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  • Uebelhor

How the majority was found


September 03, 2008
Methodology

To determine the position of the majority of Americans, I used public opinion polls gathered from various polling companies like Gallup and Harris as well as news media sponsored polls and tried to get the most recent year for similar poll questions. Although on some statements in the test I was forced to use a plurality or determine the position by using the spirit of what the statement meant (since exact wording was hard to come by), but for the most part I used the majority percentage taken from the poll questions. I then determined strongly agree/disagree from agree/disagree in this manner:

Strongly Agree/Disagree: 0%-25% or 75%-100% depending on whether the test's statement was positive or negative.

Agree/Disagree: 25%-50% or 50%-75%

depending on whether the test's statement was positive or negative.

The quiz starts here:

PC statement 1: If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.

public position: agree

Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). March 7-10, 2008. N=approx. 500 registered voters nationwide.

Question: "Do you think the fact that the American economy has become increasingly global is good because it has opened up new markets for American products and resulted in more jobs, or bad because it has subjected American companies and employees to unfair competition and cheap labor?"

Good Bad Equal Unsure

3/7-10/08 25% 58% 12% 5%

Comment: Admittedly this first poll only asked 500 people which pushed the margin of error up to plus or minus 6%, but even still the bad wins out.

PC Statement 2: I'd always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.

Public position: disagree

Sources:

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. July 10-13, 2008. N=1,119 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3% (for all adults). Fieldwork by TNS.

CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Aug. 23-24, 2008. N=1,023 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3%.

Questions:

ABC News/Wash. Post: "Looking back, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or should the U.S. have stayed out?"

Right Thing Stayed Out Unsure

7/7-14/08 36% 59% 5%

CNN: "Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?"

Favor Oppose Unsure

8/23-24/08 33% 66% 1%

Comment: For this statment, I was forced to equate "country" with "government" even though there is a distinct difference between supporting one's country and supporting one's government. The spirit of the statement seemed to refer to government actions being right or wrong since they are most responsible for national decisions on foreign policy and the like. I used the Iraq War as an example because it is a nationally recognized event and because there have been polls conducted on the issue of the war being right or wrong and whether or not the public supports it as the two questions above show.

PC Statement 3: No one chooses his or her country of birth, so it's foolish to be proud of it.

public position: strongly disagree

Source: Gallup Poll June 9-11, 2006. N=1,002 adults MOE=+ or - 3%

Question: How proud are you to be an American -- extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, only a little proud, or not at all proud?

Extremely Very Moderately Only a little Not at all No opinion

6/9-11/06 57% 25% 10% 3% 3% 1%

Comment: With a majority of Americans claiming to be extremely proud to be Americans, I felt that justified a "strongly disagree" to the PC statement.

PC Statement 4: Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races.

public position: disagree

Source: ABC News/Washington Post Poll. June 12-15, 2008. N=1,125 adults nationwide (MoE ± 3), including, with an oversample, 201 blacks. Fieldwork by TNS.

Question: "If you honestly assessed yourself, would you say that you have at least some feelings of racial prejudice?"

Yes No Unsure

ALL 30% 69% 2%

Whites 30 69 1

Blacks 34 65 1

Comment: A majority of Americans said they no feelings of prejudice.

PC Statement 5: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

public position: disagree

Source: Gallup Poll Feb. 11-13, 2008. N=1,007 adults MOE= + or - 3%

Question: "I'd like your overall opinion of some foreign countries. What is your overall opinion of (Random Order chosen from a list of 22 countries) Is it very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly disfavorable, or very disfavorable?

Very Fav. Mostly Fav. Mostly Disfav. Very Disfav.

Pakistan 2% 20% 51% 21%

Comment: I chose Pakistan because it has been held up by the Bush Administration as a great ally in the War on Terror. The enemy in this case would be al Qaeda with Pakistan being against them. Despite this, 72% of Americans view Pakistan disfavorably which means they would disagree with the PC statement.

PC Statement 6: Military action that defies international law is sometimes justified.

public position: disagree

Source: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Aug. 6-8, 2007. N=1,029 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Do you think the U.S. should or should not take military action in Pakistan if there is a chance to capture or kill high-ranking members of the terrorist group known as al Qaeda, if the government of Pakistan does not give the U.S. permission to do so?"

Should Should Not Unsure

8/6-8/07 42% 52% 5%

Comment: Invading Pakistan to capture terrorists without their permission would be a violation of international law. A majority of Americans disagree with this.

PC Statement 7: There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment.

public position: agree

Source: Gallup Poll. Sept. 14-16, 2007. N=1,010 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults).

Question: "In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media -- such as newspapers, TV and radio -- when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly: a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?"

Great Deal Fair Amount Not Very Much None At All Unsure

9/14-16/07 9% 38% 35% 17% -

5/72 18% 50% 24% 6% 2%

Comment: Since I couldn't find a direct poll question relating to the level of entertainment mixed with information, I decided to use a question associated with trust and confidence in the media to accurately and fairly inform since the spirit of the PC statement is ultimately concerned with the ability to be accurately informed by today's media where more entertaining news shows can be found (such as the O'Reilly Factor and Countdown with Keith Olbermann that relay information with a healthy dose of critical commentary and a bit of wry humor) than say 36 years ago in 1972. This poll shows a significant decrease in the level of trust and confidence in the media so an agreement to the pc statement by the public can be derived.

PC Statement 8: People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality.

public position: agree

Sources:

Harris Poll. 4/30/08 to 5/14/08. N=8,748 adults worldwide; 1,046 US adults MOE= + or - 3%

Gallup Poll. June 5-July 6, 2008. N=1,935 adults nationwide, including oversamples of blacks and Hispanics weighted to reflect their proportions in the general population. MoE ± 4.

Questions: "Is the gap between the rich and poor in [the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, China, Japan, the US] too narrow, too wide or about right?"

Result was a large majority in all countries saying "too wide" with 78% saying so in the US.

"On the whole, do you think immigration is a good thing or a bad thing for this country today?"

Good Thing Bad Thing

6/5-7/6/08 64% 30%

Comment: Since an overwhelming majority feel the gap between the rich and the poor is too wide in the US and a majority feel immigration to be a good thing, it can be seen that nationality is not as great a dividing factor as socio-economic class.

PC Statement 9: Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.

public position: agree

Source: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. April 28-30, 2008. N=1,008 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Which of the following economic problems concerns you the MOST: rising prices and the rate of inflation, the unemployment rate, the condition of the stock market, high taxes, or the problems due to the mortgage crisis and falling home values?"

Inflation 47%

Mortgages, home values 19%

High taxes 13%

Unemployment rate 13%

Stock market 5%

Other (vol.) 2%

Unsure 1%

Comment: 47% of Americans believe are concerned most with inflation as an economic problem as opposed to 13% who the feel unemployment rate deserved more concern. This means that signifigantly more Americans believe controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment which warrants an agree to the statement.

PC Statement 10: Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.

public position: agree

Source: Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll. July 28-Aug. 1, 2006. N=1,478 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Which of the following statements comes closer to your view? Many businesses can be trusted to take good care of the nation's natural resources, and the government should intervene only in the worst cases. OR, Many businesses will cut corners and damage the environment unless strong government rules and regulations are in place."

Can be Trusted Will Cut Corners Unsure

7/28 - 8/1/06 22% 75% 3%

Comment: A majority of Americans feel the government should provide environmental regulations for businesses because they cannot be trusted.

PC Statement 11: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea.

public position: agree

Source: ABC News/Washington Post Poll. June 12-15, 2008. N=1,125 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Fieldwork by TNS

Question: "Which of these do you think is more important: providing health care coverage for all Americans, even if it means raising taxes, OR, holding down taxes, even if it means some Americans do not have health care coverage?"

Coverage For All Holding Down Taxes Unsure

6/12-15/08 66% 31% 3%

Comment: A majority of Americans favor universal health care ("to each...") even if it means raising taxes ("from each...").

PC Statement 12: It's a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product.

public position: disagree

Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Dec. 7-11, 2005. N=1,502 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults). (FORM 1: N=761 adults; MoE ± 4. FORM 2: N=741 adults; MoE ± 4.

Question: "Thinking about some major companies, is your overall opinion of [see below] very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly UNfavorable, or very unfavorable?" Companies rotated

Coca-Cola received a 76% favorable rating.

Comment: Again since there wasn't a poll question related directly to the PC statement, I had to get creative. Since Coca-Cola along with Pepsi owns the majority of the bottled drinking water department, if Americans felt that bottled water was a sad reflection than it would be reflected in a disfavorable rating for a company like Coca-Cola. The fact that many Americans still like Coca-Cola means they are not jaded by the concept of bottled water.

PC Statement 13: Land shouldn't be a commodity to be bought and sold.

public position: disagree

Source: Gallup Poll. April 4-7, 2005. 1,010 Adults nationwide.

Question: "Which do you think is the worst tax, that is, the least fair: federal income tax, federal Social Security tax, state income tax, state sales tax, or local property tax?" Form A (N=503, MoE ± 5) Form B (N=507, MoE ± 5)

Local property tax was deemed the worst tax in both forms with 42% in Form A and 35% in Form B.

Comment: Again no poll question directly related to the ethical question of land ownership so I used how Americans feel about property taxes instead. The fact that many American's are upset with property taxes means that they have a since of ownership over their land and therefore treat it as a commodity.

PC Statement 14: It is regrettable that many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society.

public position: agree

Source: Harris Poll. July 8-13, 2008. 1,010 adults. MOE + or - 3%

Question: "I am going to read off a number of different occupations. For each, would you tell me if you feel it is an occupation of very great prestige, considerable prestige, some prestige or hardly any prestige at all?"

Comment: Of the 23 professions listed, stockbroker was second fromthe bottom of the list receiving only 10% (second lowest) in the very great prestige category and 26% (fourth highest) in the hardly any prestige at all. Stockbrokers are known for having large bank accounts gained by moving around money and stock on behalf of investors. Obviously the "contribute nothing to their society" is a matter of opinion and can't be easily measured, but since the American public gives such little prestige to stockbrokers, it can be deduced that they would agree with the pc statement in regards to the "regrettable" and "manipulate money" part.

PC Statement 15: Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.

public position: agree

Source: Investor's Business Daily/Christian Science Monitor poll conducted by TIPP, the polling arm of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. May 8-13, 2002. N=906 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.3.

Question: "Generally speaking, do you think U.S. trade policy should have restrictions on imported foreign goods to protect American jobs, or have no restrictions to enable American consumers to have the most choices and the lowest prices?

Restrictions 61%

No restrictions 30%

Not sure 9%

Comment: The majority of Americans support restrictions on imported foreign goods. This is a classic example of protectionism.

PC Statement 16: The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders.

public position: agree

Source: Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll. Sept. 16-19, 2006. N=1,517 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "As you may know, Wal-Mart is a nationwide chain store that offers discounted household items, clothing, and food items. It is also the largest employer in the country. Critics of the company say Wal-Mart hurts the U.S. economy by paying employees too little in wages and not providing enough health care and other benefits. Supporters of the company say Wal-Mart helps the U.S. economy by saving consumers money because they keep prices very low, and by giving them more affordable choices. On balance, do you think Wal-Mart is good or bad for the U.S. economy, or don't you think Wal-Mart affects the economy one way or the other, or haven't you heard enough about it to say?"

Good 38%

Bad 31%

No Effect 12%

Haven't Heard 15%

Unsure 4%

Comment: This question was the best example of the pc statement that I could find. Slightly more Americans believe that Wal-Mart has been good for the economy despite criticism of paying low wages and not providing benefits. This means that more Americans believe that Wal-Mart does not have a social responsibility to provide its workers with health care or benefits. Wal-Mart delivers a profit to the shareholders by undercutting the competition with low prices and 38% agree this is good for the economy. While this isn't a majority, it is enough of a plurality to justify an "agree" with the statement.

PC Statement 17: The rich are too highly taxed.

public position: strongly disagree

Source: Gallup Poll. April 6-9, 2008. N=1,021 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3

Question: "As I read off some different groups, please tell me if you think they are paying their fair share in federal taxes, paying too much, or paying too little. How about Upper-income people?"

Fair Share 24%

Too Much 9%

Too Little 63%

Unsure 4%

Comment: Only 9% of Americans believed the rich to be paying too much in federal taxes.

PC Statement 18: Those with the ability to pay should have the right to higher standards of medical care.

public position: disagree

Source: CBS News Poll. Sept. 14-16, 2007. N=706 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4 (for all adults)

Question: "Which do you think would be better for the country: having one health insurance program covering all Americans that would be administered by the government and paid for by taxpayers, or keeping the current system where many people get their insurance from private employers and some have no insurance?"

One Program For All Current System Combination (vol.) Neither (vol.) Unsure

9/14-16/07 55% 29% 3% 4% 9%

Comment: The majority of Americans favor one program for all and so higher and lower standards for different people would not be a factor.

PC Statement 19: Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.

public position: agree

Source: Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates. July 18-19, 2002. N=1,004 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "From what you've seen or heard about President Bush's corporate reform proposals to deal with the problems of accounting fraud and other wrongdoing by business executives, do you think his proposals are tougher than they need to be, not tough enough, or about right?"

Tougher than necessary 2%

Not Tough Enough 50%

About Right 36%

Don't Know 12%

Comment: A majority of Åmericans feel that there should be something done by the government to deal with wrongdoings of businesses to a varying degree.

PC Statement 20: A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies.

public position: strongly agree

Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. December 12 - January 9, 2007. N=2,007 adults. + or - 3%

Question: Now I am going to read you a series of statements that will help us understand how you feel about a number of things. For each statement, please tell me if you completely agree with it, mostly agree with it, mostly disagree with it or completely disagree with it.)...There is too much power concentrated in the hands of a few big companies.

38% Completely agree

38% Mostly agree

17% Mostly disagree

4% Completely disagree

3% Don't know

Commentary: Since a large majority feel there is too much power concentrated in the hands of a few big companies, it makes sense they would agree with restrictions on the ability to create monopolies.

PC Statement 21: The freer the market, the freer the people.

public position: agree

Source: Harris Poll. Sept. 6-17, 2007. N=6,473 adults in France, Germany, Spain, UK, Italy and the US. MOE= + or - 3%

Question: Now we would like to ask you some questions on the United States' economy. Do you think a free-market, capitalist economy (an economic system in which prices and wages are determined by unrestricted competition between businesses, with limited government regulation or fear of monopolies) is the best economic system or not?"

US adults

Yes 47%

No 19%

Not Sure 34%

Comment: A large plurality of the American public believes the free market system to be the best system.

PC Statement 22: Abortion, when the woman's life is not threatened, should always be illegal.

public position: disagree

Source: ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Aug. 19-22, 2008. N=1,108 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Fieldwork by TNS.

Question: "Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases, or illegal in all cases?"

Legal in All Cases Legal in Most Cases Illegal in Most Cases Illegal in All Cases Unsure

8/19-22/08 22% 32% 26% 18% 3%

Comment: 54% of Americans believe abortion should be legal.

PC Statement 23: All authority should be questioned.

public position: agree

Source: CBS News/New York Times Poll. July 9-17, 2007. N=1,554 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right: just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time?"

Just About Always Most of the Time Only Some of the Time Never (vol.) Unsure

2% 22% 71% 5% 0%

Comment: The fact that 71% of Americans trust the government only some of the time suggests a great deal of questioning of judgement.

PC Statement 24: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

public position: agree

Source: The Harris Poll. Feb. 5-11, 2008. N=1,010 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Do you believe in capital punishment -- that is, the death penalty -- or are you opposed to it?"

Believe in it 63%

Opposed 30%

Unsure 7%

Comment: The majority of Americans support putting murderers to death.

PC Statement 25: Taxpayers should not be expected to prop up any theatres or museums that cannot survive on a commercial basis.

public position: agree

Source: Roper Public Opinion Poll on PBS. 1,000 adults 25-75. Feb. 1-25, 2007. MOE + or - 3%

Question: For each institution, say whether it is an excellent, good, bad, or terrible value for tax dollars.

Combining excellent/good choices, Sponsorship of the Arts only received 48%.

Comment: A majority of Americans feel that sponsoring the arts is not a good value for tax dollars. This means they would generally oppose floating a art-related business that cannot survive on its own.

PC Statement 26: Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.

public position: disagree

Source: Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll. June 5-26, 2002. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "What do you think are the biggest problems with which the public schools of your community must deal?"

Top two responses:

Lack of Financial Support/Funding/Money 23%

Lack of Discipline/More Control 17%

Comment: If the public feels that lack of funding and lack of discipline are major problems with the schools, it's doubtful that allowing students to decide whether or not to go to class would help those situations.

PC Statement 27: All people have their rights, but it is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind.

public position: strongly disagree

Source: Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs. April 16-18, 2004. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.

Questions: "Whether you have a child in school right now or not, in general, which type of school would you prefer for your child: one where the students are mostly of the same race as your child; one where the students are mostly mixed, with children from black, white, Hispanic, and other racial and ethnic groups; or one where the students are mostly of a different race as your child?"

Mostly Same 12%

Mostly Mixed 83%

Mostly Different 2%

Not Sure 3%

Comment: A large majority of Americans support mixing racial and ethnic groups in schools.

PC Statement 28: Good parents sometimes have to spank their children.

public position: agree

Source: ABC News Poll. Oct. 25-29, 2002. N=1,015 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (total sample). Field work by ICR.

Question: "Do you approve or disapprove of spanking children?"

Approve 65%

Disapprove 31%

Unsure 4%

Commment: The majority of Americans approve of spanking.

PC Statement 29: It's natural for children to keep some secrets from their parents.

public position: agree

Source: Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates. April 29-30, 1999. N=751 adults nationwide, including 162 parents of children ages 12-18.

Question: "Do you think most parents, only some parents, or very few parents really know what their teens are up to?"

Most 13%

Only Some 38%

Very 47%

Don't Know 2%

Comment: The word "natural" can be taken in different ways but in this sense I took it to mean "not out of the ordinary." Since only 13% of Americans feel that most parents know what their teens are up to, this suggests most Americans feel that across the board teens are able to and often do keep secrets from their parents and that secretive teens are not confined to specific situations but occur on a much broader basis.

PC Statement 30: Possessing marijuana for personal use should not be a criminal offence

public position: agree

Source: CNN/Time Poll conducted by Harris Interactive. Oct. 23-24, 2002. N=1,007 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1

Question: "Assuming marijuana is not legalized, do you think people arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana should be put in jail, or just have to pay a fine but without serving any time in jail?"

Put in jail 19%

Just pay a fine 72%

Both 2%

Neither 4%

Not Sure 3%

Comment: "Criminal offense" in the statement suggests that the people who break this law should be put in jail. Since a majority of Americans feel personal use marijuana in small amounts should just warrant a fine instead of a jail sentence, they would agree with the PC statement.

PC Statement 31: The prime function of schooling should be to equip the future generation to find jobs.

public position: disagree

Source: Shell Oil Company Shell Poll conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates (D). July 17-20, 1998. N=1,123 adults nationwide.

Question: "From what you know, to which one or two of the following goals are schools giving the most priority today? [See items below.]

"Now I'm going to read you the same list of goals and this time please tell me to which one or two of these goals you think schools should give the most priority today. [See items below.]"

Are Giving Priority Should Give Priority

"Preparing students for college" 38% 28%

"Providing vocational skills that prepare students for employment" 28% 29%

"Teaching students how to reason and think well" 13% 36%

"Teaching students basic values, such as honesty and respect for others" 10% 37%

"Teaching students about government and their civic responsibilities" 9% 11%

Comment: "Providing vocational skills that prepare students for employment" was only ranked 3rd in the list of goals that schools should give priority to.

PC Statement 32: People with serious inheritable disabilities should not be allowed to reproduce.

public position: disagree

Source: Virginia Commonwealth University Life Sciences Survey. Sept. 3-26, 2003. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Would you say that changing a baby's genetic characteristics to reduce the risk of serious diseases is making appropriate use of medical advances OR is it taking medical advances too far?"

Appropriate 41%

Too Far 54%

Don't Know 6%

Comment: Since a majority of Americans would not support gene manipulation in order to avoid a serious inheritable disease for a child, it's doubtful that a majority would support not allowing those with the inheritable diseases in the first place to reproduce.

PC Statement 33: The most important thing for children to learn is to accept discipline.

public position: agree

Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Robert Teeter (R). June 16-19, 1999. N=2,011 adults nationwide.

Question: "Thinking about the changes that have taken place in society over the past fifteen to twenty years, which one of the following changes bothers you the most? . . ."

Top two response:

"The lack of respect for authority and elders" 37%

"The content of today's television and music programming" 13%

Comment: The top response of changes that bother the American public the most is the lack of respect for authority and elders which is directly related to the level of discipline one receives. This means that accepting discipline ranks highest on Americans' list of concerns for the younger generations and thus is deemed the most important thing for them to learn.

PC Statement 34: There are no savage and civilised peoples; there are only different cultures.

public position: disagree

Source: Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. July 11-12, 2007. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4.

Question: "Do you think U.S. Muslims are more peaceable, less peaceable, or about as peaceable as Muslims who live outside the United States?"

More Peaceable 52%

Less Peaceable 7%

About as Peaceable 24%

Unsure 17%

Comment: The term "peaceable" can be asscociated with the word "civilized" just as "savage" can be associated with word "war-like." Though there can be peaceful savages and civilized people who are war-like, I'm sticking with the colloquial use of the words as most Americans would. Since a majority of Americans feel that Muslims within the US are more peaceable than Muslims outside the US, this suggests that they feel that American Muslims are more "civilized" than foreign Muslims instead of acknowledging a difference in culture.

PC Statement 35: Those who are able to work, and refuse the opportunity, should not expect society's support.

public position: agree

Source: NPR/Kaiser/Harvard Poll. Jan. 4 to Feb. 27, 2001. 1,952 adults. MOE 2.2%

Questions: All in all, do you think the new welfare law is working well, or not? (Asked of those who say there has been a major change in the welfare laws in the past five years.)

Working well 61%

Please tell me whether each is a major reason you think the new law is working well, a minor reason or not a reason at all. ( Asked of those who say the new welfare law is working well)

87% said "the law requires people to go to work" as a major reason.

Comment: Americans do support economic help for the poor but they expect them to work for it.

PC Statement 36: When you are troubled, it's better not to think about it, but to keep busy with more cheerful things.

public position: disagree

Source: Associated Press/Ipsos poll conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs. March 21-23, 2005. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1

Question: "How often do you worry about the following things: frequently, occasionally, rarely, or never? . . ."

 

Frequently Occasionally Rarely Never

 

"Not being able to pay your bills" 30 21 24 25 %

"Getting hurt in a car accident" 20 34 30 16 %

"A terrorist attack using nuclear weapons"13 31 32 23 %

"Becoming a victim of terrorism" 12 28 35 25 %

"A nuclear attack by one country on another" 11 28 34 27 %

Comment: The large percentage of Americans who answered "frequently" or "occassionally" to this question suggests that Americans do think about things that trouble them.

PC Statement 37: First-generation immigrants can never be fully integrated within their new country.

public position: disagree

Source: Associated Press/Ipsos poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. May 15-17, 2006. N=1,001 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.

Question: "Thinking about the community where you live, do you think recent immigrants have done more to improve your community, create problems for your community, or haven't they had much effect either way?"

Improve 22%

Create Problems 18%

Not Much Effect 58%

Comment: Since a majority of Americans feel that recent (i.e. first generation) immigrants have not had much of an effect on the community, this means that these immigrants have been effective in integrating themselves into communities without altering them in any perceived way.

PC Statement 38: What's good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us.

public position: disagree

Source: ABC News/Washington Post Poll. June 26-30, 2002. N=1,024 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Fieldwork by TNS Intersearch.

Question: "Which comes closer to the way you feel? Government regulation of big businesses and corporations is necessary to protect the public. OR, Government regulation of big business and corporations does more harm than good."

Necessary to protect the public 63%

Does more harm than good 30%

Neither 4%

No Opinion 3%

Comment: Increased government regulation is often viewed as "bad" by the leaders of large corporations because it can mean a lower profit margin due to increased safety or environmental standards. Consequently, a lack of regulation would be viewed as "good." Since a majority of Americans support regulation, they would disagree with the PC statement.

PC Statement 39: No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding.

public position: disagree

Source: Roper Public Opinion Poll on PBS. Feb. 1-25, 2007. 1,000 adults 25 to 75. MOE + or - 3%

Questions: For each institution, say whether it is an excellent, good, bad, or terrible value for tax dollars.

Top 3 excellent/good percentages combined:

PBS, Public Television: 73%

Police/Law Enforcement: 70%

Military Defense: 66%

Is money given to PBS stations well spent?

Yes 80%

No 11%

Comment: A majority of Americans feel publicly funded television is a good value for tax money, and they feel that the money is well spent.

PC Statement 40: Our civil liberties are being excessively curbed in the name of counter-terrorism.

public position: agree

Source: ABC News Poll. Sept. 5-7, 2006. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults). Fieldwork by TNS.

Question: "In investigating terrorism, do you think the federal agencies like the FBI are or are not intruding on some Americans' privacy rights?"

Are 61%

Are not 35%

Comment: A majority of Americans believe they are having their rights curbed in the name of countering terrorism.

PC Statement 41: A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system.

public position: disagree

Source: CBS News Poll. May 20-22, 2005. Adults nationwide.

Questions:

"In order for someone to be confirmed as a federal judge, what do you think should happen first? (1) Republicans and Democrats in the Senate should both have to agree that a person should be a judge, even if that takes a long time. OR, (2) Because Republicans have the most senators, Republicans should get to decide whether a person should be a judge, even if Democrats disagree." Form A (N=314, MoE ± 6)

 

Bipartisan Agreement 79%

Republicans decide 14%

Unsure 7%

"In order for someone to be confirmed as a federal judge, what do you think should happen first? (1) Both parties in the Senate should have to agree that a person should be a judge, even if that takes a long time. OR, (2) Whichever party has the most senators should get to decide whether a person should be a judge, even if the other party disagrees." Form B (N=341, MoE ± 6)

Bipartisan Agreement 74%

Most Senators 17%

Unsure 9%

Comment: It's obvious by this particular question that Americans favor the deliberation process in Congress that results in a bipartisan agreement rather than a speedy process of a decision made by a single party.

PC Statement 42: Although the electronic age makes official surveillance easier, only wrongdoers need to be worried.

public position: agree

Source: ABC News/Washington Post Poll. July 18-21, 2007. N=1,125 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults). Fieldwork by TNS.

Question: "Some people support the use of surveillance cameras in public places as a way to help solve crimes. Others say these cameras go too far as a government intrusion on personal privacy. What's your opinion? Do you support or oppose the increased use of surveillance cameras in public places?"

Support 71%

Oppose 25%

Depends 5%

Comment: A majority of Americans would support an increase in surveillance.

PC Statement 43: The death penalty should be an option for the most serious crimes

public position: agree

Source: ABC News/Facebook poll. Dec. 16-19, 2007. N=1,142 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Fieldwork by TNS.

Question: "Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?"

Favor 65%

Oppose 30%

Unsure 5%

PC Statement 44: In a civilised society, one must always have people above to be obeyed and people below to be commanded.

public position: agree

Source: Gallup Poll. Sept. 14-16, 2007. N=1,010 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "On the whole, would you say you are satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed?"

Satisfied 31%

Dissatisfied 67%

Comment: A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed yet they still acknowledge the government as a governing force in which to be obeyed. This suggests that many Americans feel that government is needed, whether they like it or not.

PC Statement 45: Abstract art that doesn't represent anything shouldn't be considered art at all.

public position: agree

Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. March 17-21, 2005. Adults nationwide.

Question: "In presenting material that some view as objectionable or offensive, do you think the entertainment industry is within its constitutional rights of free speech or do you think the industry has gone beyond constitutional guarantees of free speech?" N=1,505, MoE ± 3

Within its rights 46%

Beyond Guarantees of Free Speech 48%

Unsure 6%

Comment: A plurality of Americans feel that the entertainment industry has gone beyond the constitutional guarantees of free speech with regard objectionable or offensive material. This means they view the industry as stepping beyond the free speech protected area of "art" into a non-protected area. Since many abstract art pieces can be seen as offensive or objectionable to many people, it can be said that most Americans would not consider these pieces to be protected by free speech, i.e. not art.

PC Statement 46: In criminal justice, punishment should be more important than rehabilitation.

public position: agree

Source: National Center for State Courts. April 2006. 1,002 adults. MOE + or - 3%

Question: Thinking about particular types of crimes, please tell me if you think mandatory prison sentences are a good idea or if judges should have more leeway in deciding the punishment.

Violent crimes, like armed robberty or rape

Good idea 73%

More leeway 24%

Comment: Since a majority of Americans support mandatory prison sentences for those convicted of violent crimes, it can be said that put the importance of punishment over rehabilitation.

PC Statement 47: It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals.

public position: disagree

Source: Gallup Poll. May 19-21, 2003. 1,020 adults. MOE + or - 3%

Question: Why do you favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder? [Open-ended]

[BASED ON --715-WHO FAVOR THE DEATH PENALTY FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF MURDER]

Top 3 responses:

An eye for an eye/They took a life/Fits the crime 37%

They deserve it 13%

Save taxpayers money/Cost associated with prison 11%

---

"Don't believe they can be rehabilitated" only got 2%.

Comment: An extremely small minority of Americans who favor the death penalty believe that those convicted and sentenced cannot be rehabilitated. The most given reason for favoring the death penalty was "an eye for an eye" and its many variations. The PC statement's use of the phrase "waste of time" suggests that some criminals should be put to death rather than attempting to rehabilitate them. A majority of Americans would disagree with this sentiment because their reasons for favoring the death penalty are different.

PC Statement 48: The businessperson and the manufacturer are more important than the writer and the artist.

public position: agree

Source: The Harris Poll. July 8-13, 2008. N=approx. 500 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4.

Question: "I am going to read off a number of different occupations. For each, would you tell me if you feel it is an occupation of very great prestige, considerable prestige, some prestige, or hardly any prestige at all? . . ."

Business Executive and Engineer Combined: 57% very great prestige

Journalist and Actor Combined: 34% very great prestige

PC Statement 49: Mothers may have careers, but their first duty is to be homemakers.

public position: strongly disagree

Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Robert Teeter (R). June 16-19, 1999. N=2,011 adults nationwide.

Question: "Thinking about the changes that have taken place in society over the past fifteen to twenty years, which one of the following changes bothers you the most? . . ."

"More mothers working outside the home" received the lowest percentage at 6%.

Comment: A very low percentage of Americans are bothered by mothers working outside the home.

PC Statement 50: Multinational companies are unethically exploiting the plant genetic resources of developing countries.

public position: agree

Source: Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll. June 7-10, 2007. N=1,183 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Do you think CEO's of American companies are always ethical, mostly ethical, not too ethical, or not ethical at all in their business practices?"

Always ethical/Mostly Ethical: 33%

Not Too Ethical/Not Ethical at All: 62%

Comment: While I couldn't find a question relating directly to plant genetic resources, I could find one relating to the ethics of CEOS. If a majority of Americans feel that CEOs are not very ethical in their business practices in general, it's safe to say a majority would agree in the specific.

PC Statement 51: Making peace with the establishment is an important aspect of maturity.

public position: agree

Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Robert Teeter (R). June 16-19, 1999. N=2,011 adults nationwide.

Question: Now I would like to turn to the issue of values and the American family for the rest of the survey. Which should be a more important goal for our society these days: promoting greater respect for traditional social and moral values, or encouraging greater tolerance of people with different lifestyles and backgrounds?"

Promoting greater respect for traditional values 60%

Encouraging greater tolerance 29%

Both equally 10%

Unsure 1%

Comment: "Making peace with the establishment" can be interpreted as "submitting to a higher authority" which ranks among the traditional values that a majority of Americans feel should garner more respect.

PC Statement 52: Astrology accurately explains many things.

public position: disagree

Source: FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Sept. 23-24, 2003. N=900 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Do you personally believe in the existence of each of the following? . . . "

Astrology

Believe 29%

Don't Believe 64%

PC Statement 53: You cannot be moral without being religious.

public position: disagree

Sources:

Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates. June 27-28, 2002. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Shell Oil Company Shell Poll conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates (D). March 16-20, 1999. N=1,277 adults nationwide.

Questions: "Which ONE of the following three statements comes closer to your view? The United States is a Christian nation. The United States is a Biblical nation, defined by the

Judeo-Christian tradition. The United States is a secular nation in which religious

belief, or lack of it, isn't a defining characteristic."

A Christian Nation 29%

A Biblical Nation 16%

A secular Nation 45%

Don't Know 10%

"On the whole, how do you think that America's moral standards today compare with those of other countries? Compared with the rest of the world, are America's moral standards among the highest, above average, average, below average, or among the lowest?"

Among the highest 6%

Above average 14%

Average 47%

Below average 18%

Among the lowest 7%

Comment: If both a large plurality of Americans believe the US to have comparable moral standards to the rest of the world while functioning as a secular nation, this that a large plurality of Americans also belive that morality is not necessarily connected to religousness.

PC Statement 54: Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged.

public position: disagree

Source: CBS News/New York Times Poll. June 10-15, 2005. N=1,111 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults).

Question: "What if the government decided to address Social Security's financial problems by having future Social Security benefits grow more slowly than they do now for middle and high income people, while allowing benefits to grow as scheduled for low-income people? Would that be acceptable or not acceptable?"

Acceptable 59%

Not Acceptable 35%

Comment: A majority of Americans feel that social security is so important to low-income people that they are willing to sacrific the benefits of middle to high income people to guarantee benefits for the poor. If Americans favored charity, this would not be the case.

PC Statement 55: Some people are naturally unlucky.

public position: disagree

Source: Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. Oct. 16-18, 2007. N=1,013 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.

Question: "In general, do you believe in or do you not believe in spells or witchcraft?"

Believe in 19%

Do not believe in 80%

Comment: It was a stretch to equate luck with witchcraft but it was the closest thing I could find to American belief in superstition. Since a majority of Americans do not believe in spells or witchcraft, a majority would most likely not believe in "natural unluckiness."

PC Statement 56: It is important that my child's school instills religious values.

public position: agree

Source: CBS News Poll. April 6-9, 2006. N=899 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Would you like to see religious and spiritual values have more influence in the schools than they do now, less influence, or about the same influence as they do now?"

More 49%

Less 16%

Same 32%

Comment: A large plurality of Americans believe that relgious and spiritual values should have more influence in schools.

PC Statement 57: Sex outside marriage is usually immoral.

public position: disagree

Source: Gallup Poll. May 10-13, 2007. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Next, I'm going to read you a list of issues. Regardless of whether or not you think it should be legal, for each one, please tell me whether you personally believe that in general it is morally acceptable or morally wrong. How about sex between an unmarried man and woman?"

Morally acceptable 59%

Morally wrong 39%

PC Statement 58: A same sex couple in a stable, loving relationship, should not be excluded from the possibility of child adoption.

public position: disagree

Source: USA Today/Gallup Poll. Sept. 7-8, 2007. N=1,028 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

Question: "Do you think that homosexual couples should be legally permitted to adopt children?"

Yes 46%

No 50%

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