The Majority is Always Wrong

21Jul13

In January last year I got a lot of flack for a blog I wrote called “The majority is never right” https://grahammack.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/macks-craic-65/ . This week I got more proof that views held by the majority are wrong.

Ipsos Mori published a study they ran for the Royal Statistical Society and King’s College London. It shows how wrong the British public is about a number of key social policy issues.

The top ten misconceptions include:

Crime is going up (it’s actually 53% lower than in 1995).

That nearly a quarter of the population is Muslim (it’s only 5% of the population).

15% of girls under 16 get pregnant (It’s 0.06%).

That 36% of the population are age 65+ (only 16% are age 65+).

That we spend more on foreign aid than pensions. (We spend £74bn on pensions compared to only £7.9bn on foreign aid). They also think we spend more on foreign aid than education but we actually spend £51.5bn on education (I have to admit that I was surprised that we spend a lot less on education than pensions).   

With so many widely held misconceptions, does this mean people think that the recently introduced benefit cap at £26,000 a year per household will save more money than stopping child benefit for households who earn more than 50K or raising the pension age to 66 for men and women?

The truth is, capping benefits at £26,000 will only save £290m compared with £1.7bn for stopping child benefits for the wealthy, but we’ll save £5bn by raising the pension age.

So the majority is misinformed and they use this misinformation to make important decisions like, who to vote for. Then the government of the day has to make policy based on those misconceptions rather than the facts, just to stay in power. That’s scary because the majority is always wrong.

http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3188/perceptions-are-not-reality-the-top-10-we-get-wrong.aspx

Craic on!

Check out the latest Mack Nuggets at http://www.mackmedia.co.uk

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