Go Back   Fratching! > General > Social Woes

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes

Survey: Just A Quarter Of Americans Can Name All 3 Branches Of Government
  #1  
Old 09-26-2017, 12:19 PM
mjr mjr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,196
Default Survey: Just A Quarter Of Americans Can Name All 3 Branches Of Government

https://www.studyfinds.org/governmen...istory-survey/

Snipped from the article:

Quote:
Researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) surveyed over 1,000 American adults, finding a shocking lack of knowledge as it pertains to U.S. politics among the general populace.
....
Meanwhile, only 26 percent of Americans could name all three branches of the federal government — that would be the executive, legislative, and judicial, for those playing at home.

While conservatives were more likely to be able to name all three branches than liberals or moderates, the overall proportion of the public that can name all three has fallen by 12 percent since 2011.

Perhaps most embarrassing: a full third of respondents couldn’t name a single federal branch of government, a figure that hasn’t shifted over the past half-decade.
I wonder how many of them vote...
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old 09-26-2017, 02:13 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2,208
Default

to be fair, the article doesn't say if the study made a difference between those who don't know the exact name of the branch, and those who don't think it's a branch.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old 09-27-2017, 12:19 AM
mjr mjr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,196
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_stabeler View Post
to be fair, the article doesn't say if the study made a difference between those who don't know the exact name of the branch, and those who don't think it's a branch.
There's more to it than that though, like this...

Quote:
37 percent couldn’t even name a single right endowed by the First Amendment.

Thankfully, 48 percent of those surveyed were able to identify freedom of speech as being a right enshrined by the First Amendment, although far fewer could identify other rights accorded.

These include freedom of religion (15 percent), freedom of the press (14 percent), right of peaceful assembly (10 percent), and right to petition the government (three percent).
That's bothersome, is it not?
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old 09-27-2017, 04:26 AM
jackfaire's Avatar
jackfaire jackfaire is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 3,554
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjr View Post
That's bothersome, is it not?
Not really no. Personally I don't take a constitution refresher course once a month and the last time I read it in full was High School History so like 20 years ago.

I know the constitution exists. I have a working knowledge of some of the amendments and I know I can research it if I want to see if my rights are being violated. The thing I learned growing up was that the people who have a bunch of memorized facts in their heads aren't impressive. It's the people who can do research that are impressive.

Also I am betting most people could name courts, congress, president. That doesn't count on most of those surveys as naming the three branches of government. Most of those kinds of surveys will only accept Legislative, Executive and Judicial.

Understanding who those branches are is a hell of a lot more important than being able to name them.
__________________
Jack Faire
Friend
Father
Smartass
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old 09-27-2017, 11:27 AM
mjr mjr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,196
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Not really no. Personally I don't take a constitution refresher course once a month and the last time I read it in full was High School History so like 20 years ago.

I know the constitution exists. I have a working knowledge of some of the amendments and I know I can research it if I want to see if my rights are being violated. The thing I learned growing up was that the people who have a bunch of memorized facts in their heads aren't impressive. It's the people who can do research that are impressive.

Also I am betting most people could name courts, congress, president. That doesn't count on most of those surveys as naming the three branches of government. Most of those kinds of surveys will only accept Legislative, Executive and Judicial.

Understanding who those branches are is a hell of a lot more important than being able to name them.
At the same time, I would guess if you ask the people surveyed who their Congressman is, they couldn't tell you.

It's like the anecdote I read a few months back. The story goes that a woman moves from one city to another because "taxes were too high". Yet, in the new city, she voted for everything that would raise taxes in that city, and couldn't understand why her taxes were going up, again. She didn't seem to understand WHERE the money for the projects came from.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old 09-27-2017, 04:23 PM
jackfaire's Avatar
jackfaire jackfaire is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 3,554
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjr View Post
At the same time, I would guess if you ask the people surveyed who their Congressman is, they couldn't tell you.
Probably not but I can tell you what kind of peanut butter my roommate prefers.

The reason again is research I don't usually know who my congress people are but I know I can look it up. It's a matter of public record. And the problem is assuming those people never know. I knew when I voted. I knew when I looked it up later to call my congress people. Right now off the top of my head no I couldn't tell you.

That anecdote I wouldn't blame on her. Most of what I know about the day to day running of government wasn't taught at my school. Taxes were the thing the British tried to do to the Americas and that people have to file once a year.

Things like what taxes are used for wasn't taught. Most of how our government works isn't actually taught in schools. I learned what lobbyists are from a Michael Douglas movie.

Instead of "worrying" that people don't know the correct terms and that they don't understand how government works I would just teach them.

For example the other day I heard a conversation where people got Social Security wrong. I not only educated them on how it actually works but pointed them to the Library of Congress as a resource for how it's always worked that way.

Pointing and laughing or worrying is like when we gave a new generation of kids crap for thinking Titanic was just a movie and not something that really happened.

I saw an entire news report mocking them for it. Yet that's what we taught them. We teach our kids the movies and shows they watch are just fiction. So when they apply that to a historical event that often isn't taught in schools we what mock them for using logic that we taught them?

You know why I knew about the Titanic because my grandmother was born 2 years earlier and I had to do a report on historical moments she lived through. Otherwise going into that movie I would have thought it was just fiction too because my history class didn't feel it was important.

So yeah we can write up "oh my god I worry for the world" because people don't know things that we take for granted knowing or we can share our knowledge with them and point out where to find more.
__________________
Jack Faire
Friend
Father
Smartass

Last edited by jackfaire; 09-27-2017 at 04:27 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old 09-28-2017, 09:49 PM
Greenday's Avatar
Greenday Greenday is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,022
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Also I am betting most people could name courts, congress, president.
I'd honestly be surprised if most could. I'd bet more people would give answers like "Congress, Senate, President".

Most people seem to be pretty ignorant as to how our government works and they don't seem to care.
__________________
Violence has resolved more conflicts than anything else. The contrary opinion that violence doesn't solve anything is merely wishful thinking at its worst. - Starship Troopers
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old 09-29-2017, 11:18 AM
mjr mjr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,196
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenday View Post
Most people seem to be pretty ignorant as to how our government works and they don't seem to care.
You're right, here, I think. But also consider: Of those people, how many vote?

I am actually surprised that we haven't had some in the younger generation (because of certain "television competitions") start in on the "What do you mean I can only vote once!?!?" thing. Or "Why can't I just text my vote?!"
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old 09-29-2017, 11:31 PM
D_Yeti_Esquire's Avatar
D_Yeti_Esquire D_Yeti_Esquire is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 574
Default

Here's the thing Jack - fluency in the Constituion isn't actually THAT necessary. Really, it's probably just sufficient to have a general understanding of the branches, and which issues are voted on at which levels and that the bureaucracy exists and what its function is. Strangely enough, no bureaucracy isn't a bad thing ... it's a necessary function of Federal/State operations.

Ultimately, it's all just law making and implementation. Being stupidly into the Constitution (which I define as dogmatically attached) often is present more in heavy users of political media and lawyers that need it for framing arguments. It's just a part of the legal framework. You know it in order to out-argue someone else. Ultimately the Constitution represents what we thought was a good idea at the time to the point we wanted to make it harder to change. But every bit of that is capable of being rewritten. And its good for knowing your rights, but again, how often do your rights come into conflict day to day? For most people, not often enough that they can't just google it when needed.

Interestingly, what I find more disturbing is people lacking basic governmental and complete lack of understanding on policy. Case and point Kansas, where they got so into Grover Norquist land, they cut taxes until vital services were shutting down at which point people flipped.

Here's the thing, you can vote yourself a 0% tax rate and a full retirement package. Nothing stops the public from doing it. And that very thing is one of the more interesting things I've found about modern politics.

It used to be Republicans were big on starve the beast but fiscal responsibility. Cut taxses/cut service. But they seemed to have morphed into "cut at all costs" which is basically tantamount isn't voting the public the treasury directly, but is basically saying "here's free money - the check comes due next generation."

Then you have the Dems who used to build up serves services and create funding for them. But then usually can't get full funding so just plow ahead and make the same gamble on the other end and build the service, get stopped from adequately funding the service, and basically say "here's free services - the check comes due next generation."

When both parties met in the middle is when you'd actually get solid policy at the time (although the policy may age itself out of usefulness as time goes on.)

So oddly, I don't think there's any such thing as a party that is fiscally responsible anymore because the population is too policy illeterate to realize they're impoverishing their grandkids. The only thing that stops that is if we have another 90's of innovation in the US that generates a whole lot of revenue quickly.

Last edited by D_Yeti_Esquire; 09-29-2017 at 11:37 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old 09-29-2017, 11:50 PM
jackfaire's Avatar
jackfaire jackfaire is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 3,554
Default

Given that many people aren't able to leave work to vote and they're making voting machines a thing the question about not being able to text their vote is actually a reasonable one. And yes there are ways to tie it to the person's account so burn phones couldn't be used for things like voting.

I don't see what not knowing the three branches of the government has to do with voting. Most things that land on the ballot have nothing to do with that.

From how many people complain about the President when Congress doesn't do their job I am pretty sure even people who can name the three branches don't know the three branches beyond their names.

I don't care if someone can quote to me every part and parcel of the government. I don't care if they don't understand how congress works. All I care is that when someone says "should we have a tax on X to pay for Y" that they have an opinion. It doesn't matter if they understand anything so long as they understand what's being asked and how they feel about it. That's all that matters.
__________________
Jack Faire
Friend
Father
Smartass
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 02:19 AM.


vBulletin skins developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.