Poll: American Pessimism About Past, Future Rises to Historic Levels

Ricky Kreitner, Business Insider, June 30, 2011

Americans are overwhelmingly pessimistic about their own future and about the fate of their country, according to a new Time/Penn Shoen Berland poll presented at this week’s Aspen Ideas Festival.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans think the last decade showed a marked decline in American life. Most applicants do not expect things to improve in the near future.

Largely due to the election of Barack Obama, minorities are an exception to this overwhelmingly pessimistic trend.

Whites tend to view the last decade as one of the worst of the last century. African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely than others to say that the quality of life in America has improved.

[Editor’s Note: Click through to the original article to see a number of interesting charts and statistics.]

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  • Anonymous

    It’s a silly and misleading headline. First of all, you can’t be optimistic or pessimistic about the past. Secondly, white Americans are nostalgic for the pre-1965 past, even the pre-1990 past. They are pessimistic about a future with too many non-whites forever changing the country into something that was not envisioned by the founding fathers.

  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    The higher average cognitive ability of whites may predispose them to view a 14.3 trillion dollar national debt, 60 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, and 1.2 trillion dollar plus annual deficits as far as the eye can see with more alarm than the average minority.

    Indeed, the debt service costs (interest payments) alone on that gigantic national debt are around $220 billion per year, but it is that low ONLY because of the artificially low interest rates generated by a Federal Reserve continually buying up our own debt.

    This process is called “debt monetization,” i. e., printing money. Interest payments will skyrocket if the Fed ever stops inflating our currency and allows interest rates on treasuries to rise sufficiently to attract enough buyers of our debt.

    But before that we will see much higher prices — first in food and energy. We are thus locked into a Fed program of increasingly debasing our currency in order to pay the wildly out-of-line spending of Washington (which collects about 57 cents for every dollar it spends).

    It’s a financial house of cards. Wild spending has consequences for families which follow fairly quickly from the profligacy. But wild spending also has consequences for nations. Those consequences can be deferred for a while if that nation has a printing press, but not indefinitely.

    If white “Americans are overwhelmingly pessimistic about their own future and about the fate of their country,” they have good reason. How are these pessimistic whites reacting?

    • The “dumb money” is sitting in assets based on the dollar: CDs, treasuries, bonds. The dumb money is unperturbed by inflationary harbingers such as soaring commodity prices.

    • The “not-so-dumb money” is in stocks, a crude inflation hedge.

    • The “smart money” is in commodities, natural resources, precious metals and Asian stocks. Spendthrift Democrats, war-hawk Republicans and Federal Reserve debt monetization will be less destructive of wealth parked in these asset classes.

  • Anonymous

    Sure blacks and hispanics are more likely to say the quality of life in America has improved. That is because blacks and hispanics make up the majority of people receiving Section 8 vouchers, EBT cards, free medical and a whole lot more freebies -courtesy of the taxing of the white majority working class that is slowly and methodically being driven from the workplace by Affirmative Action and other organized anti-white agendas. Anti-white agendas sanctioned by a very socialist government, aided and abetted by our very own socialist media who are so very afraid someone might call them racist if they were to point out the obvious. And lets not forget the fleecing of our Social Security fund, which most of the people receiving welfare have never paid into. The election of that socialist Obama has fiscally broken this nation. All he has done is keep printing money without looking for solutions – number one being to greatly reduce this welfare given to anyone who happens to roll ashore.

    Bill Gates does not give scholarships to white people. And when was the last time you’ve seen white people featured by any charity programs, like the United Way? Not for years. I guess there aren’t any low income whites in need of help. Oh, but if your black or hispanic….

  • rdc75

    Interesting is that for the question “Why do you think the US is in a worse position?”, a staggering 28% answered “other”.

    Immigration was not on the list of officially allowed answers…

  • Luke

    I would like to see a poll taken from among our vile and despicably evil ‘ruling elites’, with two primary questions on the poll:

    “Are you optimistic or pessimistic over the increasing likelihood that you will be a defendant in the not so distant future when the citizen trials begin for the crime of your having been a willing participant in the deliberate and malicious conspiracy to engineer the genocide of the White European descendants of our 100 percent White Founding Fathers and the deliberate destruction of White, Western Civilization?”

    And, question #2:

    “Have you made plans to flee this nation in order to avoid being arrested, tried, convicted and then severely punished as a genocide criminal?”

  • TheLustful

    Wow, I am not surprised that the African Americans and other minorities are happy; they had their agendas in Congress before, but now, with a Black president, their hopes and dreams of a Chocolate United States (I can say that because Ray Nagin, the mayor of NOLA, coined it, and I am from LA).

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    The ‘smart money’ is in commodities, natural resources, precious metals and Asian stocks. Spendthrift Democrats, war-hawk Republicans and Federal Reserve debt monetization will be less destructive of wealth parked in these asset classes.

    –E Pluribus Pluribus

    Very good post and right on.

    I would also add “smart money” is in war production manufacturing, the so-called “iron works.”

    Two trends that can be reliably counted on: ongoing expansion of overseas wars and continued debasement of American currency.

    Bon

  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    Bon from the Land of Babble: “I would also add ‘smart money’ is in war production manufacturing, the so-called ‘iron works’.”

    ===

    How could I forget “defense” industry stocks, the military-industrial complex? Great addition.

  • mark

    Does anyone think a move similar to FDR’s might occur and metals graded as bullion seized?

  • John Engelman

    5 — Luke wrote at 4:52 AM on July 2:

    I would like to see a poll taken from among our vile and despicably evil ‘ruling elites’,

    ——-

    I would like to ask them if their conscience is easy, knowing that this is what they are doing to the economy:

    ——-

    The New York Times July 25, 2010

    By most measures, Harley-Davidson has been having a rough ride.

    Motorcycle sales are falling in 2010, as they have for each of the last three years. The company does not expect a turnaround anytime soon.

    But despite that drought, Harley’s profits are rising — soaring, in fact. Last week, Harley reported a $71 million profit in the second quarter, more than triple what it earned a year ago.

    Many companies are focusing on cost-cutting to keep profits growing, but the benefits are mostly going to shareholders instead of the broader economy, as management conserves cash rather than bolstering hiring and production. Harley, for example, has announced plans to cut 1,400 to 1,600 more jobs by the end of next year. That is on top of 2,000 job cuts last year more than a fifth of its work force.

    http://goo.gl/GUPD

    ——-

    The New York Times November 23, 2010

    American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago.

    http://goo.gl/tJ6jC

  • Paul Weston

    @ E Pluribus Pluribus.

    Very well constructed comment, but don’t forget to add Europe to it as well. We are all part of the same unsustainable economic tragedy.

    The next 20 years will be nothing like the last 50, which have seen an ever-increasing level of wealth and prosperity in the capitalist West.

    Our manufacturing economies have given way to consumer economies based around spiralling house prices, huge personal debt, huge government debt, and Banksters making their golden-crumbs on a massive debt-fuelled, fractional-reserve inflated Ponzi scheme.

    The ultimate tragedy here is that the bankers debts are now being channeled onto the shoulders of an ever-decreasing demographic tax base.

    We are absolutely and completely screwed. Race and culture might not bring about a right-wing revolution, but our coming serious poverty just might.

  • Blue

    Did the author forget bush was president for the majority of the past ten years? I know a majority of readers of this website hate our current president but i believe he is better than bush. No republican or democrat would have been able to fix the mess we are in now, its from years of flawed policy from both sides.

  • John Engelman

    After 9/11 Osama bin Laden said that the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan bankrupted the Soviet Union, and led to the fall of the USSR. He added that the American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq would have the same effect on the United States. So far, it seems to be happening.

    It seems like a long time ago, but in 2000 the unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent. It had not been lower since 1969.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/UNRATE.txt

    Alan Greenspan voiced fears that the national debt would be paid off too quickly.

    The proper response to Islamic terrorism is not to occupy hostile populations that are willing to fight back. It is more efficient law enforcement and espionage, and occasional strikes by special operations units and precision guided munitions.

    A single informer could have prevented 9/11. Twenty to twenty-five Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden.

  • Anonymous

    The real question is Why are white liberals so wrong-headed?

    I recommend Ann Coulter’s latest book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America. Liberals are a mob, unable to think, swinging from one emotional extreme to another. It’s impossible to have them look at a fact apart from their preconceived opinion.