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Pew poll
You've got to hand it to conservative narrative-creator Frank Luntz and his Republicans. Hammer a theme long enough, and it sinks in. In this case, "job-killing" regulations, which a big chunk of Americans think is horrible. Check out the latest Pew poll:
Currently, 52% say government regulation of business usually does more harm than good while 40% think regulating business is necessary to protect the public interest. These views are similar to January 2008, before the financial crisis and onset of the economic recession.

Last March, opinion was more divided; 47% said regulating business is necessary to protect the public interest while 45% said government regulation does more harm than good.

Most of the difference between last year and now is among Republicans, spoon-fed by their elected representatives and becoming more and more entrenched in their fear and hatred of government. Three-quarters of them share the opinion that regulation does more harm than good, and 83 percent of self-identified conservative Republicans say regulation is harmful.

But the numbers really start to erode when the survey gets past the broad idea of regulation, and starts drilling down to what the term actually means.

Overall, the public overwhelmingly supports strengthening regulations or keeping them as they are in specific areas, such as food safety and environmental protection; very few want to reduce regulations in these areas. And these views of regulation have changed little from July 1995.
Pew poll
Respondents don't just want environmental and safety food regulations maintained, majorities want them strengthened. When the necessary functions of government are spelled out to people, the knee-jerk reaction is lessened. There's still a partisan divide there, because conservatives are immovable. But they are in the distinct minority. Unfortunately, it's a distinct minority that holds the House of Representatives and dominates the public debate.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:13 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I guess the moral of the story (18+ / 0-)

    Is to be specific about what these programs do and don't let the thugs get away with the false and deceptive frames uncontested.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:20:21 AM PST

    •  proposed re-framing: protections and fairness (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Mistral Wind

      Regulations protect food and water, protect car and airplane passengers, protect kids from choking hazards, etc. They help ensure safety against harmful or unsafe products and practices.

      Regulations also safeguard certain rights and responsibilities to ensure fairness against abuses of power: fairness of opportunity and pay, fairness in uses of and rights to land, etc.

      Reality - Humanity - Sustainability

      by Em on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:51:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When a Repug says (0+ / 0-)

      regulations are killing the economy, return fire and say that the Repug wants to gut regulations that make sure the food we eat is safe, the water we dring is clean and the drugs we take actually work.

      The GOP plan is just trust the corporations.

      Pew did a great job with this poll.

      Really great article, Joan, as well.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:19:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the child vs adult idea (10+ / 0-)

    Children don't like being told what to do (Why should I go to bed? Why should I stop playing in the street? Why should I take a bath?). Adults understand cause and effect (If I don't go to bed, I can't operate the crane properly tomorrow. If I stay in the street, I will become street pizza. If I don't take a bath, I will become a pariah and my family will hate me and the dogs will try to do it for me.)

    Republicans are stuck in the child mentality. I donwanna do anything you tell me what to do! What gives you the right to tell me what to do! I can do whatever I want! Those drivers will stop if they see me blocking the street! Operating the crane properly is God's will! Everyone will love that I am independent enough to disgust everybody by not taking a bath!

    Democrats are the adults in the room. They're trying to keep things functioning (Sleep makes sure that the crane doesn't knock down other buildings. Being street pizza is not good for your future health. Baths cut down on public sickness.)

    Polls that say "Do you think gov't regulation works?" appeal to the child. Polls that say "Do you think gov't regulations that mandate health and safety" appeal to the adults. Guess who really likes the child-oriented polls?

    •  Quick correction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Melanie in IA

      Last paragraph should be:

      Polls that say "Do you think gov't regulation works?" appeal to the child. Polls that say "Do you think gov't regulations that mandate health and safety work?" appeal to the adults. Guess who really likes the child-oriented polls?

    •  The Sons of Martha vs. the Sons of Mary (0+ / 0-)

      It's a Kipling reference to a story from the Bible, Luke 10:38-42.

      The Sons of Martha

      The Sons of Mary seldom bother, for they have inherited that good part;
      But the Sons of Martha favour their Mother of the careful soul and the troubled heart.
      And because she lost her temper once, and because she was rude to the Lord her Guest,
      Her Sons must wait upon Mary's Sons, world without end, reprieve, or rest.

      It is their care in all the ages to take the buffet and cushion the shock.
      It is their care that the gear engages; it is their care that the switches lock.
      It is their care that the wheels run truly; it is their care to embark and entrain,
      Tally, transport, and deliver duly the Sons of Mary by land and main.

      They say to mountains ``Be ye removèd.'' They say to the lesser floods ``Be dry.''
      Under their rods are the rocks reprovèd---they are not afraid of that which is high.
      Then do the hill-tops shake to the summit---then is the bed of the deep laid bare,
      That the Sons of Mary may overcome it, pleasantly sleeping and unaware.

      They finger Death at their gloves' end where they piece and repiece the living wires.
      He rears against the gates they tend: they feed him hungry behind their fires.
      Early at dawn, ere men see clear, they stumble into his terrible stall,
      And hale him forth like a haltered steer, and goad and turn him till evenfall.

      To these from birth is Belief forbidden; from these till death is Relief afar.
      They are concerned with matters hidden---under the earthline their altars are---
      The secret fountains to follow up, waters withdrawn to restore to the mouth,
      And gather the floods as in a cup, and pour them again at a city's drouth.

      They do not preach that their God will rouse them a little before the nuts work loose.
      They do not preach that His Pity allows them to drop their job when they damn-well choose.
      As in the thronged and the lighted ways, so in the dark and the desert they stand,
      Wary and watchful all their days that their brethren's ways may be long in the land.

      Raise ye the stone or cleave the wood to make a path more fair or flat;
      Lo, it is black already with the blood some Son of Martha spilled for that!
      Not as a ladder from earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed,
      But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.

      And the Sons of Mary smile and are blessèd---they know the Angels are on their side.
      They know in them is the Grace confessèd, and for them are the Mercies multiplied.
      They sit at the feet---they hear the Word---they see how truly the Promise runs.
      They have cast their burden upon the Lord, and---the Lord He lays it on Martha's Sons!

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:22:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a great diary (10+ / 0-)

    Of course you know, facts have a liberal bias, so clearly everyone hates regulation and nothing in this factual diary changes that.

    I love having this conversation with righties and getting them to admit that no matter how much they claim to hate government regulation, they support it.

    This diary will help in my next debate.

    Well done.

  •  The same is true about "Obamacare" (6+ / 0-)

    most specific portions of the legislation enjoys broad support, but a significant chunk of our population thinks it should be overturned - the devil is always in the details, and the facts need to be out there for the low-info-types.

  •  Soooooo..... which job killing regulations do they (5+ / 0-)

    Someone really ought to ask them that. Job safety would be the first contestant one would think, and even that people don't object to

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:37:09 AM PST

  •  The anti-regulation argument is usually about $$$ (7+ / 0-)

    As in, "it costs more to responsibly store toxic waste than to dump it into the nearby river" or "inspecting meat is more expensive than maybe getting e Coli".

    These issues need to be reframed to include the costs associated with failure to regulate: "many people will get sick and die" or "many people will get sick and die" or even "banks will do naughty things and bring economic collapse, threatening the economic futures of everyone on the planet".

  •  A professional journal (4+ / 0-)

    that is mailed to to me has an article about the "job-killing regulations" being foisted upon us by the Obama administration.  The article is long on generalities, and short on specifics.

    Where was the outrage when we had Republican presidents?  The outrage is always saved up for Democratic administrations.

    Writing a rebuttal is on my to-do list.  The Pew poll data will certainly help.

    •  Another point - regulations also create jobs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, Catte Nappe, foresterbob

      And smart companies get on top of it.  So "holy crap! we need to inspect meat because of these crushing regulations" can become "awesome, we have established an industry-leading method to guarantee product safety and have been able to realize record profits as a result".  Sadly few business leaders recognize the pro-regulation path can deliver the greater ood both in terms of bottom line and consumer benefit...

  •  mr. u and I were watching (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, greengemini, blueoasis

    Mysteries of the Museum on History or Travel or whatever and they showed a gas mask. They then went on to talk of the Donora Smog Disaster and how it spurred the clean air movement. We need more of these stories w/visuals to let people know that things they take for granted now came from regulations that were put in place because of real incidents.

    "But much to my surprise when I opened my eyes I was the victim of the great compromise." John Prine

    by high uintas on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:54:12 AM PST

  •  This diary wouldn't be complete (4+ / 0-)

    wihtout a link to dsteffen's illuminating diaries on
    How Regulation Came to Be

  •  In a memo about eating fish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from Pennsylvania waterways:

    ...some fish caught in Pennsylvania may contain chemicals of concern, such as mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls, or PCBs. These contaminants are found in some waterways because of their use in industry before many environmental regulations existed.
    (My boldness.)
  •  & REALLY hate it if the regs are lied about 24/7 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:34:33 PM PST

  •  There should be NO regulations on AIRSHIPS! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, sweettp2063

    What could possibly go wrong?

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:38:23 PM PST

  •  American voters are stupid. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweettp2063, weinerschnauzer

    How else to explain Bush?

    If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:38:43 PM PST

  •  Despite what libertarians might argue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, weinerschnauzer

    business is not independent of regulation.  Regulation is responsible for the CREATION of businesses through corporate charters and similar legal documents.  These creations of government do generally improve our lives, but they improve the lives of some disproportionately to others, and they create the ability for some people to take advantage of others.  Environmental, health, and safety regulations are needed to counter the ill effects of government sanctioned and protected unions of wealth.

    I'm sorry, but your reality simply doesn't fit my economic model.

    by Reframing the Debate on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:54:00 PM PST

  •  It's no wonder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why don’t we focus on educating people about how government works and why it’s important. Let's teach people what citizenship is for, instead of polling a bunch of poorly informed consumers. Ignorant and malignant right wing framing and narratives too often go unchallenged.

    It’s no wonder Conservatives hate government, they’re bad at governing, bad at economic policy and they care more about the rights and interests of their corporate donors than those of the people who elect them.

  •  'regulations' is like 'bureaucrats.' (0+ / 0-)

    It's just a word to blame your problems on.

    Paternity rules, fraternity drools. - Rick Santorum (paraphrased)

    by VictorLaszlo on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:03:43 PM PST

  •  What strange timing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I just passed what looked like a house on fire right on the way home, with four fire trucks and several ambulances and at least a dozen police cars, all illuminating the suburban tableau in flashing red and blue...

    It definitely looked like overkill. I would expect some irate Republican occupant of that subdivision to bitch and moan about not being able to get to the O'Charley's for dinner, but I'll bet the people whose house that was didn't agree.

    The main argument that government doesn't get it right is killed every time you even THINK about privatizing nearly any of its services. Downsizing government isn't the answer to the 'problem'; the lack of a Fairness Doctrine is DEFINITELY the problem.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:04:06 PM PST

  •  That is absolutely fascinating. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VictorLaszlo, weinerschnauzer

    God I hope the Obama campaign takes note of this information and makes maximum use of it.

    What the hell do those people think government regulations are all about?

    I think if I could have just one wish, I would wish that Fox News, the Limbaugh shows, and all the other RW propaganda machines had never come into existence. I was listening to Obama's speech about energy yesterday, and it painted a picture of a policy that is so well thought-out, so sensible, so effective. And I knew all the BS that the moneychangers and the Kochroaches and the RW hate machine will spew out about it.

    And I got so sad and wistful imagining what an incredible country this could be if we could just somehow eliminate all their toxic lies, if the American people could all hear the truth from the media, regardless of which media outlets they choose, and they could make up their minds about issues based on facts and reality.


    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:04:09 PM PST

  •  So, we bemoan Low Info Voters, but also get ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... our base out since we committed Progressives understand what regulation does. But must Joan necessarily be predictive when she writes:

    Unfortunately, it's a distinct minority that holds the House of Representatives and dominates the public debate.
    What can we do to get a rather simple message across, that regulation means public safety, safe drugs, seat belts, cleaner air and water, truth in advertising, banking protections, etc? Surely there are fair and simple pushbacks that we can use to press information over the GOP's slick slogans! We have the GOP's mindless repetition of "Less Regulation" on tape. Use some of those in sequence, then add a visual and in short bursts, ask things like "How about food safety?" "Medications whose side effects should be advertised along with their benefits?" "Clean and drinkable water instead of water from pipes that catch on fire." Or, a crisp ad that suggests what draconian cuts in budgets for the air traffic controllers could mean.

    People want to be smart and to be thought smart, not pawns of phrasemakers. We do not need to abide by their sloganeering. Let's get our game started!

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:05:58 PM PST

  •  A few months ago on Fox News (0+ / 0-)

    there was a segment about how "50% of government revenue goes to enforcing regulations." A long monologue was delivered by a guy who sat behind massive stacks of paper.

    I'd prefer the opposite: a guy sitting with a burning car, a child sized coffin, and a woman with chemo, because that's the alternative to a regulation free society.

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:06:06 PM PST

  •  I love Pew Polling (0+ / 0-)


    Take this quiz...see where you stand

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:06:08 PM PST

  •  Short answer: Americans too busy to think. (0+ / 0-)

    They know what they know, and they don't want to waste time or energy thinking about it.

    Anyway, the world's a complicated place. Who has time to figure it out?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:12:47 PM PST

  •  these are important and fascinating numbers (0+ / 0-)

    In three categories, upwards of 80% of those polled support regulations, or want them strengthened, and it's upwards of 70% for the other two.

    Plus, the lowest combined support (keep same or strengthen) for Republicans is 58%-- still a solid majority.

    Given that the support for federal regulation among Indies almost exactly mirrors the overall figures, this is another huge opportunity for dems this fall.

    Thanks for posting!

  •  Well Done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    More of this type of anaysis please.  Analyses relating to both the tricky world of the innumerable polls and clarification of how citizens feel about the role of government in contributing to "promoting the general welfare."

    Since there's no way to stop the misuse of information in most instances, our fight has to be directed toward education, education, and more education.

    99%er. 100% opposed to fundamentalist/neoconservative/neoliberal oligarchs.

    by blueoasis on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:22:54 PM PST

  •  Lots of people say the don't like regulation (0+ / 0-)

    They just can't name any they don't like. Those pesky elecrical codes that home-builders have to follow so you don't get fried when you take a shower? What about the ones that force theater owners to have emergency exits so you don't end up with a smoldering heap of bodies in the case of a fire. Oh, those regulations are OK. It's those other ones that are bad. The ones no one seems to be able to specifically name.

  •  When I served on the 2010 Census... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    one of my Census leaders told me that "Everyone hates bureaucrats, until they need one."  The same is true of regulation.  Those who hue and cry over regulations, they should be reminded if having toxic waste in their backyards, or eating tainted meat is really so great.

    That said, you probably can't convince the really hard-core tea-baggers of that.  You could spend an hour or so telling that guy in the tricorn hat about how important regulations are, and he'll only say, "Why do you liberals hate America so much?" then go off to listen to his police scanner.

    So we should, instead, concentrate on the independent swing voters who find themselves pulled over to the "who needs gummint regulation?" side.  As well as those who know better but are afraid to say so, for fear of being branded (gasp) liberal!

    That said, it's a matter of being the grown-up in the room.

    I'd love to stay and chat, but you're a total bitch - Stewie Griffin

  •  Regulation doesn't hurt business, (0+ / 0-)

    it is a vital element to the existence of business.

    Currently, 52% say government regulation of business usually does more harm than good while 40% think regulating business is necessary to protect the public interest.
    That should be "to protect business interests."
    Regulation occurs when it is necessary to prevent unfair, fraudulent, or harmful business practices from continuing. Sure, some become outdated and no longer relevant, or are administered by petty bureaucrats without regard for real-life utility.
    But regulation is no more the enemy of business than stop signs are the enemy of motorists.
  •  Who are these democrats (0+ / 0-)

    that in every poll agree down the line with Republicans?

    Santorum/Bachmann 2012

    by sujigu on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 01:25:59 PM PST

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