Americans’ despair about the economy shows up so often in research studies that the results have become redundant. But, the malaise actually deepens with each new piece of data.
The troubles that US citizens face and fear were on display in a pair of recent Gallup polls.
Fewer Americans rated their lives positively in July than did so in any other month so far in 2010. That takes the comparison back to a period when the country was still in a recession. This information comes from the Life Evaluation Index, part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which classifies Americans as either “thriving,” “struggling,” or “suffering,” according to how they rate their current and future lives
At the roots of these impressions about how people’s lives are going are worries about jobs and the economy, another Gallup survey shows. “Americans of all political persuasions say the economy and jobs are the most important problems facing the country today. These concerns easily outpace all others, thus providing politicians seeking office in this fall’s midterm elections with clear marching orders from their constituents: Fix the economy.”
Thirty percent of those surveyed believe that the economy is the most important issue which faces the nation. That is followed closely by jobs at 28%. No other issue is even close to these.
The government has no ready solutions for these problems and part of the worry of Americans is that they know that. The tunnel is both dark and endless. Americans want no deficits and they want 4% unemployment and 5% GDP growth, but some of the solutions to these problems are mutually exclusive and Americans are acutely aware that these goals may be years or even a generation away.
It is an ugly way to go through life but for most people in the United States there are no other options.
Douglas A. McIntyre