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Americans’ optimism is dying

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It is the very essence of the American Dream: an irrepressible confidence that our children will live better than we do.

And now it is gone.

It has been slipping for some time, really, but a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this month put an exclamation point on Americans’ lost optimism.

When asked if “life for our children’s generation will be better than it has been for us,” fully 76 percent said they do not have such confidence. Only 21 percent did. That was the worst ever recorded in the poll; in 2001, 49 percent were confident and 43 percent not.

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Sadly, all is now so "BAM! In your face" and impolite. Rudeness feels at all time high - and everyone thinks they have to act all 'bad-ass' all the time.

No wonder we are all so negative all of the time.......

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Probably because previous generations didn't saddle future generations with ungodly amounts of debt. Some future generation is going to end up paying all the debt we racked up. Yet some folks still insist on generating more debt to pass down to our children. Dems and Pubs aren't going to do a damn thing to solve this problem, which they combined to create. We need another party to take control and reign in spending which is why I vote Libertarian. We keep electing the same people and getting the same result which is insane. I don't know if they will solve the spending problem or not, but I do know the Dems and Pubs won't so I'm willing to give them a try.

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If we rely on any government official for our optimism, we are always going to be let down.

Goverment is just a tool for the enrichment of our culture and society. We need to use it as such.

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I dont think its a American politics problem, more of a welfare problem, with parties no matter who it is, you are always going to get the same result. It's the people, free rights groups, the internet and greed. People are becoming a little bit greedy, where as back in the 50s it was "can i help you friendly neighbor" now its "get off my yard" or "i am going to sue you because i can" thats not American, thats just being greedy

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I dont think its a American politics problem, more of a welfare problem, with parties no matter who it is, you are always going to get the same result. It's the people, free rights groups, the internet and greed. People are becoming a little bit greedy, where as back in the 50s it was "can i help you friendly neighbor" now its "get off my yard" or "i am going to sue you because i can" thats not American, thats just being greedy

And you really believe that by abolishing welfare we will save enough money to pay for the debt, which at the end of the day is what causes most of the insecurity?

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To be honest I think these poll results would be reflected in any western nation.... a continual stagnation of Political Ideas, reason being subjugated to the "God" of Political Correctness, the extraction of money from the taxpayer to support unpopular schemes etc. etc. I feel sorry for my children, and ashamed that it is my generation that has left them this legacy of woe.

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where as back in the 50s it was "can i help you friendly neighbor" now its "get off my yard"

One aspect that i'm sure plays a part is back in the 50's you wasn't bombarded 24/7 by doom and gloom - 24hr news and tv, social networking, smart phones.....if we not reading about war torn areas or famines, or crime in our own countries, or the environment etc, then we're being told we're heading for the next extinction anyway....constantly bombarded with negative thoughts - it's enough to make anyone pretty unfriendly.

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I dont think its a American politics problem, more of a welfare problem, with parties no matter who it is, you are always going to get the same result. It's the people, free rights groups, the internet and greed. People are becoming a little bit greedy, where as back in the 50s it was "can i help you friendly neighbor" now its "get off my yard" or "i am going to sue you because i can" thats not American, thats just being greedy

Would that be corporate welfare (bail outs and wage supports and the like) or the welfare to the rich in the form of tax cuts you would be talking about ?

Br Cornelius

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Would that be corporate welfare (bail outs and wage supports and the like) or the welfare to the rich in the form of tax cuts you would be talking about ?

Br Cornelius

The welfare state encompasses all the above. Be it welfare providing incentives to sneak across the mexican border to corporate bankster bailouts to tax cuts for the high earners. The current system of compromise by giving a little to take a little created this whole mess. Factor in the negative effects of the federal reserves economic policies and its no wonder people are complaining everyday - its tough trying to keep up with inflation. Strikes, lockouts, invasion of privacy and the never ending military expenditures. The nation has gone frootloops. Its probably a great thing the federal government is currently on vacation. The executive branch is on auto pilot anyhow.

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American's overall belief in God seems to be declining as well. Perhaps there is a connection.

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Probably because previous generations didn't saddle future generations with ungodly amounts of debt. Some future generation is going to end up paying all the debt we racked up. Yet some folks still insist on generating more debt to pass down to our children. Dems and Pubs aren't going to do a damn thing to solve this problem, which they combined to create. We need another party to take control and reign in spending which is why I vote Libertarian. We keep electing the same people and getting the same result which is insane. I don't know if they will solve the spending problem or not, but I do know the Dems and Pubs won't so I'm willing to give them a try.

The debt has something to do with it, and there are other factors. Sending jobs overseas is a big one. The actual unemployment rate is much higher than the one published by the government. Youngsters graduating from college are forced into becoming waitresses and bartenders.

And all these things have a cumulative effect. One century of a drug prohibition which for the last 50 years has incentivized the turning in of neighbors and family members to the government. That breeds great mistrust in society, not a good thing.

Endless wars, the Age Of Snowden, and on and on... :cry:

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It's hard to be optimistic when everyone has a smash and grabe attitude. It makes me just want to move my to the woods and forget about people.

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American's overall belief in God seems to be declining as well. Perhaps there is a connection.

That actually brings me optimism.

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That actually brings me optimism.

now, now...

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I tend to agree this is a result of endless negative Media coverage. This is why I don't watch TV anymore. I read online news, and a lot of it is negative, but it is possible to filter the facts out of the propaganda.

I still have hopes of my kids doing better then me. But I could see where many would not, since they live crappy lives with just the token amounts of money the FedGov hands out to keep them barely under control. I wonder what the Depression rates are among the Poor?

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I can say that my optimism for a better future for my son has faded substantially, the world seems to be in such turmoil right now and I don't have the feeling that it's going to get better anytime soon.

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Maybe the problem is that we have an awkward image of what a "better future" is.

50 years ago the big dream was that you get a college education (which most parents did not have) and with that a better job (which most parents did not have either) and therefore could afford more for yourself and children.

Now that a majority has some college and many a degree (without in many cases getting a better job) the question is: What do we see as a better future for our kids?

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Maybe the problem is that we have an awkward image of what a "better future" is.

50 years ago the big dream was that you get a college education (which most parents did not have) and with that a better job (which most parents did not have either) and therefore could afford more for yourself and children.

Now that a majority has some college and many a degree (without in many cases getting a better job) the question is: What do we see as a better future for our kids?

I would personally define a better future for my child as a life with more opportunities and love than mine, call me crazy but i'm just not feeling the love going around right now. Whether that falls back to the endless negative media coverage, or the endless amount of negativity that exists on our little planet I can't be sure.

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We have deindustrialised the country, so we make little to no actual money. Our debt is unsustainable to the point its sure to crush us, and we are living in a near total police state where you cant even have a private phone conversation. I have zero hope it will be better for my children then it was for me.

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