What we do at Public Agenda, in listening to Americans’ concerns, is choose a starting point to help leaders and citizens navigate complex issues, find common ground and partner on solutions that can lead to more fair, effective and inclusive systems.
“This public funk will be hard to dispel,” wrote Dan Yankelovich, Public Agenda’s co-founder, in a blog post nearly three years ago.
“What worries me is the root cause of the public funk. People see dysfunction virtually everywhere but don’t understand what’s causing it, and that combination is leading to a deepening public pessimism,” he said.
The dark public mood that he describes is a result of mounting frustration, dwindling trust and a lack of opportunities which seemingly show no signs of improving.
It’s a refrain we heard in focus groups we conducted across the country. Again and again, people drew a straight line between dysfunctional and disempowering politics and their limited economic prospects.
Back in September 2014, Dan wrote:
Americans clearly state they believe our political system is broken. Suspicion also exists that our health care system is out of control, our criminal justice system is twisted and distorted, our K-12 education system isn’t working as it should, our core business values are wrong-headed and even our higher education system has started to fail us
These suspicions are not unfounded. It has to be evident to thoughtful Americans that some fundamental flaw is distorting all aspects of American life. .
Dan elaborated in another blog that
…conventional political and economic solutions won’t put us back on the right track.
What we do at Public Agenda, in listening to these concerns, is choose a starting point to help leaders and citizens navigate complex issues, find common ground and partner on solutions that can lead to more fair, effective and inclusive systems.
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