17 October 2004

Huge gaps in points of view between the American populace and American leaders

Courtesy of a Programmers Guild posting from Dr. Norman Matloff.

The October 2 issue of The Economist (page 33) reported on a fascinating survey conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. The survey found huge gaps in points of view between the American populace and American leaders, where the term "leaders" means "not just politicians and businessmen, but also people from well-meaning institutions such as churches, universities and, er, the press." Here are some of the startling gaps which the poll found:

% saying issue is very important
issue   the public leaders
protecting the jobs of U.S. workers78%41%
controlling illegal immigration 58% 21%
improving the standard of living in developing nations 18%64%

This survey certainly explains one of the causes of the indifference the "leaders" have been showing to the American populace on issues like H-1B and offshoring. From their point of view, for instance, H-1B is good because immigration is good, and offshoring is good because it helps the developing nations. While many Americans may agree that immigration and improved conditions in the Third World are good things, they also feel that there has to be a balance between those things and the well-being of Americans. The "leaders" have no such concept of balance.


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