(p. A16) . . . Suzanne Mettler, a political scientist at Cornell University [was] perplexed by the trends that Americans have come to dislike government more and more, even as they have increasingly relied on its assistance through programs other than welfare. Americans are far less likely today than 40 years ago to say in surveys that they trust the government to do what is right or to look out for people like them.
. . .
People who strongly dislike welfare were significantly less likely to feel government had provided them with opportunities, or to feel government officials cared what they thought, . . .
“Their attitudes about welfare end up being a microcosm for them of government,” Ms. Mettler said. “They look at how they think welfare operates, and if they see that as unfair, they think: ‘This is basically what government is. Government does favors for undeserving people, and it doesn’t help people like me who are working hard and playing by the rules.’ “
For the full commentary, see:
Emily Badger. “The Outsize Hold Of the Word ‘Welfare’ On the Public’s Mind.” The New York Times (Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018): A16.
(Note: ellipses, and bracketed word, added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Aug. 6, 2018, and has the title “The Outsize Hold of the Word ‘Welfare’ on the Public Imagination.” The page of my National Edition was A16; the online edition says the page of the New York Edition was A14.)
Mettler’s research is more fully described in:
Mettler, Suzanne. The Government-Citizen Disconnect. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2018.