Capitalism: Does government help or hurt?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Capitalism
Treasury employees and other federal workers protest the government shutdown. Photo by Keith Ellison from Minneapolis. Released for public use via Wikimedia Commons.

Treasury employees and other federal workers protest the government shutdown. Photo by Keith Ellison from Minneapolis. Released for public use via Wikimedia Commons.

Confidence in our economy is dropping like a stone. Gallup reports that last week saw the single biggest drop in economic confidence since September 2008—when Lehman Brothers collapsed and triggered a global economic crisis.

Is government to blame for our plummeting confidence?

Can government fix things?

Few Americans think the federal government is generally working, according to a 2013 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). Only 10% of Democrats said that it was generally working, with only 2% of Republicans and 2% of Tea Partiers saying the same. The PRRI poll was taken before the shutdown, and I’m sure even fewer would now say that our federal government is generally working.

The majority opinion in every political camp is that the government is completely broken or broken but still working in some areas. Tea Partiers are the most likely to say the government is completely broken (51%). Democrats are the least likely to see it that way (15%).

Is there any group that gives high marks to the federal government? Among racial and ethnic groups, Latino Americans are the most likely to say the government is generally working or working but with major problems. About 40% say so. Black and white Americans give the lowest marks

Millennial-age Americans are more positive than their elders. About four of ten (39%) say the federal government is generally working, or working but with major problems. Baby boomers give the lowest marks.

How confident are you today in our economy?

Do you think the federal government is broken?

Do you think is it generally working?

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