(Washington Post) Robert Samuelson–The Public Is Frustrated and Pessimistic

Are you better off than you were four years ago? It’s a harder question than you might think.

If you examine the numbers, they suggest that most Americans aren’t better off than they were four years ago — but aren’t much worse off, either. The big difference may be their state of mind. When Barack Obama took office, the economy was collapsing. People were terrified. Companies were firing hundreds of thousands; the stock market was plunging. This fright has now morphed into a quiet dread that the economy is stuck in a state of insecure stagnation, which the government can’t cure and that will crush people’s dreams.

Just how Americans react to this change may determine whether they feel “worse off” — and how they’ll vote in November. Are people so relieved that we avoided a depression that they forgive the economy’s subsequent miserable performance as a lesser evil? Or are they so angry over Obama’s apparent powerlessness to engineer a strong recovery that their discontent overshadows any earlier success?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, Psychology

4 comments on “(Washington Post) Robert Samuelson–The Public Is Frustrated and Pessimistic

  1. jkc1945 says:

    Oh, believe me, we have NOT “avoided a depression.” We will experience one, and we can avoid it, now, IF we stop the spending and take our lumps now, in a controlled manner. Throwing printed fiat money at the problem only “kicks the can. . . ” and the result will be – – – a relatively uncontrolled crash. We can control it, to an extent at least, if we do it now. Otherwise, our future is dim, for perhaps a long period of time. And now, for the bad news. . . . .

  2. drummie says:

    The author asks:”Or are they so angry over Obama’s apparent powerlessness to engineer a strong recovery that their discontent overshadows any earlier success?” WHAT SUCCESS?

  3. Cennydd13 says:

    I agree with both of you. This country is definitely not better off, nor are we any worse off. The problem is that things are not improving…..or at least we aren’t convinced that they are, and our outlook…..at least from my own perspective…..is not at all good. When you have a Congress and a President who can’t (or won’t) agree to work together to solve at least some of the problems, then something is very seriously wrong in Washington, and we are headed for some real trouble which will make the past four years look like a romp in the park in comparison. Instead of agreeing to disagree, they’d better agree PDQ or get out of town.

  4. Cennydd13 says:

    In addition, I have to ask where those jobs that have supposedly been created are. They’re not in the hinterlands of this country; they’re in the major population centers. They’re not in towns and counties with chronically high unemployment rates.

    When people are forced to drive as much as 100 miles per day in some instances in order to get to work, that tells me something. When companies can’t be bothered to at least consider locating some of their operations in this country instead of Asia, that tells me something. When employers downsize their companies and lay off experienced workers while transferring their operations overseas in order to be profitable, that tells me something. When people retrain to new jobs, only to lose them when those new jobs become “obsolete” several years later…..often three or four times during a person’s working life, that tells me something.

    It speaks of corporate greed and mismanagement. It speaks of corporate executives living high on the hog while people at the lowest level are so often put out of work. It speaks of them doing it because they can, while so many are out of work and barely managing to get by. Something is rotten here…..[b]VERY[/b] rotten, and things are going to have to change……and I hear this a lot where I live in California.