Happy Birthday America! Widespread corruption in American government a widely-held belief

Freedom is declining in America. But government corruption is not.

And that’s not a good combination.

Happy July fourth everybody!

According to a global poll on the matter, two-thirds of Americans agree government corruption is widespread in America. Which makes it ironic that America passes laws forbidding corporate officers from participating in government corruption practices abroad.

But that’s another story.

Views on how people feel about government corruption are related to how they feel about freedom. And as I posted last week, Americans aren’t very happy about their freedom-satisfaction levels. It doesn’t help that approval ratings of virtually all government institutions are at near historical lows.

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Indeed, while the number of people who are “satisfied with freedom levels” has dropped “drastically”, the number of people who say they are DISsatisfied with their freedom levels, has more than doubled, going from 9 percent to 21 percent between 2006 and 2013.

It’s awfully interesting that the “Land of the free” ranks poorly compared to other country’s citizenry’s opinions on how much freedom they feel. Check out these charts:

And while it may be comforting to know that the United States has seen the smallest decline compared to the other countries in the second table above, I don’t think that’s anything we want to celebrate.

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Researchers are saying economics are playing a part in the poor attitudes. Most economic indicators show rebounds from 2008 levels, but another aspect influencing these opinions, they say, are perceptions of how corrupt government is. The researchers have an explanation for that:

Perceived widespread corruption in the U.S. government could be on the rise for several reasons, including the significant media attention on issues such as the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the National Security Agency leaks. Americans not only feel that the U.S. government is performing poorly, as demonstrated by record-low congressional approval ratings, but they also report that the U.S. government itself is one of the biggest problems facing the country today.

So this July fourth, perhaps Americans have less patriotic subjects to celebrate while they eat their hot dogs and rave over fireworks. One thing’s for sure: it seems the climate, at least in the US, for fundamental change continues to ripen.



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