Gallup surveys on confidence in institutions are endlessly interesting.

High-trust US institutions (above or near 50%): Military, small business, police, churches.

Low-trust US institutions: Medical system, Supreme Court, Presidency, public schools, banks.

Almost-no-trust US institutions (<25%): Justice system, newspapers, organized labor, big business, Internet news, TV news, Congress.

The conventional glass-half-empty argument is the terrible erosion of trust and competency in key institutions, decline, and fall of the United States. An alternate glass-half-full argument: Large centralized institutions *shouldn’t* be highly trusted: monopolies/oligopolies let people down. A lack of trust in institutions motivates construction of competitive alternatives better attuned to we the people. Large centralized institutions were 20th century; flexible, responsive, accountable organizations for 21st century.

I don’t think the answers are at all straightforward. But I think this debate is going to inform a lot of the next 30 years of politics. It will be interesting to see how many large centralized institutions can win those arguments starting with such low confidence levels.

[tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/483789403408441344 “align=center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/483790083590352896 “align=center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/483790189404246016 “align=center”]

Source Tweets: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Category:
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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Confidence on any institution comes when we observe that it is following its own principles. People believe us when we do what we preach. People believe in military or police for their discipline and their nationalism, delivering freedom and fearlessness.Small business delivers for its survival. People shall believe in politics and low trust institutions,, when they start serving the nation selflessly for benefit of all…

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