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Comment: The Political Relevance of Trust in Government

Comment: The Political Relevance of Trust in Government <jats:p>“In God We Trust: Everyone Else Pays Cash.” America's political leaders should not pretend to godliness; no one will be fooled. According to prestigious biennial national surveys, the government's credit rating has steadily declined as a result of a disastrous foreign investment and growing consumer resistance to its “line” of products. Neither the country's present management nor its most prominent rivals inspire public confidence. How, then, can the political system rebuild its depleted reserves of political trust, the basis of future growth and stability? Will “one good season,” better advertising, new blood in the boardroom or product innovation be sufficient? Or is a drastic restructuring of the regime's organization and operating procedures the only alternative to liquidation?</jats:p><jats:p>Arthur Miller's article, “Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964–70” makes an important contribution to our understanding of the sharp increase in political cynicism among the American public. Miller evokes the language of the corporation balance-sheet and the imagery of <jats:italic>Executive Suite</jats:italic> by suggesting that the cumulative outcome of exchanges between political authorities on the one hand and citizens on the other determines the level of public trust in government. Political elites “produce” policies; in exchange, they receive trust from citizens satisfied with these policies and cynicism from those who are disappointed. Since Miller defines both policy satisfaction and political trust in attitudinal terms, the exchange transactions he records are purely psychological in nature. Operationally, dissatisfied respondents are those whose own policy preferences are discrepant with their perceptions of the positions advocated by the party controlling the presidency.</jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Political Science Review CrossRef

Comment: The Political Relevance of Trust in Government

American Political Science Review , Volume 68 (3): 973-988 – Sep 1, 1974

Comment: The Political Relevance of Trust in Government


Abstract

<jats:p>“In God We Trust: Everyone Else Pays Cash.” America's political leaders should not pretend to godliness; no one will be fooled. According to prestigious biennial national surveys, the government's credit rating has steadily declined as a result of a disastrous foreign investment and growing consumer resistance to its “line” of products. Neither the country's present management nor its most prominent rivals inspire public confidence. How, then, can the political system rebuild its depleted reserves of political trust, the basis of future growth and stability? Will “one good season,” better advertising, new blood in the boardroom or product innovation be sufficient? Or is a drastic restructuring of the regime's organization and operating procedures the only alternative to liquidation?</jats:p><jats:p>Arthur Miller's article, “Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964–70” makes an important contribution to our understanding of the sharp increase in political cynicism among the American public. Miller evokes the language of the corporation balance-sheet and the imagery of <jats:italic>Executive Suite</jats:italic> by suggesting that the cumulative outcome of exchanges between political authorities on the one hand and citizens on the other determines the level of public trust in government. Political elites “produce” policies; in exchange, they receive trust from citizens satisfied with these policies and cynicism from those who are disappointed. Since Miller defines both policy satisfaction and political trust in attitudinal terms, the exchange transactions he records are purely psychological in nature. Operationally, dissatisfied respondents are those whose own policy preferences are discrepant with their perceptions of the positions advocated by the party controlling the presidency.</jats:p>

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Publisher
CrossRef
ISSN
0003-0554
DOI
10.2307/1959141
Publisher site
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Abstract

<jats:p>“In God We Trust: Everyone Else Pays Cash.” America's political leaders should not pretend to godliness; no one will be fooled. According to prestigious biennial national surveys, the government's credit rating has steadily declined as a result of a disastrous foreign investment and growing consumer resistance to its “line” of products. Neither the country's present management nor its most prominent rivals inspire public confidence. How, then, can the political system rebuild its depleted reserves of political trust, the basis of future growth and stability? Will “one good season,” better advertising, new blood in the boardroom or product innovation be sufficient? Or is a drastic restructuring of the regime's organization and operating procedures the only alternative to liquidation?</jats:p><jats:p>Arthur Miller's article, “Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964–70” makes an important contribution to our understanding of the sharp increase in political cynicism among the American public. Miller evokes the language of the corporation balance-sheet and the imagery of <jats:italic>Executive Suite</jats:italic> by suggesting that the cumulative outcome of exchanges between political authorities on the one hand and citizens on the other determines the level of public trust in government. Political elites “produce” policies; in exchange, they receive trust from citizens satisfied with these policies and cynicism from those who are disappointed. Since Miller defines both policy satisfaction and political trust in attitudinal terms, the exchange transactions he records are purely psychological in nature. Operationally, dissatisfied respondents are those whose own policy preferences are discrepant with their perceptions of the positions advocated by the party controlling the presidency.</jats:p>

Journal

American Political Science ReviewCrossRef

Published: Sep 1, 1974

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