Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Who do you Trust?

Or whom. Results of a poll from Georgetown University taken over the summer. The most trusted institution among Republicans in the military.

Among Democrats, it's . . .  Amazon.


G. Verloren said...


I'm genuinely shocked by this. I was absolutely not expecting Amazon, and I'm kind of struggling to understand what led to these results.

Amazon is not anybody's friend. It's a corporate entity just like any other - it is not to be trusted, and it has already blatantly demonstrated this in so many ways. I'm stunned that people seem so willing to ignore that reality.

Maybe the problem is that almost everything else is somehow even worse in this country? Looking through the other entries, I have to admit, I really don't have much trust in any of them. All of them are demostrably shady and almost inherently self-interested these days.

I do feel that some of the categories are a bit reductive, of course. They separate out "Local Police" from "Local Government", but they don't do the same for firefighters, EMTs, garbage collectors, et cetera? These are all technically part of "Local Government", but for most people that category name will conjure up images of City Councils and whatnot, not first responders trying to save lives or civil servants performing vital mundane tasks. Surely most of us would report FAR greater confidence in "Local Firefighters" than we would in "City Councilors"?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Republicans put Amazon at #3, two places ahead of religion and five places ahead of Major Companies.

I wonder if the high rate for Amazon among both parties is because of the ambiguities in the word "trust." I'm sure Republicans have FAITH in the military, but both sides "trust" Amazon to perform the limited retail functions they expect of it. Maybe this suggests liberals don't put a lot of FAITH in anything, but they're happy to small-t trust an effective retailer (and, sadly, aren't that concerned about its nasty labor and monopoly-mongering policies).

Of course, some respondents may have said yes to Amazon as a joke.

Arguably, the relatively low ratings for religion and major companies among Republicans are even more surprising. Perhaps this indicates a new, Trumpish GOP dominated by what some pollsters call "disaffecteds"--which I might characterize as cynical males who only trust institutions whose salient characteristic is the use of force and who instinctually believe that any power that doesn't obviously come from force represents a decadent conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, I myself certainly wasn't that concerned about Amazon's nasty labor and monopolistic policies during the most recent several hundred times I ordered something from them--including yesterday.

G. Verloren said...


Hmm. I think it's going to vary wildly, depending on lifestyle and where you live.

If you live on the West Coast, shop at Whole Foods weekly, and are well off enough to have the money to shop online with regularity, then you deal with Amazon quite a lot, and probably think well of them.

But if you live in, say, the Southeast, where Whole Foods doesn't really exist, and you're poorer and don't buy as many things online (or really at all) and thus don't do much Amazon shopping, well... you hardly interact with the company, and have little reason to like or trust them over any other company.

This brings up an interesting question - who did Georgetown University talk to? Because if they mostly polled locals of DC, that's going to skew things.

Shadow said...

"I wonder if the high rate for Amazon among both parties is because of the ambiguities in the word "trust."

Quite possible given how many book reviews I've read that say "I'm giving this a 1 because it wasn't delivered on time." Not much of a book review, and one that ought to drive the author to drink, but it may reveal the high expectations customers have of Amazon reliability.

"Arguably, the relatively low ratings for religion and major companies among Republicans are even more surprising."

Perhaps it has something to do with the high number of Evangelicals who walked away from their churches because of their deep involvement in politics.

To be the most important finding is not a surprise: how differently the two think of colleges and universities.