The Least Trusted Profession In The Country Is ...

least trusted professionMembers of Congress and car salespeople wouldn't seem to have a lot in common. Politicians spend their days debating big national issues, like how to resolve the "fiscal cliff," while car salespeople spent their time trying to get customers to buy, say, the 2012 Honda Civic.

But when it comes to perceived honesty and ethical standards, Americans give these two professions relatively equivalent grades -- abysmal ones, according to a new poll by the Gallup Organization.

Survey respondents were asked to rate 22 professions on a five-point honesty and ethics scale, ranging from "very high" to "very low." Members of Congress were at the bottom, with a whopping 54 percent of respondents saying that Congress has "low" or "very low" standards for ethics. Forty-nine percent of the respondents said car salespeople have a "low" or "very low" ethical standards.

More: Using Ethics To Tackle Thorny Issues At Work

For the 36 years Gallup has been conducting this survey, members of Congress have received failing grades. The high point was post-9/11, when just 25 percent of Americans rated their honesty and ethical standards as "high" or "very high." (Senators, by the way, received only slightly better ratings, with 45 percent of respondents rating their ethical standards as low or very low.)

Car salespeople's perceived ethical standards have "never climbed out of the single-digit range in the history of the list," according to Gallup.

So Who Is Trusted?

Nurses received the highest rating in the Gallup poll, with 85 percent of respondents saying that nurses have high or very high ethical standards. That put them above clergy (No. 8 on the Gallup list) and several other medical practitioners, including:
  • pharmacists (No. 2).
  • doctors (No. 3).
  • dentists (No. 5).
  • psychiatrists (No. 9).

How would you rank these professions? And most importantly, where would you place your profession on this list?

Americans Think

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no surprises here

December 05 2012 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The very least trusted person in the public eye has to be John Boehner.

December 05 2012 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Car salespeople should feel maligned...being lumped together with members of congress. Members of congress should have a category all their own...especially since they are of the opinion that it's all about them anyway.

December 05 2012 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Most legislators are lawyers; that figures.

December 05 2012 at 9:18 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I have always thought that lawyers making laws is a very big case of "conflict of interest." We should require lawyers elected to public office to forfeit their law license for life before being sworn in. This would solve the problem in one fell swoop. First, most would be so greedy they would choose not to run, opening up the pool of candidates to actually include a few with some ethical behavior. Second, those who did choose to run might actually have the good of the country in sight.

December 05 2012 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let's remember that a good portion of the Congress is made up of lawyers, a sleazy bunchof charaters if ever there was one. And what do you expect when the qualifications for the office are an ability to lie, cheat, and make false promises? But, in the end, it's the people who vote for these dirt bags who must be blamed. When the public gets lazy and relies on the uninformed news media and talking heads for their information , or better still, propaganda, and when they view elections like sporting contests instead of serious business they get the government they deserve. At one time true leaders made their mark in society, became wealthy then offered their talents to the rest of the country, now losers go into politics to establish themselves.

December 05 2012 at 5:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to aftonmoon's comment

If you take away the news media, the talking heads and the propoganda, where else can people get accurate information on their elected officials? You can research on line but there will always be 2 sides to every research and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. When we started paying our elected official we allowed greed to take over and ethics collapsed. We need to kick the lobbyists to the curb as well.

December 05 2012 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WOW... How did lawyers not rank at the bottom? Lets face it, there's no such thing as a trustworthy lawyer. Maybe they were not included in the listed professions.

December 05 2012 at 2:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Little Savage

I would think that cops were one of the least trusted professions.

December 05 2012 at 12:08 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

The writer of this article, Pam Kruger, did not check the whole Gallup story, all five pages. The chart on page 1 just has some of the occupations. But it turns out that firemen score even higher than nurses, though firemen were scored only one year. And lobbyists score the lowest.

December 04 2012 at 11:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
LA is Best

Progressive posters are a lowly lot!

December 04 2012 at 10:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to LA is Best's comment
fred g mertz

right above your group.

June 03 2013 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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