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Most Americans don't think their boss is a 'moron'

Rick Newman
Senior Columnist

We’re not sure if Secretary of State Rex Tillerson really called his boss—President Donald Trump—a “moron.” NBC News says Tillerson mouthed the insult after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon. Tillerson has neither confirmed nor denied. Trump himself calls it “fake news.”

What we do know is that people have mixed views of their own bosses, as Tillerson probably does toward his. How many ordinary people consider their own boss a moron? We wanted to know—so we asked.

About 16% of workers consider their boss a “moron,” according to an online poll Yahoo Finance conducted on October 4 and 5. Another 11% consider their boss a “tyrant.” But there’s good news for the boss, too. Overall, half of the 1,726 respondents have a favorable view of the boss. The full results are available on SurveyMonkey. Here’s a summary:

Source: Yahoo Finance, via SurveyMonkey

We broke out the results by income bracket and didn’t notice any striking trends. And it didn’t seem to make a difference whether the boss was older, younger or roughly the same age as the respondent. But there were differences by age group. The portion with a positive view of the boss was 77% among the youngest respondents—those between 18 and 24—and 55% for respondents between 25 and 34. Negative impressions of the boss outweighed positive ones in every age group over 34.

For all the angst in the country, it might seem surprising that half of Americans like or respect their boss. As Yahoo Finance’s Nicole Sinclair points out in the video above, a tight labor market gives workers more leverage than in the past to demand raises or better working conditions or leave for a better job. So if we asked the same questions during a downturn, we might get more sour answers. For now, however, the boss seems pretty popular.

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Rick Newman is the author of four books, including Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success. Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman