*Populations tending to favor one political persuasion are happier when a representative party isin charge, but given the alternations in political control over the years, this does not explain thelong-term decline in public support.-Changing values*People are becoming less materialistic and want the government to address environmental andcivil rights concerns. People are more libertarian and more resistant to authority and patriotism ingeneral.*Governments have been slow to adapt.*This explains decreases in patriotism.-Social Capital*Social and geographic mobility have weakened the ties between individuals and groups.*Group membership is needed to build skills necessary for participatory government.*More group membership correlates with higher approval. But this does not indicate causality.*Interpersonal trust facilitates government participation.-Media effects*The media focuses on scandals, failures and blunders, promoting a poor image of government.*There is no empirical evidence that watching more news media hurts approval.
Levels of interpersonal trust and postmaterial values have the strongest correlations withsupport.
Government performance influences public trust and institutional confidence.Membership in voluntary groups and high interpersonal trust increases social capital andimproves authority support.The author thinks the rise of postmaterialism is the greatest factor.There is no single explanation for the decline in public trust.Chapter 4: Social Change and the Accumulation of Incremental EffectsPolitical trust has declined across all races, genders, and age cohorts.Americans with more education have become more mistrustful while the less educated still likegovernment. This reversed the relationship that existed before the 1960’s.This effect is more pronounced since higher education has become more accessible over thesame period.This has occurred across nationalities.This could lead to a long-term decline in trust into the future. It is problematic since the well-educated youth will someday have to take over and run the system.The radical student movements of the 1960’s and 70’s began the trend. Those students wantedmore social change faster than the government could deliver it. Today, the old hippies remainmistrustful.Older, more trusting citizens died out and were replaced with younger, more critical ones,explaining the overall drop.The groups that have benefited the most from democratic government are now its worst critics.There are expectations for new changes and greater government openness to citizens. Younger people thus dislike the focus and slow nature of democracy.Loss of support is not coming from marginalized groups.Chapter 5: Value Change and Political Support3