David Bowers, managing director of Absolute Strategy Research, a London-based investment consultancy that commissioned the research.
Fairness was the biggest perceived flaw in the economic model – only 20 per cent of Americans said it “distributes wealth and income fairly”. Majorities said the US system did not provide equal opportunities for everyone or reward people for their hard work and skill.
There was a sharp political divide, however, with 77 per cent of self-identified Democrats agreeing that the system was broken compared with 51 per cent of Republicans. Among independents, 64 per cent thought that the economic model no longer worked, suggesting an opportunity for Mr Obama if he can convince this swing block of voters that his policies will improve the system.