REPORT:

Growing Public Anger in America

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government, under a "perfect storm of conditions" – a wrecked economy for millions fueling distrust and an "epic discontent with Congress and elected officials" who betrayed them.

The Pew Research Center (PRC) for the People & the Press is "an independent, non-partisan public opinion research organization that studies attitudes toward politics, the press and public policy issues."

On April 18, it published a report titled, "Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor," saying:

"By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days." A new PRC survey confirms it, and why not under a "perfect storm of conditions" - a wrecked economy for millions fueling distrust and an "epic discontent with Congress and elected officials" who betrayed them.

People want help, by a reformed, not activist government, and Republicans as well as Democrats draw ire. Growing numbers want less government, except for regulating Wall Street, and "ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows while opposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb."

For its part, though small, the Tea Party is a potential wild card, its sympathizers inclined to support Republicans, yet Republican-leaning independents say the movement represents their point of view better than the GOP.

Other PRC findings were as follows:

On March 18, Pew released a report titled, "Health Care Reform - Can't Live With It, Or Without It," saying:

"Gloomy Americans bash Congress, are Divided on Obama." Findings showed:

An April Pew Economic Policy Group study titled, "A Year of More: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment" (defined as six months or longer) determined 44% "met or exceeded that standard - the highest rate since World War II."

In addition, 23% have been unemployed for a year or more (3.4 million people). It's affecting nearly all industry and occupation sectors, all age groups, and once unemployed, education helps little. Further, job skills erode. Long-term unemployment is a mark of cain. It makes it harder competing against other candidates, and those affected generally get lower pay in a new job.

Hardest hit have been minorities, men, younger workers, and those less educated or skilled, Pew concluding overall that:

"The nation's long-term unemployment rate is historically high, and it has had a substantial impact on families, government budgets and the country's overall economic health. (Study findings showing) that nearly a quarter of the unemployed have been out of work for a year or more casts new light on the extent of the problem" that promises to be persistent for a long time to come.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on April 28, 2010.