Americans have a love-hate affair with business. They believe
that business is fundamental to America's success. At the same
time, they distrust business leaders, believe the rich usually get
richer and the poor poorer, and are convinced that dishonesty and
corruption certainly exist in business.
For most Americans, the causes of corporate malfeasance and
their consequences remain vague. Do not expect the masses to decry
the Bush administration's energy ties. Even though 63 percent of
Americans told Gallup in January 2002 that big business has "too
much influence" over the Bush administration, their reaction seems
confined to resigned cynicism, not mobilization.
Concern over an employee retirement account is most likely to
be a lasting effect from the Enron scandal. People may have
adjusted to the notion of the disappearing pension plan, but most
expected stock option schemes and 401(k)s to make up for it.