WATPA: United We Stand ... on Technology

From: Norman Jacknis <norm@jacknis.com>
Date: Tue May 11 2010 - 01:42:41 EDT

United We Stand ... on Technology

by Jodie T. Allen, Senior Editor, Pew Research Center
May 5, 2010

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You may take some whacks at Goldman Sachs but don't lay a hand on my PCs or
Macs! That at least is the message one might take from a perusal of
Americans' judgments about who and what are having positive or negative
effects on the way things are going in the country today.

A March
ger-partisan-rancor> Pew Research Center survey found public satisfaction
with the state of the nation continuing to decline while anger and
frustration with the federal government mounts. Nor are the feds the sole
target of public distrust. Numerous other institutions share in its
opprobrium. On the scale of positive judgments by American adults, banks and
other financial institutions, large corporations, labor unions -- even the
news media and entertainment industry -- all score in the 20s or low 30s.

  <http://pewresearch.org/assets/publications/1569-9.gif> That institutions
of higher education, churches and other religious organizations and that
perennial favorite "small business" earn higher ratings is perhaps
unsurprising. More striking is that at the top of the popularity list --
essentially tied with small business for first place in making a positive
difference while outranking even religious institutions -- are technology

Nor is that positive rating primarily the result of the enthusiasm of young
and relatively young adults, the first adopters and overwhelming users of
new technology. While fully 80% of those under age 30 express positive views
of the tech sector, the fans of technology firms are well distributed across
the age spectrum including about two-thirds (66%) of those in the 50-64 age
bracket and more than half (52%) of those ages 65 and older. Even among the
elderly, non-positive evaluations of tech companies are about as likely to
be a non-response (19%) as a negative rating (23%).

Among demographic groups men are more likely than women to have warm
feelings about the technology industry (73% vs. 63%) . Male enthusiasm
extends across the age range with fully 68% of men ages 50 and above saying
that tech companies have a positive effect on the way things are going in
the country. Education also plays some role in this evaluation: 75% of
college grads and 70% of those with some college experience take a positive
view compared with about six in ten of those with lesser education
attainment. Greater affluence also appears to stimulate more favorable views
-- 82% of those with annual incomes of $100,000 or more give a thumbs-up to
tech companies compared with numbers in the 60% range for lesser income
categories. Among regions, only in the South do somewhat fewer (63%) see
tech firms exerting a positive influence.

Unlike in the case of government and many other institutions, views of
technology companies are virtually invariant across political party lines,
ideological leanings or voter status. But, as in the case of some other
institutions tested, some carryover of contentment is apparent. Among those
who say they are "angry" with the federal government only 59% say that
technology companies have a positive influence compared with 70% of those
"frustrated" and 73% of the "content" with government group. And while
nearly eight in ten (78%) of those who are satisfied with the current
direction of the nation also cast a favorable eye on the tech sector, only
64% of the nationally dissatisfied share that view. Of course one cannot
conclude from this that loving your laptop makes you love the state of the


Received on Tue May 11 01:42:45 2010

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