Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 16, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

PEOPLE ARE MAD AS HELL....BUT ARE THEY GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE?....The Mother Jones people are flogging a new poll in this month's issue, and like all polls there are some interesting tidbits here and there. One of the most surprising to me was how intensely negative people were about a wide variety of subjects. Asked if they were better or worse off than three years ago, people rather emphatically said they were worse off in the categories of the economy, tax burden, job security, keeping up with the cost of living, access to affordable healthcare, personal privacy, tolerance for people not like us, national unity, special interests, average citizen being heard, moral values, creating good paying jobs, the deficit, and public schools. This is an astonishing degree of pessimism.

Oddly, there was one exception: the only issue on which most people thought they were better off was the strength of local communities. I'm not quite sure how to account for that.

And several of the results are just plain peculiar. A 2:1 majority thinks their tax burden is worse? That seems downright ungrateful, especially from the $75K+ income bracket, which is pretty clearly better off taxwise than three years ago. (Although it's worth noting that the more you make, the less unhappy you are.)

Most discouraging result: are you warm or cool toward gay marriage? 59% were cool, the strongest negative sentiment by far.

Overall, I'm not really sure how seriously to take all these results. For some reason they seem a little too perfect, and I can't help but wonder if the methodology was sound. Still, polls are always fun and this one has some interesting questions. The full results are here.

Kevin Drum 1:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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