24 January 2020

The Edelman Trust Barometer has a strong elite bias (for example, its definition of “informed public” includes college education — fair enough, maybe — but also “in top 25% of household income per age group” for some reason) but perhaps that makes its 2020 findings more interesting. Globally, 56% of people agreed that “Capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world” (50% in Australia). This is fairly consistent across age categories, genders and income brackets. 66% of people “do not have confidence that our current leaders will be able to successfully address our country’s challenges”. 82% of people believe businesses have a duty to “pay everyone a decent wage, even if that means I must pay more”, but only 31% trust business to actually do so. So if people agree that there is a problem, and might be willing to hear about solutions, who can influence them? Well, 33% trust government officials, 36% trust journalists, 47% trust CEOs and business analysts — but 54% trust “regular employees” and 61% trust “a person like yourself”.