In America We Trust

A financial crisis and a polarizing debate on social and political issues may have Americans down, but they are not out. A new Gallup/USA Today poll shows that most Americans expect good things are coming - when asked how they feel about the next 20 years, nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said they were optimistic. Asked why, 35 percent answered the "strength/will of the American people." In addition, more than six in 10 respondents said they believe today's children will have a better life than their parents. This positive outlook on the future is consistent with the response to a question that the Gallup Poll has asked periodically for the past 50 years. Americans now rate their country's standing as a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. The bad news is that this result was just above the all-time low of 4.8 during the Watergate scandal. Better news - the forecast is that the U.S. will climb to 5.7 by 2015. One thing many people may have to look forward to is an improving job market. More jobs are still being lost than created, but the chart below shows that the trend is better than we've seen since the beginning of 2008.

inamerica I've said many times that the government's main focus should be on creating jobs. Once people get back to work and feel confident they can fulfill the needs of their family, economic activity will pick up. With their resilience, Americans are setting a great example for the emerging world. In India, China, Brazil and dozens of other countries, ambitious people are creating better lives for themselves and their children. These children will go on to provide new opportunities for their own children-just like what happened in the United States in decades past. The Chinese and the Indians and the Brazilians will get knocked down along the way, but their strong belief in what we call "the American Dream" will help them get up and continue to prosper.

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