Thursday, October 13, 2016

Americans' Biggest Fears

Chapman University is out with their survey of the things Americans fear most.  It makes an interesting read or skim, especially in light of the election.  All the data are here.
Head and shoulders above all the other fears in the list is corruption of government officials.  It gathered almost 50% more responses than the number two, while from number two through 10, it's only a 15% difference.   Government corruption was number 1 last year as well.  With the possible exception of the number three fear, not having enough funds for the future, it's easily arguable that the top five fears are all fear of the government mismanaging the country.  I would say that all five of the top five fears are in the government's lap because if they weren't constantly messing with the economy through the horrible deficit spending and the execrable central banks, it would be much easier to plan for having enough money for the future.  A terrorist attack (numbers two and four) are in the category of defense.  In fact, out of the top ten there are only three that aren't in the government's lap: fear of loved ones dying or getting seriously ill (five and nine) and fear of identity theft. 

So tell me again why voters shouldn't be lining up around the block to dump the establishment?  While you're at it, tell me why the establishment candidate is doing so well in the polls.  Instead of wondering why she's not 50 points ahead, she should be wondering why she's not 50 points behind. 


  1. The pollsters are only polling likely voters from prior elections. A "reckoning" of new voters who have not voted in 12-16 years, or ever, do not show up in polls. If true, Trump will win in a landslide. On the other hand, if the evil one wins, or more accurately, steals the election, then a different kind of "reckoning" is likely within 4 months after the inauguration. Think January 1860 for the closest parallel to January 2017. April 1861 all over again in April 2017. It ain't gonna be pretty. Bullets, beans, and band aids will become the new currency.

  2. And nobody is afraid or even cognizant of nuclear war the Russia? The only other power on the face of the planet who could give us a run for the money?


    1. "with" not "the".

      Also Sheesh.

    2. Mal, I think you had better include China in there. They may actually be better equipped than Russia, not simply in numbers, but in the quality of their military and their military technology. Between what they have stolen, were given by Bill Clinton and Obama, and developed on their own, they might easily be the bigger threat.

    3. If you go to the original list at the second link in my article, World War III was number 15 and nuclear attack specifically was 17.

    4. Reg T, China is a close second, but I believe the Russians have more weapons to deploy. It is the total number of exploded weapons that threaten the planet (as opposed to just threatening the Eastern Seaboard, for example). I agree the technical quality of the Chinese military is probably better, at this point.

      A nuclear war with only a dozen or so mushroom clouds really doesn't threaten the global environment much. Cancer rates would go up a half-percent, or whatever.

      SiGraybeard, it should be in the top five, not at #15/#17, in my opinion. That is the source of my frustration.

    5. Malatrope, I'd say to go look at the numbers. In absolute terms, they're close to each other. 35.5% (the cutoff for #10) list Obamacare as their worry. 32.3% say WW III and 31.5% say nuclear attack (which I would interpret to include terrorist attack).

      Personally, I don't think the chance of nuclear exchange with Russia is particularly high and would list government tyranny higher as a fear. I think Putin is just yanking chains to see the Americans jump and get good press at home. On the other hand, he might figure that he could take out several key cities and Obama wouldn't retaliate. Whether or not there's anyone on staff that would shoot him in the head for that and conduct a retaliatory strike is anyone's guess.

  3. Confidence is that feeling you have before you understand the situation. Fear of mundane things is what we do when we do not understand the very real and very serious threats. Imagine what the top ten list of fears was in September of 1929. In 1975 I was hunting moose in Alaska sitting in a spot where I fully expected to see a moose walk by within range. I heard a "snuff" or perhaps it was a quiet "woof" noise behind me and turned to see a Alaska Brown bear looking at me from about 20' away. Suddenly all my problems seemed incredibly trivial. I fully believe we are looking into the abyss and don't know it. I hope I'm wrong.

    Think about this. We owe $20 trillion. We cannot pay it off and we never will and don't intend to. Worse the interest on $20 trillion is enormous or at least it well be once the FED can no longer keep interest rates at zero. We cannot pay that interest when rates rise and they will. Third we spend more than e take in from taxes or to put it another way we are hooked on borrowing. If the economy takes a downturn tax revenues will decrease but expenditures will not. If we were to cut welfare it is 99.99% sure that will will have an armed revolt in every large to medium sized city. We have no intention of even trying to fix any of these problems and quite honestly it is too late as any effort to fix it will likely precipitate exactly the situation we should fear most. We have three inflection points or triggers coming up and any one of them could be the tripwire: 1.The election (do you doubt great angst if either the Donald or Hillary wins?) 2.The lame duck congress and administration (I fear my government and especially Obama). 3.The change of power and everything that brings with it. All three triggers will be pulled in the next three months. Pray for us.