Since 1980 When Ronald Reagan won the presidential election, the American public has been hearing thoughts to the effect that the government is the problem because it is inefficient. Is it a wonder then that the latest Pew Research Center survey finds that only 19% of the public trusts government? To a degree it provides some rationale for the popularity of outsiders like Donald Trump and Ben Carson. But it is a disturbing statistic. It may also explain the low voters turnout, the apathy behind many in the electorate who just don’t vote. Whether or not it is, the statistic is quite worrisome for US democracy. The survey is of course more nuanced, more complex than just a statistic, it does mention agencies people feel positive about such as the post office—I was surprised—social security; it documents differences in the perception between democrats and republicans—not much surprise there—shows that people have a lot of problems with elected officials and with congress. Surveys such as this report facts as they collect them and interpret them to a degree. They do not address remedies. The survey was concerned about how people perceive the issues, not whether their perception is correct. And that’s where I have a lot of questions. Like millions of people I can’t help but deal with large companies, United Health Care, Optum Rx, Time Warner, even AAA among many others. I have found that dealing with those large companies, is frustrating and difficult, so much so I do not trust them to look out for what’s best for me or any other consumer, but to look out for their interest and bottom line. These companies are bureaucracies, manned like any agency of the US government by fallible people, they have rules which are often not easily ascertained. I tried to change healthcare plan recently and knowing this, I called 4 times being given different answers each time, until armed with the various answers, I spoke to a supervisor. True, dealing with the DMV is a pain, but is it more of a pain than dealing with any bank?
Is it the government people don’t really trust or the consequences of any large organization?

One thought on “19%!!”

  1. Perhaps mistrust of our governent is a mixture of both the seemingly embedded bureaucracy of its organization and the unfortunately unethical practices of some elected officials. The recent case of Sheldon Silver being an example. I cringe to recall I voted for the man. It would be great if the power inherent in both bureaucracy and public office did not frequently attract the worst in people. This is a moral issue and therefore a spiritual one which involves each public servant’s understanding of what it really means to serve the public without being dominated by the personal self…

Comments are closed.