Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We Agree, Why Are We Disagreeing?

Previously, I wrote about how the world view we accept as true, determines what we expect to occur; that we tend to see what we want to see, what we believe is possible. A recent survey conducted by The Atlantic magazine and the Aspen Institute reported in the 7/9&16 CS Monitor sheds much light on what world view Americans currently accept as true and what our expectations might be.

Two thirds of respondents said the country was going in the wrong direction, 70% said that people’s values were getting worse, and 46% thought that American values were likely to decline even further in the future.

The article asked if these respondents thought that their own values were getting worse, or that the values of all those other bad people out there were getting worse? The survey suggests it’s those other bad people out there, not the respondents themselves. Half the respondents admitted that they rarely attend church, but more than 62% said they believe they are more tolerant than their parents were.
“The problem with America, it appears,” said staff writer Scott Baldauf, “is other Americans.”  More than 77% believe that people are generally motivated by self-interest (dog eat dog?), 71% believe elected officials reflect the values of the wealthy (rather than the middle class), and 89% believe the values of executives on Wall Street are worse than those of ordinary Americans, because they are just plain greedy.

Wow!  Quite an amazing consensus! Seems like we ought to be able to get together.  Both Occupy and the T Party agree on these.  So what gives?

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