John Robb: Public Holds Wall Street, US Government, and Two Political Parties in Relatively Equal Disdain

Civil Society, Commerce, Cultural Intelligence, Government
John Robb

Public ire hits Wall Street, and government

By Jon Cohen

Washington Post, 12 October 2011

The fledgling Occupy Wall Street protests tap into a deep vein of public animosity toward the country’s major financial institutions, one that is on par with the deep negativity aimed at Washington, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Public distrust of the federal government is growing, and well documented. In the new poll, more than two-thirds of Americans say they view Washington unfavorably, including nearly half who hold “strongly” unfavorable impressions. These sentiments spike higher among Republicans, and continue to fuel the tea party political movement.

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But there’s just as much negativity directed at Wall Street financial institutions. Fully 70 percent of those polled view such firms unfavorably, with strongly unfavorable mentions outnumbering strongly favorable ones by 8 to 1.

For political independents, there’s little love for either one: similar proportions — around seven in 10 — view government and Wall Street unfavorably. Most, 55 percent view both negatively.

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