Today's latest installment of no HOPE due to CHANGE comes to us from a new Gallup poll that finds a majority of Americans who have invested for their retirements are still very pessimistic about their financial futures. Nearly 3/4 of those surveyed fear a major retirement crisis is looming--and that those who leave the workforce in their old age will have to do at a reduced standard of living--or even in poverty. Just as disturbing, 2/3 of those polled expect little to no economic growth in the US for the rest of their lives!
So just how did we become such a nation of Debbie Downers? We are living in the era of "Hope and Change"! Big Government is now here to relieve you of all your worries--and to take care of your every need (and want)! Health care is going to be "affordable" now! C'mon people, turn those frowns upside down--the good times are just getting started!
Those picking apart the numbers point out the main concern is with the stock market itself. We've had a tremendous run up to a new record high for the Dow yesterday, but the driving forces remain worrisome. These increases in corporate profits are due less to increased demand for product than they are from continued cutting of expenses. Eventually, the demand side has to pick up. Unless you believe in Keynsian economic theory--in which case, government intervention is all you need. And to that point, you have to assume that the quantitative easing that has been used to prop up the economy for the past five years must also come to an end at some point. Just the thought of that, however, has sent markets into near free fall before.
We should probably consider who was polled by Gallup. These are people who have invested for their retirement--and have been doing so for years. Perhaps they see that this economic "recovery"--as small and as slow as it has been--is just as phony as the one we saw after 9-11. Except this time, instead of relying on personal and consumer debt to make things look good, we are relying on government debt. And while some (Keynsians) may believe that approach is okay--because the government really doesn't "have to" pay that money back--those with the smallest bit of financial savvy recognize that they (let's call them Mitt Romney's 51%) are gong to be the ones footing that future bill.
Perhaps all of the HOPE is going to Millenials--"only" 42% of them believe they will have a lower standard of living than their parents. Innocence is so cute, isn't it?