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'Trust gap' widens as Davos summit opens

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By Atack Patrick
'Trust gap' widens as Davos summit opens

<p>The majority of people no longer believe that the economic and political systems work in their favour, a new report reveals. </p> <p>The annual Edelman Trust Barometer shows that in 2017 “there’s a sense that the system is broken”, according to Richard Edelman, of the marketing firm that organised the research. </p> <p>The ‘Trust Gap’ – the gap between the level of trust demonstrated by what the Edelman Trust Barometer calls the ‘Informed public’ and the level of trust the general public say they have – is now at its widest mark: a 15-point gap. </p> <p>The so-called ‘informed public’ makes up only 15 percent of the global population, and is described as ‘college educated’ and in the top 25 percent of household income per age group. </p> <p>In the year after anti-establishment votes won in the UK, the Philippines, and perhaps most obviously in the US, only 41 percent of people have confidence in the way governments work. </p> <p>But it’s not only governments that are affected. With ‘post-truth’ currently the Oxford English Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’, only 43 percent say they trust the media. </p> <p>Businesses fair slightly better, at 52 percent, but scandals involving fuel emissions which started with Volkswagen and have since <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2017/01/13/fiat-chrysler-and-renault-protest-innocence-over-emissions">spread</a> and the Samsung phone furore have clearly affected trust in the private sector. As a comparison, global trust in businesses was <a href="https://www.edelman.com/assets/uploads/2014/01/2009-Trust-Barometer-Global-Deck.pdf">recorded</a> at 62 percent in 2009, a year after the financial crash and recession.</p> <p>“The most shocking statistic of this whole study”, Edelman says, “is that half the people who are high-income, college-educated and well-informed also believe the system doesn’t work.”</p> <p>The news comes as 3,000 business, political and academic leaders meet at in the Swiss alpine city of Davos for the World Economic Forum. </p> <p>This gathering of global elites could be more nervous than previous editions, with the rise of populist leaders globally, and this survey will only add to the anti-establishment feeling as elections approach in both France and Germany. </p> <p>The annual survey, which has been running since 2001, took the opinions of 33,000 people in 28 countries from October 13 to November 16 2016.</p>