We’ve all heard the stereotype of the sleazy car salesman who cons you into buying a junker for an exorbitant price. There’s a lot of distrust when it comes to car salespeople, but as it turns out, people trust Congress members even less.
In a new poll released by Gallup, members of Congress were listed as the least honest and ethical out of 11 different professions. Fully 61% of respondents listed Congress members as having low or very low honesty and ethical standards, 30% gave them an average rating, and only 7% rated them as having high or very high honesty and ethical standards.
The numbers for car salespeople were more favorable. Only 45% of respondents answered that car salespeople had low or very low honesty and ethical standards, while 46% rated them as average. They only had a slight leg up in the high or very high ethical standards and honesty column, which was selected by a mere 8% of respondents.
These changes actually represent a (very) slight increase in trust for both categories. In 2013, the low to very low ethical standards rankings for car salespeople and Congress members were 47% and 66%, respectively. However, both professions fell a point in high or very high ethics and honesty.
Nurses, medical doctors and pharmacists were ranked highest for honesty and ethics, while advertising practitioners, business executives and lawyers were ranked lower.
Still, the numbers are unlikely to get car dealerships down, because most of them are focused on a much more favorable number. In spite of the distrust for car salespeople, as well as a flood of recent safety recalls, 2014 was the best sales year for the auto industry in almost 10 years. According to Autodata, 16.5 million cars were sold in 2014, the highest number sold since the recession hit.
Analysts attribute the growth to increased consumer confidence, falling gas prices, cheap leases and a rebounding economy. With business booming, car salespeople have plenty to celebrate — unlike the representatives of Congress.