Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back to Depression

In November 2010, I had a post on answers to the following question:
"As you may know, the United States went through a depression in the 1930s in which roughly one out of four workers were unemployed, banks failed across the country, and millions of ordinary Americans were temporarily homeless or unable to feed their families. Do you think it is very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not likely at all that another depression like that will occur in the US within the next 12 months?"  It had been asked a number of times between October 2008 and December 2009.  Since that post, it's been asked again (June 2011).  People are a little more pessimistic than they were in 2009:  the latest figures are  19% very likely, 29% somewhat likely, 32% not very likely, and 19% not at all likely.  The opinions of Democrats and Independents are about the same as they were in 2009, but Republicans have become considerably more pessimistic:  very likely has gone from 13% to 25%, and somewhat likely from 29 to 37%, while "not at all likely" has fallen from 20% to 9%.  You might have thought that the outcome of the congressional elections last November would have made Republicans more optimistic and Democrats more pessimistic, but apparently not.

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