Friday, January 13, 2017

Trust and change

An interesting data point from Gallup as we swear in a new Congress and a new President. 67% of Americans Still See Big Government as Top Threat.

Click to enlarge.

What is, perhaps, more interesting are the details and trend lines.

American concerns about Big Labor have been steadily declining as organized labor itself has declined. Concern about Big Business has fluctuated roughly within a steady bound of 15% to 30%. It is concern about government that has always been top of mind for American citizens. In 1965, 35% identified government as the main threat (and that was the single biggest threat among all respondents). Since then, the concern about government has steadily increased, peaking at 72% in 2012 but still at 67% in December 2016.

It is worth keeping in mind that this survey is looking at relative concern between three categories only, Government, Business, and Labor.

When asked a different and open ended question about the biggest problem, government as an explicit problem is only tied for third place with Unemployment after The Economy and Race Relations. Though to be fair, there are many other problems that are within the purview of government such as terrorism, immigration, healthcare, crime and violence, etc.

After the past 16 years, we need a lot of rebuilding between our institutions of power and our citizens. We should never blindly trust government but we ought to be able to trust them more than we do now, in my opinion. The rejection of establishment players on both sides of the aisle might go someways towards at least laying the groundwork.

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