The Pew Research Center for the People and Press has released a new poll. There is little good news for the government and big corporations. People seem to not like big things, and they trust more small things. It is interesting that the small things are usually near us, but the big things are outside of our community and very difficult to know and control. Note the graphic from the study:
You might say to yourself that colleges and universities are big, so the analysis does not support the claim the people are loathe to things big. Colleges and universities have to live in communities though, and I think that accounts for these positive numbers. Furthermore, institutions of higher ed are seen as means to economic ends by those who might want to change careers, etc. Colleges are institutions of support, as are churches.
This seems to translate into federal versus local government assessments. People generally have a more positive view of their own local government, while a more negative view of the federal government. Even Democrats, who consistently have a more positive view of the federal government, have decreased in their view that the federal government is a positive force in their lives.
Though the people seem to view the government as having to face difficult problems, a majority are not willing to cut the government slack. What is interesting is that even tea party types express this sentiment:
The view that government is now confronting more difficult problems is shared widely – even among those who say they are angry with government and those who agree with the Tea Party movement. Overall, 79% agree with the statement: “Government is facing more difficult problems than it did in the past.” Just 20% disagree with this sentiment.
Fully 70% of those who say they are angry with the federal government acknowledge that the government is facing tougher problems these days. That is only somewhat smaller than the percentages of those frustrated (80%) or content (83%) with the federal government.
Citizens seem to be pretty angry at the government. An omen that could spell the savior of Democrat electoral hopes is that people also dislike banks. The party that is able (and this is my take not Pew’s) to credibly pile on banks and financial institutions will likely receive a large share of those voters who view those institutions negatively.
Another interesting fact from the poll: people view the national news media fairly negatively. I would have liked to see a break down based on media, and brand name (like LA Times, Fox News,, MSNBC, etc).