According to a recent poll conducted by the Marist Institute for the Knights of Columbus, young Americans are increasingly doubting the nation's ethical standards in business as well as the government's ability to handle the economy.
“A year into the Obama administration, we find that Americans – and younger Americans – are having a crisis of confidence,” said Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, on Thursday.
The poll found that American adults and Millennials (those between 18 and 29) are worried about their careers in this economy, opposed government regulation and business greed, and even felt that the country is headed in the wrong direction morally.
“People are increasingly pessimistic about the government's ability to handle the economic crisis and a majority believes that increased government regulation will hurt the economy,” said Anderson.
According to the poll, 59 percent of American adults and 55 percent of Millennials doubted the government's ability to handle the economic crisis. The poll also found that 55 percent of American adults want a free market approach and oppose greater government regulation and 53 percent of Millennials agree.
On the issue of the moral status of the nation, 67 percent of American adults and 60 percent of Millennials believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Fifty-five percent of both American adults and Millennials also worry that the current economic situation will have a long term impact on their careers.
Anderson also commented on the findings related to ethics, stating, “most Americans are unhappy with the ethical environment in business. They want less greed, and the same core values that govern an executive's personal life to also govern business decisions. In other words, Americans neither want sleight of hand on Wall Street or a heavy hand from Washington, and these attitudes are shared by America’s young adults.”
The Marist Institute poll was part of the larger Knights of Columbus' Moral Compass Project which is a series of surveys on the ethical attitudes of Americans.