Living a Thriving and Fulfilling Life
When should someone be born to have a thriving and fulfilling life?
The options are today, 200 years in the past, 200 years in the future, or unsure. Respondents are largely unsure—42% overall.
Women are somewhat more uncertain than men (45% women vs 39% men), but they are also slightly more willing to recommend being born 200 years ago (18% women vs 16% men).
If we split answers to this question into age buckets, the uncertainty remains, but it also climbs with age. Older respondents are more likely to be unsure—those 45 and up report “not sure” nearly half of the time. The youngest are more optimistic about the future.
People remain uncertain about this question no matter their political beliefs. One in three Republican respondents report being uncertain, while about one in two Democrats or Independents report uncertainty.
Republican respondents are more optimistic about the past. One in four Republicans say that to live a thriving and fulfilling life, someone should be born 200 years ago.
Innovation vs Safety
Should the government favor innovation or safety?
Overall, half of respondents say that the government should prioritize safety. There’s substantial uncertainty, however, with one in five respondents selecting “not sure.” One in four respondents report that they want the federal government to prioritize innovation.
Women are substantially more likely to favor safety than men. In contrast, men are twice as favorable towards innovation.
Democrats are more likely to respond that they favor safety than are Republicans. One in three Republicans prefer that the government favor innovation compared to just one in five Democrats.
Following politics seems to be positively related to favoring innovation over safety. Those who report following political issues more closely prefer innovation more than those who report following politics “hardly at all.”
Do you think the US government does a good or bad job balancing innovation and safety?
According to 53% of respondents, the government does a somewhat or very bad job balancing innovation and safety.
Democrats appear more satisfied with the government’s balance of innovation and safety. Nearly half of Democrat respondents (46%) believe that the government does a very good job or a somewhat good job balancing innovation and safety. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans think the government does a somewhat or very bad job.
How likely is it that energy could be produced for free in the next 50 years?
Americans are split on whether or not they think energy too cheap to meter can be produced within the next 50 years. Most respondents are in the middle, either indicating they think cheap energy production is somewhat likely or not very likely.
Among political affiliations, Democrats are the only group with a majority believing it is likely that energy will be produced so cheaply that it will practically be free.
Should companies be allowed to use federal land for non-fossil fuel energy production?
Provided that there are no negative environmental impacts, many respondents are in favor of allowing companies to use federal land for clean energy production. Just under half (48%) support the idea, with 30% of respondents saying they are unsure. Roughly one in five people (22%) are opposed to non-fossil fuel energy production on public land.
Political affiliation doesn’t seem to affect responses to this question. Half of all respondents, regardless of affiliation, support the use of federal lands for non-fossil fuel energy production, if negative environmental impacts are prevented.
Which group do you think is most to blame for the lack of new affordable infrastructure in the US?
When asking which group is most to blame for the lack of new affordable infrastructure in the US, the three most common responses are the federal government (one in three), Congress (one in five), and the president (one in six). In fact, two-thirds of respondents, 65%, blame some part of the affordability problem on the federal government, Congress, or the president.
Clear partisan differences in responses emerge if you split responses by political affiliation. The common element is still the federal government, but Democrats are more supportive of the president than other affiliations.
Among Democrats, 49% blame Congress or the federal government. Among Republicans, 70% blame the federal government or the president.
The survey pool consists of 1,000 adult US respondents sampled from July 19–21, 2022. Specific results have not been tested to determine if they are statistically significant, but the data is weighted to be representative of the US population. Some numbers have been rounded to provide clarity. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3.43 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.