Only this week the ABC revealed that the government actually sold a cabinet full of top-secret and classified government documents. We’d probably be more shocked that such a security breach was possible, instead of being vaguely amused by the blunder, if faith in our elected officials wasn’t so low.
It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when voters felt confident that at least some people entered politics to make the world a better place. But then, the media used to be trusted to tell the truth and the church was a safe place where people could find support and comfort. Oh, an employers would do their best to give you a job for life, before you retired on the pension the government had promised would be a fair
Of course, all of these beliefs have been undermined in recent decades, as large parts of these very institutions have been exposed in the worst of lights.
Aussies aren’t the only ones that feel like they can no longer trust our big institutions. Data from the Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that trust is in crisis all over the world. The giant public relations firm began tracking public trust in four key institutions — business, government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the media – in 2012.
The figures from 2017 showed that trust dropped in all four institutions. It was the biggest drop in the barometer’s history and the first time all four institutions had seen their trust levels decline simultaneously.
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“The Trust Barometer found that 53 percent of respondents believe the current overall system has failed them — it is unfair and offers little hope for the future,” Edelman said. Respondents listed globalisation, the pace of innovation and eroding social values as some of their major fears.
Many believe that globalisation has robbed many workers of job security without delivering the wealth promised by world leaders, while technological innovation has done more harm than good by creating digital machines such as social media that have undermined social values and robotics and artificial intelligence that have replaced humans in jobs.
Consultancy KMPG, meanwhile, surveyed big business leaders on what they saw as the biggest issues facing companies in 2018, and found that some of the countries biggest business brains thought that the erosion of public trust was a major problem.
“There is an overall sense of brokenness about the system,” KPMG noted.
Do you think KPMG is right? Do you trust these former pillars of society? Do you think that these institutions were more deserving of our trust in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s? Why do you think public trust is at such a low?
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