Around the end of the year a ton of polls and surveys get taken. Media organizations love to get a “snapshot” of how the American people are feeling as the new year begins. So what kind of mood are the American people in as we enter 2011? Well, if the polls are to be believed, they are less optimistic, they are a bit scared, they are very frustrated and they are becoming increasingly angry. A solid majority of Americans believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction and they desperately want someone to fix the economy. What Americans seem to want most of all are good jobs. At the end of the day, Americans want to be able to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. If they can’t do that, then what is going on with other “important issues” really isn’t going to seem very important to most of them.
So is it a good sign that for the week ending December 25th that claims for unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 for the first time in a very, very long time?
Well, it turns out that claims for unemployment benefits decline every year right around the holidays and they decline every time a major winter storm hits much of the country. Considering the fact that both of those things have happened recently means that we shouldn’t be celebrating too much yet. Let’s see what happens after the holidays and when the weather gets a bit better.
The truth is that the official unemployment rate has been hovering just under 10 percent for the entire year and people are getting really tired of searching day after day for good jobs that don’t seem to exist.
The following is a compilation of recent poll results that show just how frustrated and angry the American people are becoming as we enter 2011….
The American People Are Dissatisfied With The Economy
A recent Bloomberg National Poll found that two-thirds of Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. But most Americans felt we were going in the wrong direction under George W. Bush as well. The truth is that the American people are going to continue to be frustrated with the “direction of the country” until the economy starts to show some sustained improvement.
So are things going to get better soon?
Well, one thing is for certain. Americans are becoming less optimistic.
In a recent Pew Research survey only 55 percent of Americans said that the year ahead would be “better”. That was significantly down from 67 percent who believed that the year ahead would be “better” back last January.
According to that same Pew Research survey, a whopping 89% of Americans rate national economic conditions as “fair” or “poor”, and 79% say that jobs are difficult to get in their local communities.
As noted earlier, that is the main thing that most Americans want. Most Americans want to be able to work hard and provide for their families. But for millions of Americans today that has not been a reality for a very long time.
So will more good jobs be created soon?
Well, a majority of new jobs in the United States are created by small businesses, and right now small business owners do not have a very positive view of the coming year at all.
A recent survey of small business owners found that 25 percent believe that the U.S. economy is getting better but 51 percent believe that it is getting worse.
Hopefully the economy will at least stabilize a bit in 2011, because if it doesn’t, the poll numbers are going to look really ugly next year at this time.
The American People Have Very Mixed Feelings About Barack Obama
In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a country that is very polarized politically. Those on Barack Obama’s “team” love him, while those on “the other team” absolutely hate him.
However, there are signs that even many of those that have been highly supportive of Obama for a long time are starting to have their doubts.
According to the latest Gallup poll, Barack Obama’s approval rating is at 47 percent. This is way, way down from when he first took office. In addition, Gallup recently reported that Barack Obama’s approval rating among liberal Democrats had fallen below 80 percent for the first time since he took office.
When Obama was first elected, even most of those who voted against him wanted his presidency to be a success. But that has been changing. A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released this past week found that 61 percent of Americans hope that Barack Obama’s policies succeed. This was down substantially from 71 percent just one year earlier.
In particular, health care has been an issue that has caused dissatisfaction with Obama among the voters. One new poll has discovered that a whopping 61 percent of U.S. voters believe that the new health care law will cause health care costs to increase.
But the truth is that Obama still has a huge base of supporters that love him and will support him no matter what.
Because voting for “the other guys” is unthinkable for millions upon millions of liberal Americans.
Many Americans Will Worship Their Politicians No Matter How Incompetent They Are
The vast majority of Americans are trapped inside the left/right paradigm. The mainstream media tells them that they have to pick one of two “teams” – either the Republicans or the Democrats.
If you are a Democrat, then the Republicans are the bad guys and you have to hate them no matter what.
If you are a Republican, then the Democrats are the bad guys and you have to hate them no matter what.
But the American people are taught that the leaders of their own “teams” should be treated like rock stars and celebrities.
So millions upon millions of Americans love and worship Obama just like millions upon millions of Americans loved and worshipped Bush.
It doesn’t matter to most Americans that the same very powerful interests control both the Republican and the Democratic establishments. They are going to cheer for their “team” no matter how incompetent the leaders turn out to be.
Today, top politicians are the most admired people in America.
In a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, Barack Obama was the most admired man in America.
George W. Bush was the second most admired man in America.
It doesn’t matter that both of them are incompetent or that both of them are pursuing very, very similar agendas. The Democrats love Obama because he is the leader of their “team” and the Republicans love Bush because he was the leader of their “team”.
The same poll found that Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in America and that Sarah Palin is the second most admired woman in America.
Are Americans really that brain dead?
More Americans Than Ever Have A Negative View Of The Federal Reserve
Perhaps there is some hope for the American people. More of them than ever before view the Federal Reserve negatively.
A recent Bloomberg National Poll found that a majority of Americans now want the Federal Reserve to either be held more accountable or to be abolished completely. The following is how Bloomberg described the stunning results of this survey….
Asked if the central bank should be more accountable to Congress, left independent or abolished entirely, 39 percent said it should be held more accountable and 16 percent that it should be abolished. Only 37 percent favor the status quo.
So what is so wrong with the Federal Reserve? Well, for an in depth look at what is wrong with the Fed, check out the following articles….
The American People Are Overwhelmingly Against The War In Afghanistan
The American people don’t understand why it has taken us longer to defeat a bunch of goat herders running around the hills of Afghanistan than it did to fight all of World War II.
We have been over there for nearly a decade now and the American people are getting sick of it. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey discovered that 63 percent of Americans are against the war in Afghanistan.
This is not a liberal/conservative thing. The truth is that each year the “war in Afghanistan” is getting even bloodier and we don’t seem to be accomplishing anything. We can’t be the police of the world and the American people are tired of sacrificing so much for so little in return.
The American People Are Turning Away From God
With each passing year, it seems as though God becomes even less important to the American people.
According to a new Gallup poll, approximately seven out of every 10 Americans think that religion as a whole is losing its influence on American life. Gallup has been asking that question for over five decades and the percentage of Americans that believe that religion is losing influence in society has rarely ever been higher.
Another new Gallup poll has found that only 40 percent of Americans believe in creationism. That is the lowest percentage of Americans that have indicated that they are creationists since Gallup began asking that question back in 1982.
But perhaps we should all reflect on where we would be as a nation without God as we get ready to start a new year. Perhaps we should remember why we were once the greatest and most prosperous nation on the earth.
So what do all of you readers think about all of these issues?
Feel free to leave a comment with what you are thinking and feeling as we prepare to enter 2011….