Dec. 15, 2010

Section 1: Perceptions of Progress on Major Issues

Americans are tough graders when assessing the country’s progress on major issues. Since 1989, when this question was first asked, there has not been an occasion when a majority of the public said the country was making progress on any issue. Nevertheless, beliefs about whether the nation is making progress, staying about the same, or […]

Apr. 28, 2010

Section 2: The National Economy and Economic Policies

Though many experts say the nation’s troubled economy is showing signs of recovery, much of the public does not see it. Close to nine-in-ten rate economic conditions today as either poor (49%) or only fair (39%), numbers that have changed little since last June. A majority does not expect an imminent turnaround: more than a […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 7: Optimism, Personal Finances and Inequality

While the country is facing deep economic problems, Americans remain convinced of the value of hard work, and continue to believe that individuals control their fates. And while people express greater personal financial dissatisfaction than in more than two decades of values surveys, there has been no increase in the proportion saying they are unable […]

Sep. 13, 2007

A Nation of “Haves” and “Have-Nots”?

Over the past two decades, a growing share of the public has come to the view that American society is divided into two groups, the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Today, Americans are split evenly on the two-class question with as many saying the country is divided along economic lines as say this is not the […]

Aug. 2, 2005

GOP Makes Gains Among The Working Class, While Democrats Hold On To The Union Vote

Last week’s historic split in the House of Labor was driven, at least in part, by disagreements over whether the AFL-CIO should be focusing more on union organizing drives or electoral politics. Much is at stake, not just for the union movement but also for the political parties. Working class voters are a key swing […]

Jun. 21, 2001

Economic Inequality Seen As Rising, Boom Bypasses Poor

Introduction and Summary As the 90′s economic boom fades into history, one of its legacies is the increasing number of Americans who see society as divided between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots.’ More than four-in-ten (44%) now believe the nation is split along these lines, compared to just 26% who felt that way in 1988, […]

Jun. 21, 2001

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Finances Top Family Problem Economic concerns are weighing on the minds of Americans these days. When asked in an open-ended format to name the biggest problem currently facing them and their families, most Americans (62%) cite financial concerns, and the proportion doing so is up significantly from the mid-1990s. In 1994, 56% named financial concerns […]