Almost two-thirds of Americans believe that the country is currently headed in the wrong direction and 70 percent of the population believes that the values of Americans have gotten worse over the last few years, according to The Atlantic/Aspen Institute’s American Values Survey.
Of those polled, almost half believe that the influence of religion on American life is decreasing, and 49 percent attend church either seldom, or never. Still, 67 percent claim that religion is still a very or fairly important part of their lives. Finally, a vast majority of 89 percent reported that they believe in God.
That same faith unfortunately does not extend towards the government, as 71 percent of those polled believe that elected officials mainly reflect the values of the wealthy, as opposed to those of the middle and working class American. More than half believed that the American economic system is unfair towards the middle and working class as well. Currently, 47 percent of the population is more concerned about the government knowing too much of their personal information than private companies do.
The American opinion of Wall Street in this time of economic downturn is overwhelmingly negative. Only 17 percent believe that Wall Street executive share the same fundamental values as other Americans, and more than 80 percent of both Republican and Democratic poll takers believe that lobbying groups and money have too much of an influence on politics.
While opinions of our own internal issues seemed to be on the negative side, Americans still felt that our strong values were the product of freedom of speech and religion.