Poll verifies Western Nations’ economic pessimism

People in Western Europe and the United States share an extremely negative view of the economy and place the blame squarely on their national governments, a new survey shows.

The survey, conducted for the International Herald Tribune and France 24 by Harris Interactive, showed that far more people felt their purchasing power had decreased a lot in the past three years than felt it had increased even a little.

In France and Italy, more than 50 percent of respondents said they were a lot worse off financially, a huge number for such a survey. And even in the countries where people felt least affected by the global financial slump, Britain and the United States, those who considered themselves a lot worse off outnumbered those who thought themselves even a little better off by a ratio of 3 to 2…

Large majorities in every country expressed dissatisfaction with their governments’ responses. Two in three people took that view in most countries; only in Spain did the number fall as low as 56 percent, while in Germany it rose to 74 percent.

As Westerners tighten their belts, leisure spending has been the first thing to go. Half or more of the people in each country cut back on outings like movies or sports events, or on expenditures for computers, televisions and the like. Cutbacks on travel, clothing, books and even home furnishings have also become commonplace.

People in many countries have begun to cut back on gasoline as its price soars, even though this basic pocketbook issue is not taken into consideration by the U.S. government in setting its monetary policy, preferring instead to use a “core inflation” index that excludes gasoline and food, among other items. Americans are typical of those in the six nations surveyed, with 44 percent cutting back on gasoline use and 37 percent staying the same.

Here in the States, the essential concern of our elected officials is retaining power. If our diminishing standard of living might affect their status in the polls, well, then they’re concerned as all get out. Otherwise, we can pound sand.

One thought on “Poll verifies Western Nations’ economic pessimism

  1. K B says:

    the essential concern of our elected officials is retaining power

    You know, people know this, but few sit down to really really really let it sink in. Until it fully sinks in, you cannot make rational political decisions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.