Special Report

How Americans Felt About Big Business Every Year This Century

Source: jetcityimage / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

2020
> Highly confident in big business: 19% of Americans
> Somewhat confident in big business: 45% of Americans
> Little to no confidence in big business: 36% of Americans
> Dow Jones Industrial Avg. performance: +7.3%

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos became the first person in history with a net worth topping $200 billion. In 2021, tax documents leaked to ProPublica showed that, in 2011, Bezos (filing jointly with his then-wife Mackenzie Scott) claimed and received a $4,000 child tax credit despite a net worth at the time of $18 billion, and that the couple paid less than 1% in federal income taxes from 2014 to 2018. Some publicly traded companies prospered during the pandemic, including drug makers, tech companies, and online retailers.

2021
> Highly confident in big business: 18% of Americans
> Somewhat confident in big business: 41% of Americans
> Little to no confidence in big business: 41% of Americans
> Dow Jones Industrial Avg. performance: +13.8%

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk temporarily became the world’s richest person in January, but Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos reclaimed the position weeks later. Six months after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, only a few large corporations made good on their promises to suspend PAC donations to Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn the legitimate 2016 presidential election results. Major publicly traded companies, including AT&T, Home Depot, Pfizer, and Walmart, gave money in 2021 to party committees and leadership PACs that could easily channel campaign money to the GOP objectors.