Poll: What big institutions have you lost faith in?

Today, we’re talking about why trust in American institutions is so low.

How do you feel about major institutions?

And what do you still have faith in? Let us know in the comments below.

Stephanie Curtis, social media host

  • Jennifer

    I blame the lack of participation in these institutions. People don’t take part and then blame the institutions for being out of touch. It’s very easy to Monday morning quarterback when you have no concept of the complexities the institutions face.


    LeRoy, MN

  • Al

    It’s the powerful corporations and the fact that their money can buy government tailored for their interests that irks me. What voice do normal people have? Freedom is the participation in power. The people have none when compared to corporations. Also, stop telling the little guy that he or she has to pay up if we want our entitlements to continue. Start mentioning how the big and powerful need to contribute fairly! Your guests always want to point the finger at Joe Q. Public.

  • Kate Johnston

    I think it’s amusing and sad that the guest held up North Dakota as “a place without diversity”. I actually have friends who are second-generation Mexican immigrants who have farms in North Dakota that are collectively managed by their extended family.

    I think the illusion that there are still places where ‘we’ don’t have to deal with ‘them’ is a dangerous one and should be resisted. Tragically, media tends to exploit and exacerbate this viewpoint rather than work to dispel it.

    There is not place where all the people are still white and therefore all the problems have all been solved.

  • George

    Keri, you sounded suprised when one of your callers expressed her having lost faith in Wallstreet. You must not have seen “Frontlines, “Money, Power and Wallstreet on TPT (5/1). The program told me how disgusting and unlevel the investment playing field is. George

  • paul swenson

    How can we trust such institutions as the “Robert’s Supreme Court”. They threw out years of precident and opened up our political system to big money and corporations. Standby for more negative campaigns with PACS that have no accountability. I am old enough to remember President Eisenhower’s warning to beware of the Military Industrial Complex. His fear has been realized with the America’s United decision.

  • Ordinary Guy

    It’s easy to lose faith, but it’s not hopeless:

    Business has layoffs, they import their goods and services, only because it was set up to favor that in the old days and we just left it that way. It’s shameless when they then ask for public help.

    Education tries, but research results are not valued nor implemented by officials, and so it’s inadequately funded by our legislature and so our graduates have nowhere to turn. Federal attempts do start but often fall short, and they are hamstrung when unknown science takes an unfavorable turn. That’s science.

    Religion/scandal, need more said?

    Media profits lead them to accept spoon-fed stories and a much-repeated yet narrow focus of topics. Ordinary folks can see facts and questions that just go unasked and unanswered because of taboos or modern common knowledge. For example: Ask any worker why imports hit the store shelves tax-free and theirs don’t? And why are they still asked to make up the shortfall? What has the Global Economy done but make it sad for workers and profitable for tyrants?

    Stadiums…what? We need more playtime if we’ve got so much less paid work time?

    All the elements for success are on your list, but grasping a vision of a desirable future and then coordinating all of these elements to accomplish it is what’s lacking. Tying together a converging fabric of public works, research, funding, transportation, to convert our local waste and wasted effort to our general benefit is what’s required. China does it well, but with and iron hand, and irresponsibly.

    We need cross-functional coordination that leads to industrial output that serves us with jobs and services here, not from those exploited in the world and sold to those deceived by the illusion. No, responsibility in all of these areas, as they were meant to have, really could make it all better for all of us.

  • Carlo Biondolillo

    How can we trust big institution including government one? The financial fall should have though us something but the “system” is continuing in the same direction. I think the root cause of all the dis-trust is mainly due to the deregulation that has been taking an extreme path. In any civilized country the government plays a central role in regulating the country trying to implement ethic and cultural values of the country, but unfortunately the extreme capitalistic thinking in the US drives toward the total deregulation.

    Think that not long time ago if a citizen would call the fire department for intervention then he would receive a bill! Well today it doesn’t work anymore like that and you can easily guess why. I think the government institution should be entitled more and more to enforce more rules like this. Ideally the citizens should be able to call the “police or a government institution ” for any issue that potentially would affect the community and not a lawyer as happens today. So if you have money you get justice if not …to bad. This is the system that regulate third world countries and not great and civilized country as the US.

  • Claire

    I was VERY disappointed by the lack of understanding and foresight by the media in regard to the recent economic crisis. I have often heard media types admit that they have no aptitude for math. That’s like an engineer admitting they have no aptitude for reading. Business, Wall Street, taxes–they’re all about the numbers. We need fewer attractive talking heads and more people who have the breadth and depth of knowledge to inform and communicate in a manner that educates the public at large without dumbing it down.

  • Lonnie Leake

    While Marc Hetherington’s comment that North and South Dakota inhabitants are homogenous is to a large extent true, and are willing to help each other

    to a larger degree, this comadre disappears when it comes to the trust of institutions, especially LOCAL

    government. That is evident by the upcoming June ballot; the citizens vote on an ammendment to the North Dakota constitution whether to eliminate property taxes for townships, counties and school districts.

  • Cheryl

    The biggest gut punch I’ve had lately is to my faith in the US Supreme Court. I’ve always had the hope that there were very wise folks who could somehow put their biases aside and make an objective decision that is just and fair.

    But the whole corporate personhood debacle showed me I was being naive at best.

  • Katie

    I find that on both sides of the conservative/liberal spectrum media biases are very prevalent – where certain stories are burried or highlighted based upon an organizations agenda, the phrasing of certain facts gives a certain appearance and the use of slanted pictures. I wish that there was greater transparency and a closer eye and priority for checks and balances on biases that come through whether intentional or not.


    St. Paul, MN

  • Robert Van Siclen

    You are discussing “The Media” like its “The Medium”. The media are diverse. If I ranked news media on 1-100, my trust in MPR NPR would be in the 90s; my trust in CNN would be about 75; my trust in MSNBC or FOX would be 10.

  • hsl

    I do still have much trust in SOME “major religious institutions.” However, I think part of the problem with the media trust also being discussed at this point is that there is way too little understanding of the faith of the vast majority of Americans. “Evangelicals?” The typical reporter pulls in some person that a large number of “evangelicals” may never have heard of. Meanwhile, under the radar, many, many groups are providing all kinds of social service, all kinds of community and individual support to both their members and “all comers” who need assistance. Do we hear of these? Rarely. Probably not so much a deliberate conspiracy, but more a result of the narrow demographic much research has shown is prevalent in newsrooms.

    The demographics of media professionals does not affect just the faith sphere. Again, I have seen studies that show the overwhelming middle/upper middle class, suburban rather than urban or rural background, etc. background of reporters means they all too often miss things (like the foreclosure crises) until well into the problem.

  • David

    I no longer count on NPR or MPR as my sources for news. NPR changed significantly during the Regan years and the culture wars of Jessie Helms. The “experts” shifted to the mid right on many broadcast spots. MPR has followed this trend. Both sources have strayed to “info-tainment” rather than their prime job of reporting the news.

  • Ray gorski

    I am disappointed by the vitrolic (sp) rantings of both political parties. But my biggest disappointment(sp) is with the american people,

    they only want the easiset solutions and answers.

    Our problems are very complicated and generational, we need to think of long range solutions that start in the near future. I think there is a plethora of whiners. I think our politicians do

    us a disservice at the national and state and local

    level by not coming to a basic agreement of what

    needs to done.

  • Nancy

    I’ve lost faith in health care institutions. With the recent scandals at Fairview, it’s becoming increasingly clear that these organizations don’t care about providing care, they care about their bottom line. It’s sad when you consider that they receive significant tax breaks so that they will continue to do just that. Health care is no longer in the hands of health care practitioners, but is instead run by MBA grads who have little compassion and no medical knowledge.