The Edleman Trust Barometer for 2017 is very telling and the findings are most disturbing. Richard Edleman, the President and CEO of Edleman opens the report, speaking of 2016, by saying "It has been a year of unimaginable upheaval."
His context is clear. He notes incumbent or elected heads in 5 of the top 10 economies have been "deposed or defeated," including the U.S.A, U.K, Brazil, Italy and South Korea. He goes further to note populists candidates are "leading or growing" in elections pending in France and Germany.
The 2017 version of the Edleman Trust Barometer found that 2/3 of the countries surveyed found under 50% of people a now "distrusters...in mainstream institutions of business, government, media and NGOs...to do what is right." This is put at the feet of "aftershocks from the stunning meltdown of the global economy" with "origins in the Great Recession of 2008."
Now `...only 15% of the general population believe the present systems is working, while 53% do not and 32% are uncertain.` This is fertile ground for populists movement to gain momentum based on fear for personal safety, a better life for one`s family, an erosion of social values, immigration and an accelerating pace of change.
The far left and far right are both rejecting globalization based free trade, fearing innovation as automation is replacing lower-skilled jobs, deregulation, centralization of power and wealth in elites and multinational corporations. More than 75% of the well informed and the general population both ``...agree the system is biased against regular people and favors the rich and powerful. Even the best educated, best informed and best-paid citizens have lost faith in the system.
The loss of belief in leaders in government or business to affect meaningful change is greater than the erosion of the institutions they head. Belief in the credibility of peers, folks like me, are equal to academics and technical experts, and far and away more credible than CEOs and government officials.
The mass population is 85% but on 45% of them trust their national institutions of government, business, media and NGOs. In the mass population, a majority in 20 of the 28 countries surveyed distrust their institutions. The informed population is 15% of the total and 60%of then trust their national institutions.
This is not a sustainable set of circumstances for positive progress. Incompetence, corruption and divided polarized hyper-partisan government are core beliefs of the majority of citizens. This can only lead to a massive collapse of societies, economies and democratic institutions if not corrected...and quickly!