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Reclaiming the Common Good

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A new research study sponsored by the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress finds that American voters are increasingly worried about rising materialism, self-interest, and unethical behavior in our society. They strongly desire a government that focuses on the common good and basic decency and dignity of all Americans.

The research includes consultations and interviews with diverse religious leaders, 10 focus groups in four U.S. cities, and a national survey of registered voters. The poll, conducted by Financial Dynamics, reveals that progressive moral themes about public life have deep resonance with large segments of the American population. Voters are deeply concerned about rising materialism and self-interest in American society. They want government to be focused on the common good and greatly value an emphasis on the basic decency and dignity of all people.

  • 71% of voters strongly agree that “Americans are becoming too materialistic,” including 71% of Democrats, 70% of Independents, and 72% of Republicans. (92% total agree.)
  • 68% of voters strongly agree that the “government should be committed to the common good and put the public’s interest above the privileges of the few.” (85% total agree.)
  • 73% of Democrats, 62% of Independents, and 67% of Republicans strongly agree with a common good focus for government. A similar percentage of voters (68%) strongly agree that “government should uphold the basic decency and dignity of all and take greater steps to help the poor and disadvantaged in America.” (89% total agree.)

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Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
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Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
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Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
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TV: Lindsay Hamilton
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Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org