35 Countries Feel More Free Than US
Possibly because almost 80% believe government is corrupt
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 2, 2014 9:00 AM CDT
An American flag hangs from the ceiling of the rotunda in the Idaho Capitol in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, June 29, 2014.   (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

(Newser) – Americans are feeling a lot less like the land of the free than they were eight years ago—possibly because they believe the government is corrupt, a new Gallup poll finds. Asked in 2013 if they were satisfied with their level of personal freedom, 79% said they were, down from 91% in 2006, while 21% said they were dissatisfied. That put the US just 36th among all countries. (If you're curious, New Zealand, at 94%, was No.1, followed by Australia, Sweden, and of all places Cambodia, which were tied at 93%.)

Only 10 other countries have seen a larger decline than the US, and many of those, like Egypt and Greece, have undergone major political or economic crises. One explanation for the drop: The growing belief that the government is corrupt. The number of people saying corruption was widespread has risen steadily from 59% in 2006 to 79% in 2013.

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Showing 3 of 169 comments
KDickley
Jul 12, 2014 12:28 AM CDT
President Obozo the Clown has made good on his promise to fundimentaly transform America.
dave70
Jul 5, 2014 6:50 PM CDT
The notion of "goodness" in the notion of what it is to be an American is now gone. For the longest time, on main street USA, we were guided by to major thought paradigms: The first was the Christian notion that we are our brother's keepers and we should be kind to others and "do unto others as we would have them do unto us." This was basically based on what Jesus taught in the New Testament. Jewish and other non-Christians attached themselves to the Renaissance-Enlightenment principles of Secular Humanism where ordinary people attempted to live by the golden rule also. Caring for one's neighbors and working for the common good were the standard that created the notion of "goodness" and feeling good about being an American. In former times, there were amoral and immoral robber barons and captains of industry and also large numbers of people who were just as corrupt then as they are these days, but there appeared to be a belief among the ruling elites that they had to at least consider the will of the people in large scale decision making. But nowadays, supreme arrogance among elites has caused them to discount public opinion on most issues, or they believe they can "spin" or propagandize or even oppress the public into compliance with their wishes. That has all changed. In the contemporary world of instant communication, the "greed is good" paradigm filtered down to the lowest members of society. Now greed, selfishness, unnecessarily crushing neighbors in normal competition, all at the expense of everyone around us has become the norm for a great many people. The Internet and global communications also make it nearly impossible for corrupt officials to keep the secrets and sell the snake oil and lies they once sold to the public with impunity. So, the public is becoming aware, and also jaded to a large extent, but public officials react just the opposite of how they should react. They become ever more secretive, hiding everything they can from public view. The only solution that will change this will be a new "glasnost" or openness from officials who should attempt to again become honest brokers for the masses instead of cover up artists. I have some doubts if this is possible without some sort of major decline that touches us all and gets the attention of contemporary self-serving elites.
TheBushYears
Jul 3, 2014 1:27 PM CDT
How can you feel free when you are just working for some rich puke who inherited all his money?