Public opinion

Why is Citibank so dang popular? And other mysteries from the Pew survey

Andrew Gelman Jul 27 '08

Here’s some wacky data on social class and views of corporations. In addition to the mysterious popularity of Citibank and Microsoft, here are some other interesting findings:

80% of Democrats and Independents were concerned about business collecting personal information and 65% were concerned about government. Among Republicans, 60% were concerned about business collecting the information and only 40% concerned about government.

Also, people with higher income and higher education have “less concern about government data collection, while lower income is associated with higher concern. Income and education did not affect opinions about businesses collecting data.” The bit about higher status people trusting the government more makes sense and is consistent with other survey results I’ve seen, but I’m surprised that there isn’t a similar pattern regarding concern about businesses.

P.S. I’m not saying that people should hate Citibank, Microsoft, etc.; I’m just surprised that the average American views them so positively. Some of the differences by social class and party ID are interesting too.