Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Numbers Are In And The Numbers Are Not Good The - Disturbing Negative Trends In Just About Everything In America

We review a lot of numbers in this blog. Some of them have become almost legends, given the their negative consistency for America:

  • Unemployment rate - seems to be stuck around the 9% levels forever.
  • 14 million Americans still unemployed.
  • National Debt - $14 TRILLION and climbing steadily towards $15 TRILLION.
But these are the hard core, distressing economic numbers. How are we doing as a nation from a confidence and attitude perspective?

Let's start with a recent Zogby poll that was taken from a sample of 2,125 voters in late July and early August:
  • More than two thirds of those polled, 69%, believe that American jobs lost during the recession are unlikely to ever return.
  • 69% also feel that the country's days as the most powerful economy in the world are over.
  • Only 17% of those polled felt businesses would add jobs, down from 23% from that felt that way a year ago.
A recent Pew Research international survey found that:
  • In 15 of 22 nations where the poll was conducted, the majority of responses felt that China will either replace the U.S. as the world's leading super power or has already done so.
  • In the 15 countries where this is true, the feeling has increased substantially over the past two years, with the increase exceeding 10 or more percentage points in Spain, France, Pakistan, Britain, Jordan, Israel, Poland, and Germany.
  • In this country, the percentage of Americans saying that China will eventually overshadow the U.S. or already does has increased from 23% in 2009 to 46% in 2011.
  • Apparently the juvenile bickering over the debt ceiling debate did some serious damage to the country's international reputation.
According to a recent CNN poll:
  • Six out of every ten Americans think the economy is still getting worse.
  • Three out of every four Americans believe the nation is doing badly.
  • The jump in economic pessimism over the past two years is across every demographic and political subgroup within the survey, i.e., most Americans think the economy is in a downturn and is getting worse.
  • Americans cannot even agree on whether the debt ceiling agreement had any merit with 48% approved of the deal but 50% disapproved of the deal.
According to a recent McClatchy-Marist poll:
  • Almost seven out of ten Americans believe the economy will get worse before it gets better.
  • Over 70% of Republicans and independents felt the economy is going to get worse and even a majority of Democrats, 57%, felt the worse is yet to come.
According to  a recent Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey:
  • The preliminary August finding saw the consumer sentiment index fall to 54.9, down from 63.7 in July.
  • This is the lowest the index has been since 21 years ago in May, 1980, the last year of the Carter Presidency.
  • It was substantially below what the experts had been predicting for the August index value.
  • Survey director Richard Curtin was quoted as saying: "Never before in the history of the surveys have so many consumers spontaneously mentioned negative aspects of the government's role."
According to the recent Small Business Optimism Index, calculated by the National Federation of Independent Business:
  • The July index fell .9 points to 89.9, the fifth month in a row the index has dropped.
  • The small business productivity rate also declined in the second quarter, the first time since the onset of the Great Recession that productivity has dropped two quarters in a row.
  • The index is at its lowest level since last September.
  • Reasons for the drop include higher labor costs, the expectation of lower sales, the inability to raise prices in a sluggish economy, and worries about increased taxes and government regulation.
According to recent results from Gallup's Weekly Economic Confidence Index:
  • The first week of August results saw the index plunge to -53, the lowest level since the middle of the recession in March, 2009.
  • This index result of -53 is down from an index of -43 two weeks ago and -34 from a month ago.
  • The index has gone steadily down over the five weeks after being relatively constant for the past few months.
  • The -53 index is substantially worse than the -29 index from the same time last year.
  • The index combines two measurements : do Americans think the economy is getting better or worse and how do they rate current economic conditions.
  • 77% of Americans said the domestic economy is getting worse in the latest week's polling, up from 71% two weeks ago and 64% a month ago.
  • It is up substantially from 59% who felt the same way a year ago. In 2010 these results were trending to a positive feeling about the economy while the 2011 results are trending unfavorably about how Americans feel about the economy.
  • The percentage of American rating the current economic situation as poor was up to 55% in the latest weekly poll, up from 49% two weeks ago  and 45% a month ago.
  • This compares with 45% of survey respondents rating economic conditions as poor the same time last year.
  • These negative results and negative trends are consistent across all subgroups and demographics.
The numbers from overseas are not that great either, according to a recent Arab Zogby poll:
  • The United States and President Obama's favorable ratings in the Arab world are at an all time low.
  • Obama is less popular in the Middle East than Iran's President Ahmadinejad. This has to be the biggest insult anyone has given the President.
  • Killing Osama Bin Laden has not improved the U.S. standing in the region.
  • The majority of those surveyed viewed "U.S. interference in the Arab world as the greatest obstacle to peace and stability in the Middle East."
  • The top concern of those surveyed is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with many blaming the occupation of Palestine on the United States.
  • In five of the six countries where the survey was conducted, the U.S. was viewed less favorably than Turkey, China, France, and Iran.
  • Iran's policies are viewed more favorably than the polices of the United States, another blow to President Obama's handling of our relations with the Arab world.
In the wake of these horrific trends, findings, and and declining confidence, what has the American political class been doing recently:
  • Last week President Obama hosted the World Series champs, the 2010 San Francisco Giants at the White House.
  • This week the President hosted the 2011 Super Bowl champs the Green Bay Packers, at the ,White House.
  • The President has attended a number of reelection campaign fundraisers.
  • As far as Congress and its members are concerned, we have no idea what they are doing since they are treating themselves to a five week vacation.
Disgraceful, rather than working on solutions to the the problems underlyng these hideous survey results, these issues have been shunted aside in order for our political class and its members to work on their personal goals, issues, and relaxation. The country is in crisis and it seems everyone in the country recognizes that we are in crisis, as the survey results prove, EXCEPT for our sitting politicians.

Three years into this horrible economic situation and the political class does not even seem interested in trying to understand why everything they have done in this area has failed in order to maybe come up with something that will actually work. Three years into this Presidency and it has somehow been able to make the United States look worse in the Arab world than the Bush administration. Three years into this Presidency and the Arab world actually has a higher opinion of Iran and its nutty leader than the United States. Three years into this Presidency and the United States has been displaced or shortly will be displaced as the strongest economic power in the world by China in the minds of Americans and others.

Given the terrible quagmire the politicians have gotten the nation and its citizens, it is not to soon to start figuring out how we can dump all incumbents up for election next year out of office. Why? Simple question. Simple answer: how much worse could it get to put all new people into office in Washington?

Not since the Carter administration have I seen everything be so negative. In fact, I am not sure it got this bad during the Carter administration, which, if true, is another amazing fact since the country's confidence and economic well-being got hammered really bad during those dark times of stagflation and oil crises. We have allowed some very small thinking people to get hold of the political processes in this country and to manipulate the processes to put themselves in perpetual office.

Thus, it is time to 1) repeat the 2010 success of dumping incumbents out of office but this time making sure the dump truck is more effective in removing incumbents and 2) start the urgent process, as outlined in Step 39 of "Love Country, Loathe My Government," of instituting a Constitution amendment process to put term limits into the Constitution. We cannot afford to keep sending the same people back to Washington that resulted in the atrociously negative findings discussed above.

We need to adopt the campaign slogan of "Grumpy" the clown, the famous Brazilian clown that was elected to the Brazilian Congress under the campaign slogan: "It can't get any worse." Given the negative trending numbers above, I'm afraid Grump is right when it comes to the American political class.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at http://www.loathemygovernment.com/. It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.
Please visit the following sites for freedom:

http://www.reason.com/ http://www.repealamendment.com/

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