A new poll by Rasmussen Reports indicates that 75% of Americans are at least somewhat angry with the government. 45% are listed as “Very Angry.”
I have always hated government by poll data. I believe strongly in a Republic form of government – elected officials who are then to rule in the best interests of the country. They answer to their constituents at election time – but during their term in office are to vote their conscience. Republics assure that the passing whims of the masses do not become lasting tyrannies of the people. Governing by polls – t0 me – often comes too close the dreaded full Democracy that the founding fathers of this country worked so hard to avoid.
This latest poll, though, could be important. It describes a growing disconnect between what Rasmussen describes as Mainstream and the Political Class. Here are some of their findings:
The divide between the Political Class and Mainstream voters, however, is remarkable. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Mainstream voters are angry, but 84% of the Political Class are not.
Forty-nine percent (49%) worry the government will try to do too much to help the economy, while 39% fear it won’t do enough.
As the economy continues to stumble along, 59% of voters believe cutting taxes is better than increasing government spending as a job-creation tool, but 72% expect the nation’s elected politicians to increase spending instead. (Rasmussen Reports)
One way to read this report is that Americans are upset with the gridlock and the politics that has become routine in DC. Nothing gets done because of political bushwhacking – or – things only get done after payouts and costly concessions. Americans are mad not at what policy is – but HOW the government is working.
While this argument holds some truth – Americans are indeed tired of the political stunts of both parties – I believe that there is something more going on. I think Americans – from both parties as the poll shows – are finally waking up that government is not the answer. I think some of this anger is a frustration is that the average American knows how to fix things – but is hindered by a federal system that prohibits them from doing so.
Case in point. The biggest item on the block right now is a nationwide lack of jobs. 9.7% of the American population – give or take – cannot find a job. (Business Week) Yet, potential employers are faced with so many expenses that are rolled into hiring the work force that they need – from unemployment tax to social security to FICA to insurance – that it is far cheaper to go without that extra person. Ask any contractor in Campbell County, Tennessee why they cannot hire full time help and they will tell you that for the first two weeks of every month no one works – that is when the government doll check arrives. Workers will only do anything at the end of the month – all under the table of course – because their “Crazy Check” has already been spent.
Restaurants and fast-food joints have historically been the entrance place into the workforce for many people. Because these places pay minimum wage – they were never designed to be “living wage” areas. But, as the minimum wage goes up less and less job force entrants will be hired. The minimum wage is a great example of the government trying a quick fix – higher wages – that only ends up with lower employment and higher prices.
Americans are finally – I think – starting to tell the government that we can fix it – just stay out of our way. Let me hire someone at the wage I negotiate with that individual – not some inflated wage that is not determined by the market. Don’t make us pay taxes on hiring someone – nor subsidize those who are not working. Do not spend money on jobs bills when we can put people to work more effectively – and more cost efficiently – than any government program can. Don’t give us grants, loans, or subsidies – just stay out of the way.
I think this anger will continue to grow. The poll indicates an increasing division between those who hold public office – and the rest of us. Thankfully – there is more of us.