In Depth: Topics A to Z

Big Business

Trend: In general, do you think there is too much, too little, or about the right amount of government regulation of business and industry?

Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about the size and influence of major corporations?

Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about -- [The size and influence of major corporations]?\n\n(Asked of those dissatisfied) Would you like to see major corporations have more influence in this nation, less influence, or keep their influence as it is now?

Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about government regulation of businesses and industries?

Next, we’d like to know how you feel about the state of the nation in each of the following areas. For each one, please say whether you are -- very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied. If you don’t have enough information about a particular subject to rate it, just say so. How about -- [Government regulation of businesses and industries]?\n\n(Asked of those dissatisfied) Would you like to see government regulation of businesses and industries increased, decreased, or remain about the same?

In your opinion, which of the following will be the biggest threat to the country in the future -- big business, big labor or big government?

Trend: Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one -- a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little? Small business

Turning now to businesses, how would you rate the job large U.S. companies are doing at each of the following -- very good, good, poor, or very poor? How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

As far as you know, which do you think makes greater contributions to developing new products and technologies in the U.S. -- [ROTATED: big businesses (or) small businesses]?


As I read off each of the following, please tell me whether you think it has too much power, about the right amount of power, or not enough power. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

2011 Mar 25-27
sorted by "too much"

Too
much

About
right

Not
enough

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

Lobbyists

71

13

8

8

Major corporations

67

21

9

3

Banks and financial institutions

67

23

8

2

The federal government in Washington

58

30

9

3

Labor unions

43

28

24

4

The government in your state

34

49

15

2

The courts, legal system and judges

34

49

14

3

Organized religion and churches

25

46

24

4

The municipal or local government where you live

22

53

21

3

The military

14

53

28

4

Do you think big business does -- or does not -- have too much influence over the decisions made by the Bush administration?

Yes, does

No, does not

No opinion

%

%

%

2006 Feb 28-Mar 1

73

23

4

2005 Aug 28-30

70

25

5

2004 Oct 9-10 ^

61

35

4

2002 Jul 26-28 ^

69

24

7

2002 Jun 28-30 ^

63

32

5

2002 Jan 11-14

63

31

6

2001 Jul 10-11

67

26

7

2001 Apr 20-22

63

30

7

^ Asked of a half sample

Thinking for a moment about the corporate scandals that happened earlier this year at companies like Enron and WorldCom, how effective do you think the measures taken by Congress and federal regulators have been to fix these problems -- very effective, somewhat effective, not too effective, or not effective at all?

Very
effective

Somewhat
effective

Not too
effective

Not
effective
at all

No
opinion

2002 Sep 20-22

6%

40

34

16

4

How much confidence do you have that the information you get about a company's finances from its official records will be accurate -- a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or none at all?

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Not
much

None
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

7%

37

35

19

2

Just your best guess, please say how important a reason [RANDOM ORDER] is/are for the current state of the economy. Is it/Are they -- one of the most important reasons, a major reason but not the most important, a minor reason, or not a reason at all?

Greed and corruption among corporate executives

One of
the most
important

Major
reason

Minor
reason

Not a
reason
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

28%

49

17

3

3

President George W. Bush's economic policies

One of
the most
important

Major
reason

Minor
reason

Not a
reason
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

10%

36

36

12

6

Former President Bill Clinton's economic policies

One of
the most
important

Major
reason

Minor
reason

Not a
reason
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

11%

27

36

19

7

The September 11th terrorist attacks

One of
the most
important

Major
reason

Minor
reason

Not a
reason
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

24%

48

20

5

3

The performance of the stock market

One of
the most
important

Major
reason

Minor
reason

Not a
reason
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

13%

53

26

5

3

The normal business cycle

One of
the most
important

Major
reason

Minor
reason

Not a
reason
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

14%

40

32

7

7

The collapse of many Internet and computer companies in the last few years

One of
the most
important

Major
reason

Minor
reason

Not a
reason
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

10%

42

36

7

5

Would you say top executives of a larger corporation taking improper actions to help themselves at the expense of the corporation -- is very widespread, is somewhat widespread, only happens occasionally, or never happens in the business world?

Very
widespread

Somewhat
widespread

Happens
occa-
sionally

Never
happens

No
opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

43%

39

14

1

3

Do you think the problem of corporate corruption has gotten worse in the past few years, or has it always been like this?

Gotten worse

Always like this

No opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

47%

50

3

Do you think that new legislation and increased regulation of business can have a major effect on correcting the problem of corporate corruption, or not?

Yes, can

No, cannot

No opinion

2002 Jul 29-31

66%

30

4

Do you think George W. Bush is -- or is not -- doing enough to deal with the problem of corporate corruption?


Yes, is


No, is not

Doing too
much (vol.)

No
opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

42%

51

1

6

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Do you think corruption among top corporate executives is worse now than it was before President Bush took office, or not?

Yes, worse

No, not worse

No opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

31%

63

6

Do you think George W. Bush is more interested in -- [ROTATED: protecting the interests of ordinary Americans (or is he more interested in) protecting the interests of large corporations]?

[BASED ON 508 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B]

Ordinary
Americans

Large
corporations

No
opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

41%

48

11

2002 Jul 5-8 ^

47%

46

7

2002 Jun 28-30

53%

41

6

^ Asked of a full sample

Do you approve or disapprove of the way [ROTATED] are handling the issue of corporate corruption?

The Republicans in Congress

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

41%

44

15

The Democrats in Congress

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

42%

40

18

Do you think -- [ITEMS ROTATED] -- are more interested in -- [ROTATED: protecting the interests of ordinary Americans (or are they more interested in) protecting the interests of large corporations]?

[BASED ON 496 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A]

The Democrats in Congress

Ordinary
Americans

Large
corporations

No
opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

50%

36

14

2002 Jun 28-30

55%

36

9

The Republicans in Congress

Ordinary
Americans

Large
corporations

No
opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

25%

65

10

2002 Jun 28-30

30%

62

8

From what you have heard or read about George W. Bush's activities at Harken Energy Corporation, which of the following statements best describes your view of his actions in this matter -- [ROTATED: he did something illegal, he did something unethical but nothing illegal, or he did not do anything seriously wrong]?

[BASED ON 496 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A]

Something
illegal

Something
unethical but
not illegal

Did not do
anything
seriously
wrong

No
opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

7%

32

33

28

2002 Jul 9-11

10%

29

31

30

From what you have heard or read about Dick Cheney's activities at the Halliburton Company, which of the following statements best describes your view of his actions in this matter -- [ROTATED: he did something illegal, he did something unethical but nothing illegal, or he did not do anything seriously wrong]?

[BASED ON 508 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B]

Something
illegal

Something
unethical but
not illegal

Did not do
anything
seriously
wrong

No
opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

13%

31

23

33

When a large corporation is audited by one of the country's major accounting firms, how confident are you that the reports by the accounting firm provide an accurate assessment of the corporation's financial situation? Are you -- very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not confident at all?

Very
confident

Somewhat
confident

Not too
confident

Not
confident
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

3%

32

41

22

2

2002 Feb 8-10

7%

49

31

11

2

Do you think the ways that large corporations are audited need -- [ROTATED: a complete overhaul, major reforms, minor reforms, (or) no reforms]?

Complete
overhaul

Major
reforms

Minor
reforms

No
reforms

No
opinion

2002 Jul 26-28

28%

43

22

3

4

2002 Feb 8-10

17%

39

35

4

5

How closely have you followed the news about George W. Bush's proposals to deal with corporate accounting scandals -- very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all?

[BASED ON 508 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A]

Very
closely

Somewhat
closely

Not too
closely

Not
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 9-11

19%

39

24

17

1

Overall, do you think Bush's proposals will -- or will not -- be effective in helping to prevent corporate accounting scandals in the future?

[BASED ON 508 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A]

Yes, will be

No, will not be

No opinion

2002 Jul 9-11

43%

39

18

How closely have you followed the news about George W. Bush's involvement in alleged accounting irregularities and insider stock trading while he was a director at Harken Energy Corporation in Texas in the early 1990s -- very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all?

[BASED ON 496 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B]

Very
closely

Somewhat
closely

Not too
closely

Not
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jul 9-11

12%^

26

26

35

1

^ Asked of a half sample

Which one of the following issues will be most important to you when you vote for Congress this November -- [ROTATED: the economy, education, making sure large corporations act responsibly, prescription drugs for older Americans, Social Security, terrorism, (or) the Stock Market]?

2002 Jun

%

The economy

26

Terrorism

22

Education

19

Social Security

11

Prescription drugs for older Americans

10

Making sure large corporations act responsibly

7

The stock market

1

Other/None of these (vol.)

2

No opinion

2

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Which comes closer to your view about the laws that regulate corporations in the United States -- [ROTATED: the current laws are not sufficient and new laws are needed, (or) the current laws are sufficient but need to be enforced more strictly]?

Not sufficient,
new laws needed

Sufficient,
enforce
more strictly

No
opinion

2002 Jun 28-30

27%

69

4

As you may know, several large corporations such as Enron and WorldCom have admitted to misconduct regarding their companies' finances. Which of these statements do you think best describes this situation for the country as a whole -- [ROTATED: it is a crisis, it is a major problem for the country but is not a crisis, it is a minor problem for the country, (or)it is not a problem for the country at all]?


Crisis

Major
problem

Minor
problem

Not a
problem

No
opinion

2002 Jun 28-30

20%

57

17

3

3

Just your best guess, how many more cases of misconduct by large corporations do you think there will be in the next year -- [ROTATED: many more cases, a few more cases, or no more cases]?

Many more

A few more

No more

No opinion

2002 Jun 28-30

34%

61

3

2

How confident are you that George W. Bush will take effective action to make sure large corporations act responsibly? Are you -- very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

Very
confident

Somewhat
confident

Not too
confident

Not at all
confident

No
opinion

2002 Jun 28-30

25%

40

22

11

2

To what extent do you think that the decrease in the government regulation of corporations is to blame for the recent scandals involving corporations -- a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all?

Great
deal

Moderate
amount

Not
much

Not
at all

No
opinion

2002 Jun 28-30

26%

44

18

8

4

Do you blame the -- [ROTATED: the Republicans (or the) Democrats] -- more for the decrease in the government regulation of corporations?

[BASED ON 706 ADULTS WHO BLAME THE DECREASE IN GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF CORPORATIONS FOR THE RECENT SCANDALS]

Republicans

Democrats

Both/
Neither (vol.)

No
opinion

2002 Jun 28-30

43%

28

22

7

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Do the recent scandals involving large corporations make you less likely to invest in the stock market, or not?

Yes, less likely

No, not less likely

No opinion

2002 Jun 28-30

58%

39

3

Next, we'd like to get your overall opinion of some companies in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this company -- or if you have never heard of it. First, ... How about ... [ITEM A, THEN ITEMS B-C ROTATED]?

Enron, the energy corporation

Favorable

Unfavorable

No opinion/
No answer

2002 Apr 22-24

8%

74

18

Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm

Favorable

Unfavorable

No opinion/
No answer

2002 Apr 22-24

11%

49

40

As you may know, Congress' investigative arm, the General Accounting Office, says it will file a lawsuit to force the White House to release information about the consultations with business leaders by Vice President Cheney's energy task force. Do you think Vice President Cheney should -- or should not -- turn over information to Congress about the task force meetings?

Should

Should not

No opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

69%

26

5

Which of the following comes closer to your view about the Enron situation -- [ROTATED: it shows that the U.S. needs new laws to regulate the management of large corporations, (or) it shows that the U.S. needs to enforce existing laws better, but does not need new laws]?

New laws

Enforce existing
laws better

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

36%

58

6

How closely have you been following the news concerning the Enron energy corporation -- very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not at all?

Very
closely

Somewhat
closely

Not too
closely

Not
at all

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

23%

47

22

8

*

2002 Jan 11-14

18%

37

26

18

1

* Less than 0.5%

How important an issue do you think the Enron situation is to the nation -- very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

Very
important

Somewhat
important

Not too
important

Not
important
at all

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

Enron situation

2002 Feb 8-10

52

37

6

2

3

Clinton pardons ^

2001 Mar 9-11

33

30

17

17

3

Whitewater

1995 Jul 7-9

20

25

24

25

6

1994 Aug 8-9

17

26

27

25

5

1994 Jul 15-17

16

34

26

22

2

1994 Mar 7-8

24

33

26

12

5

^ WORDING: How important an issue do you think these pardons are to the nation -- very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

† WORDING: How important an issue do you think Whitewater is to the nation -- very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

Which of the following statements best describes your view of the actions of executives of the Enron energy corporation -- [ROTATED: they did something illegal, they did something unethical but nothing illegal, or they did not do anything seriously wrong]?

Something
illegal

Something
unethical but
not illegal

Did not do
anything
seriously
wrong

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

65%

26

2

7

2002 Jan 25-27

65%

17

2

16

2002 Jan 11-14

42%

29

6

23

Which of the following statements best describes your view of members of the Bush administration's involvement with the Enron corporation -- [ROTATED: they did something illegal, they did something unethical but nothing illegal, or they did not do anything seriously wrong]?

Something
illegal

Something
unethical but
not illegal

Did not do
anything
seriously
wrong

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

15%

43

28

14

2002 Jan 25-27 ^

15%

32

28

25

2002 Jan 11-14

10%

36

28

26

^ Asked of half sample

Which of the following statements best describes your view of the Republicans in Congress involvement with the Enron corporation -- [ROTATED: they did something illegal, they did something unethical but nothing illegal, or they did not do anything seriously wrong]?

Something
illegal

Something
unethical but
not illegal

Did not do
anything
seriously
wrong

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

13%

41

30

16

Which of the following statements best describes your view of the Democrats in Congress involvement with the Enron corporation -- [ROTATED: they did something illegal, they did something unethical but nothing illegal, or they did not do anything seriously wrong]?

Something
illegal

Something
unethical but
not illegal

Did not do
anything
seriously
wrong

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

11%

39

34

16

2002 Jan 25-27 ^

16%

35

18

31

^ Asked of half sample

Which of the following do you think is the most important issue in the Enron situation -- [ROTATED: the fact that Enron contributed millions of dollars to politicians and may have expected favorable treatment in return, the fact that the actions of Enron executives led a large corporation to suddenly collapse and go bankrupt (or) the fact that many Enron employees lost their jobs and their retirement savings while Enron executives made millions]?

2002 Feb 8-10

%

The fact that Enron contributed millions of dollars to politicians and may have expected favorable treatment in return

9

The fact that the actions of Enron executives led a large corporation to suddenly collapse and go bankrupt

13

The fact that many Enron employees lost their jobs and their retirement savings while Enron executives made millions

63

All/Some (vol.)

10

None (vol.)

1

No opinion

4

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Do you think Congress should -- or should not -- investigate the contacts that members of the Bush administration had with Enron executives?

Should

Should not

No opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

82%

14

4

If you had to choose, would you say the problems associated with Enron involve -- [ROTATED: mostly the Republican Party (or do they involve) the Republican and Democratic Parties about equally]?

Mostly the
Republicans

Both parties
equally

Mostly the
Democrats
(vol.)

Neither
(vol.)

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

20%

65

1

2

12

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Which of the following comes closer to your view -- [ROTATED: the Bush administration is trying to cover up its contacts with Enron, (or) the Bush administration is cooperating as much as possible in letting the public know about its contacts with Enron]?

Trying to cover
up contacts

Cooperating as
much as possible

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

43%

47

10

Do you think the practices of Enron executives are -- [ROTATED: worse than what other business executives have done in the past (or are they) no worse than what other business executives have done in the past]?

[BASED ON 514 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A; ±5 PCT. PTS.]

Worse

No worse

No opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

42%

52

6

Thinking about the practices of the top executives at Enron, do you think similar practices also occur -- [ROTATED: at most other large corporations, at some, at only a few, or at no other large corporations]?

[BASED ON 487 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B; ±5 PCT. PTS.]

Most

Some

Only
a few

None

All (vol.)

No
opinion

2002 Feb 8-10

25%

50

19

1

1

4

(vol.) = Volunteered response

As you may know, Enron executives have made major donations to George W. Bush's presidential election campaign. Do you think Enron executives felt they would -- or would not -- get special treatment on policy issues in return for making these contributions?

[BASED ON 493 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A; ±4 PCT. PTS.]

Would

Would not

No opinion

2002 Jan 25-27

77%

15

8

Do you think Bush felt he would -- or would not -- owe Enron executives any special treatment on policy issues by accepting these contributions?

[BASED ON 493 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM A; ±5 PCT. PTS.]

Would

Would not

No opinion

2002 Jan 25-27

29%

59

12

As you may know, Enron executives have made major donations to election campaigns for some Democrats in Congress. Do you think Enron executives felt they would -- or would not -- get special treatment on policy issues in return for making these contributions?

[BASED ON 518 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B; ±4 PCT. PTS.]

Would

Would not

No opinion

2002 Jan 25-27

83%

8

9

Do you think these Democrats in Congress felt they would -- or would not -- owe Enron executives any special treatment on policy issues by accepting these contributions?

[BASED ON 518 NATIONAL ADULTS IN FORM B; ±5 PCT. PTS.]

Would

Would not

No opinion

2002 Jan 25-27

55%

33

12

Get Articles in Related Topics:


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/5248/Big-Business.aspx
Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030