Americans are not confident in the federal government's ability to address society's problems and would prefer major employers take on these roles, according to the 2012 Public Affairs Pulse survey by nonpartisan Public Affairs Council and Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

"Americans have serious doubts about whether the federal government can effectively handle the challenges the nation faces," says Doug Pinkham, president of Public Affairs Council. "As a result, the public is turning to the business sector and saying, 'The government can't seem to manage these things, so what can you do to help?'"

Of the respondents, only 41 percent say they have some or a lot of confidence that the government can handle the country's most critical problems, and 58 percent say they have little or no confidence regarding this issue.

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