Americans: government our top problem

“Americans are more likely to name the government as the most important problem facing the nation than any other issue.”

So says a poll conducted throughout 2017. The details are important to understand, but essentially Americans – both conservatives and progressives – are unhappy with what is happening in Washington. And they’re unhappy enough to cause “government” to be the number one concern among US citizens.

So those details: Essentially, progressives are upset mainly with the executive branch and what it is doing, with a prime focus on Trump. Conservatives are unhappy with what they perceive to be roadblocks keeping Republicans from doing everything they campaigned to do. The survey report sums it up well:

[T]he people of the country are not so much decrying the size or power of the government, or even its policies, as they are criticizing the process of government. The problem from the people’s perspective is not the substance of what is being done by the government but how it is being done (or not done).

Complaints do not focus on specific agencies or government departments. What people are dissatisfied over is government as a systemic function. Again, not so much “what”, but “how”:

Notably, there are very few mentions of the bureaucracy of government — the individual departments, agencies or bureaus and the way these entities are doing their jobs. There is also very little mention of the size and power of the government or its actual policies and direction; mentions of policy that are included mainly come from people who say the biggest problem is that the government is too leftist or socialist.

Obviously, ideology plays a significant role here. And that’s where Copiosis offers a compelling argument as a replacement to “government, markets and money”. By significantly reducing the power these three things have on how things get done, everyone wins, whether you’re conservative or progressive. As paradoxical as that may seem.

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In 2017, Americans said “government” was the biggest, most important problem facing the US.

More details: Congress is not being viewed very favorably either. Respondents say they feel Congress…

…is paralyzed, not doing its job, not getting anything done, not doing what’s best for the country, not coming together, not working right, driving division in the political system, pulling apart rather than working together, fighting among itself, looking out for individual members rather than getting things done, lacking bipartisanship, not listening to constituents and becoming corrupt.

We’re encouraged about this news. Among so many indicators, more people are feeling “pain” associated with how things are being done around the world, particularly in “democracies”. When people experience pain, they immediately look for a solution. When they can’t find one, they tend to fall into hopelessness, or helplessness, then denial. We offer something that brings them back into hope. The people look more deeply into what we’re doing, they get inspired because they see our work offers a viable alternative.

I’ll write more about this survey in a future post.

2 thoughts on “Americans: government our top problem

  1. I really need to hear details around the study before I can give this any merit. Was it 5 people surveyed or 5,000? Who/where/when? Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Awesome that you’re thinking critically about what you read. That’s a rare trait these days. Gallup is a highly respected, thorough research organization that has been doing such studies for a long, long time. Here’s how they describe their methods:

      “Results for the latest monthly update of the most important problem facing the nation are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 4-11, 2017, with a random sample of 1,049 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

      Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.”

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