AirTalk for December 2, 2013

Mistrust growing among Americans, poll finds

Pick Pocket

William Davis/Getty Images

circa 1940: A pickpocket at work in New York. How much do you trust your fellow American?

You might try to live by the old adage, "love thy neighbor," but do you trust him? According to a new AP-GfK poll, trust among Americans is waning to record low levels. Now only one-third of Americans think most people can be trusted, down from 50 percent in 1972.

The trend is troubling to social scientists, who say "social trust" helps make a cooperative and productive society. On the other hand, they say mistrust breeds corruption and leads to a less open society.

What's behind our growing mistrust in one another? Can this downward trend be reversed?  How does technology and income inequality factor into this decline?

Jennifer Agiesta, Director of Polling for the Associated Press



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