Lack of Trust Translates Into Perceived Need for Regulation
Some 52 percent of Americans believe government regulation of business usually does more harm than good, while 44 percent believe it is necessary to protect the public interest, according to the 2013 Public Affairs Pulse survey.
The survey also took a look at opinions toward the level of government regulation. Most Americans believe there is either too much government regulation of business (35%) or just the right amount (38%). Only a quarter believe there is not enough regulation taking place.
However, when it comes to the regulation of specific industries, the less trustworthy the public perceives an industry to be, the more likely it is to say there’s too little regulation of that industry. For example, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and banks/financial institutions are ranked as less trustworthy than others. These are also the top three on the list of industries that are considered under-regulated.
Yet this relationship does not seem to work in the other direction. Higher levels of trust do not drive down perceptions of the need for regulation. Rather, those who find an industry more trustworthy are more likely to say it has the right amount of regulation.