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No matter what the Fed says about a slow recovery, more than half of Americans say the U.S....

No matter what the Fed says about a slow recovery, more than half of Americans say the U.S. economy is in a recession or depression, a new Gallup poll shows. The number who think we're in a depression: 29%. It's hard to see how the economy can truly recover "when so many people believe that it has not recovered at all," Doug McIntyre comments.
Comments (25)
  • I prefer to call the "recovery" a "stabilization"--we stopped falling off a cliff, for now.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • Think of the bright side, the banks are doing great.
    What a government we have, screw the people and pump billions into the banks, domestic and foreign.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Having parents who lived during the depression, no, we are nowhere near being in the midst of a depression. Having lived through waiting in long lines to fill up the car, this isn't the worst gas crisis I've seen. I think folks have turned a bit soft.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • True, OM, this is not close the the Great Depression. The people who lived through the GD will have it easy compared to what is going to hit us. Back then they didn't have huge public and privates debts to pay off and prices actual were stable or fell during that time. We have two choices right now: surging inflation destroying wealth or surging interest rates crushing everyone in debt including banks and our own government. Sadly we might end up with both in some form.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • We are in different times, but debt was a problem back them. Remember, lots of stock was bought on margin, at a 90% rate.
    29 Apr 2011, 06:54 AM Reply Like
  • That is true we have not recovered at all.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Let them. So What.

     

    All you are doing is tracking the price of gas. Meaningless

     

    40% of Americans believe the Bible Creation myth literally

     

    About 60% cannot point to Iraq on a map.

     

    None of these observations change the underlying facts

     

    E
    28 Apr 2011, 02:24 PM Reply Like
  • what? the majority of 70% of "real" GDP thinks things aren't better?

     

    Oh those silly middle class consumers...maybe Goldman exec...I mean ,NY Fed Dudley can send them iPads to eat.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • These reports are typical for this phase in any economic cycle. Public sentiment is a lagging indicator. The only difference from the past is that now we can get this kind of information real time and tons of it.

     

    Anybody that's been around for a few cycles can remember hearing exactly these kinds of stories as the economy is into an upswing. Even at the top, these kinds of stories abound.

     

    Most people are never satisfied and are prone to whining. But they're too lazy to get up off their sofas and do anything about it.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • Lake, if this is an "upswing" I'd hate to see your downswing. And, yes, I'm off the sofa and done plenty about my own situation but that has been mostly luck.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • And yet, in the middle of a depression, all these people are buying smartphones with expensive data plans, Ipads, big screen TV's and new cars. People don't know what a real depression actually entails.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Its pretty simple - everyone except the idiots in DC know that we are broke. Flat out broke. And every day that goes by we owe more money - the idiots in DC have turned our country into crony capitalism society no better than the Soviet Union. The financial elite, bureaucrats, and politicians are the only people with bright futures. And since the government is about 25% of the country I can understand why about 60% still thinks we're in a recession. 25% government employees think life is great, 2% politicians and their staffers and lobbyists think life is great. And the 5-10% financial elite, especially the bankers think life is great. So there you have it - 40% think life is great and 60% know that they and their children are being screwed each and every day by the government that is supposed to be "of the people, by the people, for the people"..... but its really "of the politicians, by the bureaucrats, for the financial elite".
    28 Apr 2011, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc,
    You said, "the idiots in DC have turned our country into crony capitalism society no better than the Soviet Union."

     

    Banana Republic comes to mind!
    28 Apr 2011, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Lakeaffect, thanks for your fact based pramatic comments. I know many people, some who are doing quite well financially, who "believe" that the economy is still in a recession and any signs to the contrary are artificially created by goverment spending and monetary policy. I think if we filtered these poll results by political affiliation we would see a significant deviation between political affiliation in terms of belief in the current economic recovery. The Republicans and alike were so entrenched in there opposition to both the stimulous, TARP and QE1&2 so it is very difficult for those people to admit that we are indeed in a sustained recovery.
    28 Apr 2011, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • Perhaps only republicans are unemployed or underemployed and have to pay $4 a gallon for gas.
    Looks like your bias is showing.

     

    BTW, "so entrenched in there opposition", the proper word is "their", not "there".
    Must be your democratic education.
    28 Apr 2011, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • So true.
    28 Apr 2011, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • No one is saying that QE1 and 2 weren't beneficial for the short-term economy....people are saying that the ratio of money spent (long term debt) to value created was about 100:1.

     

    The Fed programs were exploited by those that had the most access to it, the banks. While the money dilution created has caused huge real drops in the income of the non-bankers among us.

     

    I can't say what would've happened without Bernake's efforts but I can say that, without real reform in the U.S. banking system, we're climbing up hills of sand.
    28 Apr 2011, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • You are so right. Without a duplicate US in which no QE was employed, no one can say for certainty if it works or not. We are human, and we want to react and try and do something. And yes, most actions have unintended consequences. And the bankers did take advantage of the situation.
    29 Apr 2011, 06:58 AM Reply Like
  • Fr33f0rm, you said "I can't say what would've happened without Bernake's efforts" and that is exactly the point that I always make with having a discussion on this topic. I ask the person who complains about the actions taken to put themselves in the shoes of policies makers back in late 2008 and early 2009. I remind them that they are charged with implementing policies which will combat the crisis and get the economy stabilized as soon as possible. The actions that are chosen need ot have as much certainty in their effectiveness as possible. Certainty is where the distinction has to be made. Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner proposed actions which had a high degree of certainty of success. The alternatives, including allowing the financial system to collapse and subsequently rise from the ashes, were much more uncertain and thus were non-starters. We can argue about the costs, but at least the costs of TARP, the Stimulous Plan and the auto bailouts were known, whereas doing far less and allowing for massive failures carried with it an open-ended cost which could not be reasonably estimated.
    29 Apr 2011, 08:21 AM Reply Like
  • In an interview, Paulson admitted to getting the dry heaves while the collapse was approaching. I think he was horrified at what might happen if nothing was done.
    29 Apr 2011, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • Politicians have been doing a great job spending money they do not have. Some Americans can find out what austerity is about.
    28 Apr 2011, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • "Politicians have been doing a great job spending money they do not have."

     

    I think a growing percentage of Americans have decided to do the same. If the feeling is that things are not getting better for them and won't get better, then 'eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die (or go bankrupt)'. And let the creditors write it off.
    28 Apr 2011, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • The problem is in the definition of recession. Once you have hit the bottom and started up the recession is officially over, no matter how far from the previous norm you are.

     

    The average person will not be satisfied until economic conditions return to where they were previously. And no one cares about GDP or GNP. People want jobs and security. That's when they will change their opinion.
    28 Apr 2011, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • DavyJ, I think that you make a very good case for why people do not "believe" that the economy is recovering. However, I think that the public suffers from a very pronounced double standard. In the 1980's, which is defined by most as a very good economic time for the country, the unemployment rate was quite high for most of that decade. In fact, in 1979 under Carter the unemployment rate was 5.9% and it proceeded to increase to 10.4% by 1983 and then retreated slowly for the remainder of President Reagan's two terms. The unemployment rate finally got back under 6% in 1987.
    28 Apr 2011, 10:06 PM Reply Like
  • The most important point I learned when in marriage counseling was that what you do is not important; it's what your partner perceives you are doing. I adjusted my communication so that her perception matched my actions (and it took time and wasn't easy for me but it was worth it.) This administration, as opposed to the Reagan administration, in spite of their 'hope' slogan, has not made the private sector workers feel that they are interested in helping them better their lot.
    28 Apr 2011, 11:15 PM Reply Like
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