Shamelessly ripping the graphics;
|Public perception of federal U.S. budget deficit development|
|Actual development of federal U.S. budget|
A whopping 91.4 % +/- a few are wrong about such a basic, central and much-debated figure.
This is eerily reminiscent of similar polls regarding Saddam Hussein's (non-) involvement in 9/11, about whether WMD have been found in Iraq et cetera.
I'm not trying to paint U.S.Americans as exceptionally poorly informed (maybe all nations are this poorly informed), but such stark examples are simply irresistible as examples to shine some light on a broader problem:
Published opinion forms public opinion which in turn correlates with voting behaviour and thus allocation and legitimation of power. The whole thing gets rotten if the root is rotten.
Also: Maybe the dangerousness, volatility and aggressiveness of countries is more dependent on the nature of its political "news" and opinion media than on notional government ideology, political system, history et cetera?
P.S.: This was originally a much, much longer draft, but I spared you the long rant about shitty media in Germany..