Less than two weeks remain before the midterm elections, and people are being inundated with political advertising, candidate debates, yard signs, and robocalls. But once the campaigns conclude and the final vote is cast, how significant will it be? How successful is the government in altering the everyday life of its citizens?
Only 39% of respondents to a recent national study by Bentley University and Gallup feel the federal government has a positive influence on people’s lives.
57% of Democrats feel the federal government is successful at improving people’s lives, whereas just 24% of Republicans share this opinion.
“Democrats see business leaders as friends in current social disputes, but they should be wary what they wish for,” said Bentley philosophy professor Jeff Moriarty. “Eventually they will find themselves on opposite sides of an issue, and then it will seem like a horrible idea to encourage companies to get more engaged in politics.”
So, if Americans are sceptical of the federal government, who do they believe should step in?
According to a Bentley-Gallup survey, 57% of respondents believe that companies are successful in bettering people’s lives. Republicans are more convinced than Democrats that companies have a beneficial influence; 72% of Republicans feel businesses are successful at having a positive impact, compared to 51% of Democrats.
The disparity between people’s faith in government and business exemplifies an increasing trend.
“People demand more from businesses than merely raising profits and satisfying shareholder objectives, according to E. LaBrent Chrite, president of Bentley. “As people’s expectations grow and companies adapt to fulfil them, corporations will play a bigger role in our society, from how we debate political ideas to how we treat the weakest members of society. Never before has the effect of business on our society been so significant.”