A new poll shows Americans care more about money and less about religion and patriotism than they did a quarter century ago, and a New York Times columnist calls the decline in the extent to which Americans care about traditional values “startling.”
According to the findings of the newly released Wall Street Journal poll, 43 percent of respondents cited money as very important, a 12 percentage point jump from 1998.
Patriotism has tumbled from being a top priority among 70 percent of respondent to 38 percent today, and religion has fallen almost as much as a top priority, from 62 percent in 1998 to 39 percent today.
The poll was conducted by NORC, a research organization at the University of Chicago.
Prioritization of money is bipartisan, according to the poll, with 45 percent of both Democrats and Republicans cited it as very important.
In 1998, 70 percent of Americans said patriotism was very important to them. This year only 38 percent said so. In 1998, 62 percent said religion was very important to them. This year only 39 percent said so.
The poll also saw big declines in the extent to which people value having children and community involvement.
The WSJ poll tracks with similar polling conducted by Gallup and and the Pew Research Center.
“The declines in traditional values are startling,” NYT columnist Peter Coy wrote.