In the aftermath of the federal shutdown and congressional fight over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, a survey finds that a majority of Americans would turn to family and friends rather than the government for help if a major catastrophe struck.
Nearly nine in 10 said it is likely the world will experience a major catastrophe, and about a third expect it will occur in “less than a year from now,” according to the online survey of more than 1,100 Americans 18 and older, conducted Sept. 27-Oct. 2 by the National Geographic Channel and Kelton Research.
In case of such an emergency, 57% said they would prefer to turn to family, friends or neighbors for help. Just 14% said FEMA or another government agency would be “the most help.”
Eric Uslaner, a professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland-College Park, said the nation is experiencing the lowest level of public trust in government it has seen. “This has been the least productive Congress on record in terms of number of laws passed,” he said.
Also contributing to the level of distrust, Uslaner said, is that the Democrats and Republicans are “more concerned with attacking each other than fixing each others’ problems.” In the past, sitting down and negotiating was more common in politics, he noted.
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