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How much government do Americans want?

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From features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com

How much government do Americans want? (Fortune, 1939)

June 19, 2011

FORTUNE -- In 1939, Fortune undertook what it claimed was the first survey of Americans on the role of government: Which businesses should it regulate? Should it provide national health care? Should it redistribute wealth? The results revealed a nation demanding government intervention -- 61% insisted Washington take responsibility for making sure everyone who wanted a job had one -- but still believing in freedom for business. "In general," wrote the editors, "Public Opinion ... seems to remain unimpressed with the theories for extending federal control over the economic life of the nation." Every Sunday, Fortune publishes a classic story from our archive. Today's is 1939's infographic-rich "The Fortune Survey XXII." One important note: the article is presented in its original form, which includes using the term "negroes" to refer to African-Americans. We opted to keep the text as is to preserve the voice from the time.


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