[Marxism] 85% of U.S. Unhappy with Economy

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jul 29 12:05:46 MDT 2008

Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2008
85% of US Unhappy with Economy
By Bill Saporito

You would expect Americans, in a period of falling home prices, a wobbly 
stock market and an ongoing war, to be less than satisfied with the 
direction of the country. It's natural. But Americans are not simply 
dissatisfied. They are very unhappy. O.K., deeply, pessimistically 
unhappy. Un–American Dreamy unhappy: 85% of respondents in an exclusive 
TIME/Rockefeller Foundation poll believe that the country is on the 
wrong track.

It's an unprecedented downer from an optimistic nation, and depending on 
whom you talk to, the numbers simply get worse. Among blacks and 
Latinos, the dissatisfaction levels are 96% and 88%, respectively. And 
fewer than half of Generation Y believes that the country's best days 
are ahead.

The kids are not all right. Nearly half of those between ages 18 and 29 
say America was a better place to live in the 1990s and will continue to 
decline. Some of them are living that decline already: 58% of Gen Yers 
said they have had to borrow money to make ends meet in the past year.

A majority of Americans still believe that their kids will live better 
lives than they did, which means the American Dream isn't exactly dead. 
(Although America's kids aren't so sure.) But most also believe that the 
social contract — the benefits corporations and government once 
guaranteed — is busted and needs to be rewritten to reflect the 
realities of economic life in a global marketplace. A majority (78%) say 
there is more risk to their and their family's financial future than in 
the past, and rely more on their friends and family for financial 
support. More than a fifth (22%) have had to borrow money from a friend 
or relative to meet their expenses.

Most intriguing, a majority of those surveyed believe in the power of 
Big Government to solve the biggest problems of our time. They support 
major government investments that create jobs — 82% favor public works 
projects — and they remain sympathetic to the economy's victims: 70% say 
more government programs should help those now struggling. It is a 
shocking shift in sentiment, a counterreformation of sorts in a 
Republican-led era that emphasizes deregulation and self-reliance. Do 
Americans really want more government? The answer to that question may 
be provided in the November election. But history has shown that when 
the going gets tough, even the tough expect their Uncle Sam to get going.

For more on the TIME/Rockefeller Foundation poll, go to 

More information about the Marxism mailing list