THE MORAL OF THE STORY

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In October 2001, just after the horrific events of Sept. 11, Americans' opinion about the nation's morals and ethics position peaked, measuring 57 on an ongoing moral and ethics index* created by market research firm TIPP, a unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, on behalf of Investor's Business Daily and The Christian Science Monitor. Just eight months later, in June 2002, Americans' feelings about the moral and ethical direction of the country had declined a full 14 points, dipping to 43.

However, when one compares the index with what it was last year, overall optimism about the country's moral and ethical fiber is actually up 5 points, thanks primarily to the sustained positive attitude of America's youth. In June 2002, the moral and ethics index measurement for those ages 18 to 24 was a solid 57-13 points higher than a year ago. By comparison, the moral and ethics index for those 65 and older was just 4 points higher in June 2002 than it was in June 2001.

*Note about the methodology: TIPP conducts its survey of 900 randomly selected adults via telephone the first full week of every month. Respondents are asked a variety of questions including: “Generally speaking, how satisfied are you with the direction things are going in the country at this time in terms of morals and ethics?� An index below 50 means that the percent of respondents who said they were “very unsatisfied� or “somewhat unsatisfied� with the direction of the country was greater than the percent of respondents who said they were “very unsatisfied� or “somewhat satisfied.�

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