Home | About | Donate

Why the Common Good Disappeared (And How We Get it Back)

Why the Common Good Disappeared (And How We Get it Back)

Robert Reich

In 1963 over 70 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing all or most of the time; nowadays only 16 percent do.

There has been a similar decline in trust for corporations. In the late 1970s, 32 percent trusted big business, by 2016, only 18 percent did.

Trust in banks has dropped from 60 percent to 27 percent. Trust in newspapers, from 51 percent to 20 percent. Public trust has also plummeted for nonprofits, universities, charities, and religious institutions.

1 Like

I don’t Trust Trump at all. I don’t trust the Republicans in congress at all, especially the Trump supporting right wing Republicans. Other than Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and a few others in the Democratic Party, I don’t really trust Democrats. I have NEVER trusted banks.


Very nice article Robert Reich !

I like your personal thoughts with a minimum of economics.

Pity the theologian at the very end of your missive, however.

Thank you for the message of hope, Mr. Reich. I think you are a very smart man and a very good one. I would feel a lot better with you, and others like you, in our Government.

1 Like

The common good…very worthy goal. Isn’t it a shame we’ll never get there with the corp. Dem. party?
So Mr. Reich what do you think?

Trust in government has declined so much lower than trust in “business” (we should separate small single-proprietor businesses and coops, etc. from large multinational (read: “without loyalty”) corporations) because those large horizontally and vertically integrated corporations have bought up media and used it to deny the fact that corporations are far more corrupt and incompetent than government is, and competitiveness is far less effective at getting things done than cooperation, the mode of government.

“Resurrecting it may take another half century, or more.” Unfortunately, we don’t have 50 years; we’re lucky if we have 3. As we do that we have to change civilization into a society that eliminates its greenhouse gas emissions and drastically reduces its other harm to nature in less than a decade.

1 Like

Here is the latest polls summarized by Real Clear Politicis: https://realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

Approval and disapproval of Trump’s job performance is weighted toward disapproval but it isn’t enough in my estimate to get the Republicans worried about re election yet. I thoroughly disapprove of the Trumpenstein monster inhabiting the White House. We need to hand him landslide level disapproval in the polls.

We can’t get apathetic toward voting again like we did in 2016, the lowest voter turn out in 70 years. Trump is horrific but we set him up to be a horrific president by becoming apathetic about voting. That MUST change.


The common good was trod on by the Iron Heel.

Direct Democracy

like the two men in Seattle who gave their lives trying to protect a young Muslim woman from a hate-filled assault

Not to be pedantic, but that incident happened in Portland.

That said, I am stunned that more people trust banks and corporations than trust the government. As bad as the government is it is at least supposed to look out for its citizens, while banks and corporations are supposed to look out for themselves and their shareholders. How can 27% possibly trust the banks, especially after the revelations of 2008 and their (the banks) subsequent actions?

1 Like