The FINANCIAL — Americans strongly believe that the severe spring weather that has plagued the South and Midwest is bad news for the economy, and nearly one-in-three adults plan to make some kind of donation to the people most impacted by the storms.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 64% of American Adults think the recent severe weather problems will hurt the economy. Just 12% say the bad weather actually will help the economy, while 15% say it will have no impact.
Thirty percent (30%) of Americans have already contributed or plan to contribute money or some other kind of donation to help those impacted by the bad weather. Forty-nine percent (49%) are not donating, but another 22% are still not sure. That’s slightly lower than the number who contributed or planned to contribute to relief efforts in Haiti just after the massive earthquake there in January 2010.
Thirty-six percent (36%) of Americans say, generally speaking, the federal government should bear most of the financial responsibility for areas affected by weather-related disasters. Twenty-six percent (26%) say local agencies should bear most of the burden, while 22% say individuals should be largely responsible. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure who should bear most of the financial responsibility. This is comparable to findings a year ago.
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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on May 10-11, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Investors feel slightly more strongly than non-investors that the severe weather will hurt the economy. Adults over 40 agree more than those who are younger.
Young adults are much less likely than their elders to donate to help those impacted by the recent bad weather.
Fifty-one percent (51%) of adults who say they or a member of their family was impacted by the recent severe weather have donated or plan to donate to disaster relief, compared to 28% of those who were not directly hurt by the storms.
Thirty-five percent (35%) of adults who have been affected by the severe weather say local agencies should bear most of the financial responsibility.
In 2006, following Hurricane Katrina which devastated the New Orleans area, 62% said the 2005 hurricane season had an impact on the United States economy as a whole, not just a local impact in affected areas.
U.S. meteorologists say the deadly storms tearing up the South are not a result of climate change. None the less, the extreme weather has rekindled the global warming debate, but 51% of Americans think the recent severe weather is primarily caused by long-term planetary trends. Only 19% blame the extreme weather on human activity which many climate change activists view as the cause of global warming.
Source: Rasmussen Reports