Americans’ Confidence in Big Business, Organized Religion Falls
Gallup News Service reports that Americans’ confidence in organized religion and big business has fallen significantly during the last year, while confidence in the military and the presidency has increased. “Overall, the military, the police, the presidency, the U.S. Supreme Court and banks are the five institutions out of the 16 tested in which the American people have the highest degree of confidence. Institutions that have earned the least amount of confidence from Americans include HMOs, Wall Street, big business, organized labor and the criminal justice system.”
The current confidence rating for big business underscores its low position in the minds of Americans this year. However, although down, the rating is not drastically different from previous years. The use of the adjective “big” may be a factor in the low rating. In 1997 and 1998, Gallup also tested “small business” and found that it scored 26 to 35 percentage points higher than “big” business did.
The biggest change in this year’s confidence ratings is the sharp drop in the percentage of Americans who have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the church or organized religion, which fell from 60 percent last year to 45 percent this year. Its current confidence rating is the lowest in Gallup Poll history for the church/organized religion.
“Wall Street” was included this year in order to capture the public’s feelings about the equities and securities system. The results show that the institution engenders very little confidence at this time.
Moderator Comment: Will the ordinary American’s confidence in institutions affect consumption and retail shopping behavior?
It is interesting to note that Gallup’s research shows that Americans have greater confidence in trade unions than in big business. Of course, Americans don’t have very much confidence in either. Who can they trust? [George Anderson – Moderator]
- Americans’ Confidence in Military, Presidency Up; Big Business, Organized Religion Drop – Gallup.com