This post may be a bit less political than others, but when I read this article from AP, I had to write about it. The article is basically just a bunch of interesting bits and factoids about Americans’ state of mind, opinions, beliefs, etc. It comes from the Pew Research Center and is really quite typical in terms of methodology; they surveyed 1,546 American adults over the course of a few days and the margin for error is +/- 3 points. Read through the post, my goal is to progress from the least interesting to the most curious bits from the article.
– As the headline of the article says, Americans are less optimistic than in the past. 64% are optimistic about their future, and 61% are optimistic about the nation’s future. That is down, however, from previous levels of 81% and 70%, respectively.
– Only 56% of Americans expect a stronger economy.I don’t find this particularly surprising, even the most strident optimist may have trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
– 71% expect cancer to be cured by 2050. Speaking of optimism…It’s unfortunate but I suspect we will see many more superficial diseases/dysfunctions (like baldness and erectile dysfunction) cured before cancer.
– 72% expect a major energy crisis. What you mean like global warming? Oh, wait….
– 58% think there will be another world war. I just don’t see it, but then again I have no crystal ball.
– 61% say no one will send letters by 2050. I am hopeful for this to come true. Yes, American Express and Discover, that is directed at you.
– 50% expect health care to be more affordable. Not exactly a ringing endorsement there, Mr. President.
– Apparently, Obama has paved the way, so to speak. Within 40 years, 89% expect to see a woman president (President Palin? Yikes…) and 69% expect a Latino. I bet these numbers would have been SIGNIFICANTLY lower before 2008, but maybe Americans are just a little more idealistic than I would credit them for.
– Finally, the grand daddy of them all. 41% of survey respondents expect Jesus Christ to return by 2050. That’s right, 4 out of 10 Americans are expecting Jesus Christ to return by 2050. I won’t go too far into this, suffice it to say I am flabbergasted (and more than a bit frightened) that 41% of Americans would say this.
So what do you think, accurate snapshot of Americans?