- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
- Detroit porch shooting trial: Suspect says he didn’t know gun was loaded
Economy leads Americans’ list of woes
Question of the Day
Forget the woes of war, terrorists and a troubling culture. American angst is now centered on the economy, our worries fixated on gas prices, personal finances, unemployment, inflation, stagnant real estate - dotted with a few resilient pockets of optimism, according to research released Friday.
“The public continues to be extremely downbeat,” said a Pew Research Center survey that found just 10 percent of us deemed the economy to be in “good shape.”
More than half of the respondents - 54 percent - said we are already in a recession, while 18 percent said we were in a depression.
Assorted economic problems were cited by 61 percent as the most important problem facing the nation, far surpassing the war in Iraq (cited by 17 percent), educational challenges (4 percent) and terrorism, health care, flagging national morals, the state of our government and defense (each issue cited by 3 percent).
Some are more optimistic than others. Adults under 30 lead the pack, with 71 percent expecting things to get better, followed by blacks (62 percent), those with incomes under $50,000 a year (58 percent), Republicans (56 percent) and those 30-49 years of age (55 percent).
The new findings offered a veritable laundry list of anxiety. Eight out of 10 of us say economic uncertainty is “no hiccup,” but represents a serious, deep-seated problem. Almost three-fourths said the proverbial “good job” was nowhere to be found, while more than two-thirds said they couldn’t afford gasoline any more.
Two-thirds blamed international competition for oil for our sorry economic state, followed by bad loans from banks (59 percent) and the unwise habits of spendthrift citizens (54 percent). Fewer than half blamed the federal budget deficit.
Yet Americans do not appear ready to give up.
Almost three-fourths - 72 percent - said that inflation can be remedied, while 68 percent said “the federal government can still fix a global economy.” And a majority of the people are confident when it comes to their own pocketbooks: 51 percent say they’re optimistic their personal finances will improve.
The survey of 1,503 adults was conducted July 23-27 and has an error margin of three percentage points.
Though most of the news is troubling, Americans were keenly interested in the story nonetheless.
A separate Project for Excellence in Journalism survey found that press coverage of the economy was closely followed by 46 percent of the respondents, compared to 30 percent who concentrated on election news. Our interest in economic stories also trumped our interest in the war in Iraq, the upcoming hurricane season and the Beijing Olympics.
But there’s a disconnect between press and people - just 6 percent of the total national news was devoted to economic news, while 38 percent covered the election.
The survey of 1,002 adults was conducted July 21-27 and has an error margin of three percentage points.
About the Author
- Some federal help for old American battlefields: $1.3 million to spruce them up
- Inside the Beltway: Frugal-phobic Congress offers 828 spending bills
- It's grim: 911 Commission warns terrorism has entered 'a new and dangerous phase'
- Inside the Beltway: The evolving White House deflection strategy
- Rick Perry: County jails in Texas have taken in 203,000 'criminal aliens'
Latest Blog Entries
- A startling 20 percent of Democratic lawmakers already endorse Hillary Clinton for president
- Hey food police: calling obesity a 'disease' is actually a health risk
- Cheese and an 'enhanced experience': White House goes showbiz on the State of the Union address
- Cruz calls it a 'circus': the State of the Union spectacle begins
- Half of American fans say God and 'supernatural' forces are in play during sports events
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- Doctor, 2 others shot at Pennsylvania hospital: reports
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq