Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have courage to remake the world as it should be.
-January 8, 2008
He brought the promise of hope and the desire to fundamentally change America. One cannot argue that he didn’t deliver on the latter. America has certainly undergone an unprecedented change over the last three years, but the consequences of President Obama’s actions are that more Americans today are hopeless than every before.
A new survey by Yahoo! Finance shows Americans have a disturbing lack of hope and a frightening lack of retirement planning.
Among the highlights of the poll:
- 41% of Americans say the ‘American Dream’ has been lost.
- 37% of adults have NO retirement savings and 38% plan to live off Social Security.
- 63% of Americans believe the economy is getting worse, including 72% of those over the age of 55.
These findings are consistent with broader trends The Daily Ticker has reported on in the past year: Despite macro data showing the economy has technically recovered from the ‘Great Recession’, the majority of Americans just aren’t feeling it. Considering 49 million Americans are living in poverty, the “real” unemployment rate is 16% and millions of Americans are facing foreclosure, it’s no wonder many believe the recession never ended.
Poll Info: A scientific poll of 1500 Americans between the ages of 18 and 64.
Americans may cite, as evidence of improving conditions for the average citizen, the rise in the stock market over the last couple years or President Obama’s insistence that we avoided a Great Depression, but this doesn’t change the facts.
While economists, analysts and institutional leaders will have us believe that growth is returning, albeit slowly, based on an increase in Gross Domestic Product and 100,000 jobs being created monthly, the macro data, like Mr. Obama’s hope utopia, are nothing but fabrications and half-truths. The GDP, for example, is reportedly showing positive growth, but when adjusted for distortions in government inflation usage and methodological changes that have resulted in a built-in upside bias to official statistics, there is no positive growth – we’re actually shrinking at a rate of 2% per year! The same distortions exist in the unemployment statistics, which are no longer calculated the way they were just thirty years ago. We may be adding 100,000 jobs each month, but the US economy requires 250,000 jobs be created every single month just to break even. In reality, the actual unemployment rate is much higher than the oft cited 16%, with Shadow Stats reporting in excess of 22% of Americans out of work.
Six out of ten Americans know that something is wrong and that it’s getting progressively worse. It’s hard to ignore the foreclosure signs in every American neighborhood, or the fact that friends and neighbors have been unemployed for extended periods, or the unrelenting price increases in essential goods, or the continued decimation of personal retirement accounts.
The policy decisions of government on all levels, spearheaded by President Obama and Congress have not made Americans more hopeful. They have not given Americans more confidence in their ability to succeed in an ever changing global marketplace. They have not made Americans more self sufficient and independent. They have not made Americans more equal under the law.
They have done exactly the opposite.