making local government more ethical

Dissatisfaction with Government - The New Gallup Poll

We have something more than a credit crisis. We have a governance crisis.

According to the new Gallup Governance poll, only 26% of Americans are satisfied with the way this nation is being governed.

In 2002, the number was 59%. As recently as early 2007, the number was 42%. This is a bigger drop than the stockmarket. Perhaps our nation belongs in moral bankruptcy court.

The last time 74% of Americans were dissatisfied with their government was after Watergate. The response was a host of government laws at the federal level, although this movement only lightly filtered down to local governments.

The figure for local government is far better: 72% of Americans are satisfied with their local government. And 67% are satisfied with their state government. That’s not a crisis, but perhaps the reason is that most people, due to their ingestion of national TV news, pay far less attention to state and local government.

Robert Wechsler
Director of Research, City Ethics