The Bulgarians are slowly getting accustomed to the capitalism, but cannot get used to the big social division. Theoretically, the market relationships are approved. However, when it comes to specific dimensions, the society is skeptical.
This is one of the conclusions from some sociological data, presented today by Parvan Simeonov at the opening of the Young Round Table, organized by Gallup International in cooperation with the “Ivan Hadjiyski” institute. The Young Round Table today gathers visioners and researchers of the new generation. The discussion is still ongoing. The occasion is the 30th anniversary since the beginning of the pro-market, pro-democratic and pro-West changes in Bulgaria.
If in 1992 and 1993 40% accepted that it is normal to have people divided into poor and rich, in 2013 this share rose to 53% and today it is 57%. At the same time the share of disagreement decreases – from 46% in early 1990s to 35% today. The share of doubt is also decreasing.
Among the supporters of the reformist Union of Democratic Forces in the 1990s and among the supporters of the centrist-right power of today – GERB, the inequality is better accepted than by the supporters of the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
When it comes to the Bulgarian Socialist Party, today the share of those approving the stratification are only a little more than the disapproving. In the 1990s especially, the numbers were different. A progress is observed throughout the years.
Nevertheless, when it comes to specific measures of inequality, the Bulgarians are a bit skeptical. The majority agrees with the statement “The income of the richest should not exceed more than three times that of the poorest.” This has been stable throughout the years and it is typical both for the centrist-right and centrist-left electorate (although to different extents). There is almost no change in these attitudes in the years.
This might be exacerbated social sensitivity to the serious inequalities observed in our society, but it might also be a lack of readiness to accept the characteristics of the new society. The data brings about the hypothesis that our society is ready for market economy but only on a general level. It looks like the Bulgarians accept capitalism but still cannot accept the capitalists.