By historical standards, people are not especially negative today--in fact, they are a bit on the positive side. The median value is -14, and in October 2016, it was -4. Even in October 2008, assessments were not nearly as negative as in the late 1970s or the mild recession of 1990. I think I have an explanation for that, which I will offer in a later post. But for now, I'll just say that people are not especially discontented about the economy or "things in this country"--the see them as pretty much normal, not especially good and not especially bad. What they are discontented with is politics, specifically politics in Washington.
[Data from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research]