Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

19 April 2010

The Most Naive People in America

The Pew Research Center conducted a poll released on 18 April 2010 based upon four surveys conducted from 11 March to 11 April of about 5,500 adults reached on land and cell phone lines.  22% of the people said they trust Washington almost always or most of the time.  Apparently, the most naive and gullible people in America are this 22% of the adult population!  Only 19% said they are basically content with the federal government.  So, only about one in five Americans are happy with the federal government.

Since the 1950s, there have been only two periods with similar levels of distrust.  From 1992 to 1995, the first term of Bill Clinton and following on the heels of the George H. W. Bush "read my lips" tax increases, those trusting Washington fell to 17%.  From 1978 to 1980, the last years of Jimmy Carter's administration, those retaining trust in Washington fell to a low of 25%.

Today's adults were mostly born between the Census' of 1920 and 1990.  Of course some adults born in that time-frame have died and are not included in the Pew poll.  To keep things simple, we will ignore that for the following calculation.  How many people have been born per minute on average in that time?  The answer is about 3.88 per minute.  If 22% of these people are suckers, then the old saying that a sucker is born every minute is nearly true, but Americans are a wee bit better than that.  Apparently about 0.85 suckers are born every minute.

About half the people said they wanted smaller government, which is fewer than those saying this in other recent surveys.  About 40% want government to provide more services.  The Pew Center does tend to produce results slightly more favorable to the left than many polls over the years, in my opinion.

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