In recent years Americans have been feeling less satisfied with their amount of freedom. In fact, Gallup recently released a poll that reveals this trend.
The poll shows that 79 percent of Americans are satisfied with their freedom to choose what to do with their lives—down from 91 percent in 2006. At the same time, Americans’ dissatisfaction with the freedom to choose what to do with their lives rose from 9 percent to 21 percent.
Sadly, the U.S. wasn’t even close to being in the top 10 countries with the highest level of satisfaction with their amount of freedom. It came in 36th. But it tied with Spain (9th) on the list of countries with the greatest level of decline in satisfaction with freedom. Other notable countries include Egypt (34 percent decline), Greece (30 percent), and Pakistan (13 percent).The U.S. isn’t in good company here.
Gallup notes that there are a few potential reasons for this decline. America’s economy has been sputtering for quite some time. In 2006, 59 percent of Americans thought that corruption within the government was on the rise; in 2013, the number jumped to 79 percent. Recent scandals revolving around the IRS, the NSA, and Benghazi have surely played a role in the uptick. Increased cronyism could also be to blame for Americans’ lack of trust in their government. Regardless of the exact cause, Americans are increasingly on edge regarding their freedom.
However, there is still reason to celebrate this Independence Day. America is a great country with a strong citizenry and culture and a rich history. The key to fixing what ails the U.S. isn’t rocket science. America simply needs more freedom, whether in the marketplace or in the individual lives of Americans. Freedom is why America was founded, and freedom is why it will continue to succeed.