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The utter idiocy of this poll boggles the mind

PRINCETON, NJ -- Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question.
Sure they go on and try to explain the result with no actual basis for their observations, but the headline is what counts and supports the age old Republican meme.

Government is evil.

How many will actually read the reasoning? What will the headlines be?

How about adding more options to the poll?

Rank [1 to 10] the biggest threats [1 lowest threat 10 highest threat]  to the country in the future:

Big Government

Big Business

Unions

Climate Change

Income inequality

National Security Agency

Military Industrial Complex

Republican Party

Democratic party.

Mainstream media

If you rank them in the comments I will add them up and publish the results in another diary [if anyone else bothers]
Just to get a flavor or a trend I have added a Gallop style poll at the end, choose goddammit

4:01 AM PT: For example my answers

Big Government-2

Big Busines-4

Unions-1

Climate Change-10

Income inequality-9

National Security Agency-6

Military Industrial Complex-8

Republican Party-5

Democratic party -3

Mainstream media-7


Poll

The biggest threat to the country in the future

8%14 votes
14%25 votes
0%1 votes
31%54 votes
16%28 votes
0%1 votes
7%13 votes
15%27 votes
0%1 votes
5%9 votes

| 174 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: I know there are some others (21+ / 0-)

    we can always poll them later.

    ;-)

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 03:49:25 AM PST

  •  Mainstream media leads the pack (4+ / 0-)

    1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

    :-)

    -5.38, -2.97
    The NRA doesn't represent the interests of gun owners. So why are you still a member?

    by ChuckInReno on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 03:53:10 AM PST

  •  ALEC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Dvalkure

    Any group with the goal of enabling corporations to succeed at all costs is the greatest threat to our country.

    -5.38, -2.97
    The NRA doesn't represent the interests of gun owners. So why are you still a member?

    by ChuckInReno on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 03:56:27 AM PST

  •  Well Big Business dictates to Military complex, (6+ / 0-)

    government, media etc., so too Big too Fail Businesses is my #1

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    "It's said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie."

    by roseeriter on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:11:49 AM PST

  •  The poll is chicken egg for me. (5+ / 0-)

    Big government is owned by big business, so which one is at fault?  

    Big business couldn't by government if it wasn't full of crooks.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:14:05 AM PST

    •  Exactly. I agree. I didnt say how to improve (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, corvo

      the future

      ;-)

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:16:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know. I just have such a hard time with polls. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, corvo

        For the same reason, I don't sew.  I'm so persnickety, I drive myself nuts.  

        Climate change will make it pointless but if we we had a real democracy and government, would climate change even be a problem?   lol,   have a great day.

        dk

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:00:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  However Climate change makes it all pointless (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, corvo, Dvalkure

      in the long run

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:17:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  With NSA and the bad rules for wall street (0+ / 0-)

      and the erosion of rights for people in favor of corporations, then yea, government is a problem. And until we regain control of our own government it continue to be the root of the problem, because the centralized government is supposed to protect us with it's collective power, from the powers of big corporations.

      Individual voters do not have the resources to successfully fight big corporations.

      But the government does, if it is for and by and of the people.

      Right now it is not.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:15:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    Big Government-3
    Big Busines-4
    Unions-5
    Climate Change-9
    Income inequality-8
    National Security Agency-10
    Military Industrial Complex-7
    Republican Party-1
    Democratic party -2
    Mainstream media-6

    I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

    by Jim Riggs on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:17:31 AM PST

  •  Actually that isn't unusual. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, VClib

    Look at the poll. They've been asking this question since 1965 and "big Government" has always been the top choice. But it sure took a sharp tick up in 2009. And the NSA scandal hasn't helped that perception I'm sure.

  •  This is hard to rank (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, blueoasis, dougymi

    for some reason. Yes climate change is first as it threatens us and our specie( and every other specie)hood.

    But it feels as if the media has done a damn good job miseducating the Amuricans.

    And what is the MIC but big business? (And so is the media).

    So big business (if it INCLUDED MIC and MEDIA) would be second.

    Unions are so punked they are in the minus column.

    We might say that "BIG GOVERNMENT" is a problem number 3 if we include the NSA, the military apparatus, and the appalling amounts of money needed to run for office (and the corresponding lack of public financing for campaigns and the lack of voters rights and the appalling lack of adhering to the oath of office by both repukes and dems.)

    And fourth is income inequality would could so easily be removed as a problem with some minimum wage laws that actually put work ABOVE the poverty level and reinstatement of the social safety nets that even Clinton helped to tear up, and true progressive tax laws.

    It seems that all my life we have been bombing someone, teaching them a lesson. Every day I understand more deeply how violent we are. Violent to others and violent to ourselves. - Robert Olmstead

    by glitterscale on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:36:32 AM PST

  •  a bit of killing the messenger here? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    Lots of poll questions that have been asked for a long time are annoyingly vague, superficial, and limited. This one doesn't seem especially bad:

    In your opinion, which of the following will be the biggest threat to the country in the future -- big business, big labor, or big government?
    The fact that over three times as many respondents chose "big government" as "big business" isn't the bottom line on how Americans think about government, but it isn't nothing.

    "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

    by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:36:58 AM PST

    •  I wish they would stop asking annoyingly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Militarytracy, DRo, Betty Pinson

      vague and superficial questions or at least stop publishing them as somehow meaningful

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:46:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see that you do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        But you still haven't explained why it is in no way meaningful that over three times as many respondents chose "big government" as "big business." That's a pretty extreme position that you staked out.

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:16:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  To many variables in the question, even comparing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson

          it historically since the variables effecting the choice have changed.

          For example the reasoning about what consists of big government have radically changed.

          The influence of the corporations in government is actually hidden by the poll

          "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

          by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:20:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  oh, here (0+ / 0-)

        I see that Greg D. linked to a Greg Sargent piece that is more on point:

        Short version: While generic “government” still polls badly, the notion that government should act to combat inequality is popular, even among independents and moderates — and particularly among core Democratic voter groups.
        Seems more useful than ragging on Gallup. YMMV.

        "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

        by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:22:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seeing its by a totalling different polling (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson

          comapny and based on multiple questions that help define the objectivity then its fine and has nothing to do with Gallops long standing idiotic question

          Its not about polling as a whole, its about how you poll and how you interpret the results.

          "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

          by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:30:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here's mine. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    Big Government  9

    Big Business  1

    Unions  10

    Climate Change  2

    Income inequality  3

    National Security Agency  6

    Military Industrial Complex  4

    Republican Party  5

    Democratic party.  7

    Mainstream media  8

    i put big business first because big corporations are the reason  politicians don't  address climate change (and are the biggest contributors to climate change) and are the main cause of income inequality as well as the problems with the Republican Party and the MIC, as well as with the Democratic Party and MSM. Address the problems with big business and the other problems become more manageable.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:14:59 AM PST

  •  The Income Thingy Prevents Us From Doing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    anything about any of the bigger threats.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:44:22 AM PST

  •  Here's mine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    Big Government-2

    Big Busines-10

    Unions-1

    Climate Change-9

    Income inequality-8

    National Security Agency-4

    Military Industrial Complex-7

    Republican Party-5

    Democratic party -3

    Mainstream media-6

    So many of the problems go back to the negative influence of unfettered capitalism, including the control of government, elections and the public airwaves (media). Their control has redefined our government and Constitution.  Regulate businesses and commerce effectively and many of these threats will be diminished.

    It's an old problem, but one each generation has to
    learn again.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:50:13 AM PST

  •  or perhaps Joe Sixpack really isn't too keen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, VClib

    about the NSA and all it represents.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:17:32 AM PST

    •  or its the ole knee jerk Big Gubbmint mantra (0+ / 0-)

      taking hold?

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:19:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, both, I think. (0+ / 0-)

        Both parties seem determined to demonstrate to the people of the country that Big Gummint is capable of doing insidious things well, and good things poorly.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:41:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hate the way the ranking goes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    It's counterintuitive to what we're programmed to place (typically 1 would mean most) and people would definitely make mistakes with it over a large sample size, IMO.

    Maybe that's why the poll in question has goofy results?

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:22:57 AM PST

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    Big Government  -10

    Big Business 3  (banks)

    Unions -11

    Climate Change  1

    Income inequality 2

    National Security Agency  4

    Military Industrial Complex 5

    Republican Party 6

    Democratic party. 6

    Mainstream media  8

  •  #1 Republican Party, #2 Big Business, #3 Military (0+ / 0-)

    Industrial Complex, #4 Income Inequality, #5 Climate Change, #6 Mainstream Media, #7 NSA, #8 Big Government, #9 Democratic Party & #10 Unions.

  •  gallop (0+ / 0-)

    Big Government  -8 (as run by bought-out pols)

    Big Business -2

    Unions -(Hell no not a threat if you must 11)

    Climate Change  1

    Income inequality -3

    National Security Agency  4/5 (tie with msm)

    Military Industrial Complex  6

    Republican Party 7

    Democratic party. 9

    Mainstream media  -4/5 (tie with NSA)

  •  answers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    Big Government  8

    Big Business  3

    Unions  9

    Climate Change  1

    Income inequality  5

    National Security Agency

    Military Industrial Complex  2

    Republican Party  6

    Democratic party.  7

    Mainstream media  4

    Big gov at 8 instead of 9 because of MIC, NSA, CIA, etc., etc.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:43:39 AM PST

  •  Take out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Oh Mary Oh

    Unions which unfortunately are not a threat to the rest of the list and I vote for 'all of the above'. They are all tied together and are one big interchangeable entangled ball of string the powers that be have wound up and are as  Axelrod said  'the world as we find it'.  

    •  That is why polls (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      tell so little of the story.

      Interconnections and nuance, cause and effect

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:06:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We make our living (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Oh Mary Oh

        crunching the numbers and stats of quantitative  polls/surveys. The numbers don't lie but the cause and effects of the respondent's opinions on any issue is not what the tea leaf readers (analysts) are interested in. Open ended questions where people explain their choices are coded to fit the existing parameters. When people explain their opinions and bring in cause and effect or interconnections it is usually coded 'other'. Binary is easier to process.  My husband the math brain fired me as his coder as I was too slow and tried to figure out what the respondents actually meant.          

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