The answer provided inside was essentially "Yes, but..."
Of course, the '70s and early '80s were a racked by inflation, economic anxiety, and runaway energy prices.
By the end of the decade, with the fall of the Soviet Union and Communism, the bout between economic systems seemed to be over.
Capitalism was declared the winner.
But now there are disturbing signs that many Americans are considering a recount.
A new poll shows a sharp drop in enthusiasm for the free market among many Americans. In fact, for the first time, people in China and Brazil are more likely than Americans to consider capitalism "the best economic system for the future."
In 2002, when the poll was first put in the field, eight out of ten Americans considered capitalism the best system. In the latest wave of research only 59% do, compared to 67% of Chinese and Brazilians.
The people who conducted the survey deadpanned, "This is not good news for business." In fact, it may not be good for anyone if it leads to overly restrictive economic policies.
Business leaders have no one to blame but themselves -- income inequality and job insecurity have never been higher in most people's lifetimes. Meanwhile, trust in businesses and other institutions has never been lower.
Ironically, the Republican Party has chosen this moment to propose shifting healthcare for seniors from a widely praised government program, Medicare, to -- you guessed it -- the free enterprise system.
No one can argue that healthcare costs need to be reigned in. But someone should seriously consider the question on that Time magazine cover before throwing grandma out with the bathwater.