Poll: Nearly Half in US See Great Depression Within a Year
A CNN poll conducted Friday June 3 shows Americans are increasingly gloomy about the economy. A shockingly-high 48% now believe the economy will sink into another Great Depression over the next 12 months.
Forty-eight percent say that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year - the highest that figure has ever reached. The survey also indicates that just under half live in a household where someone has lost a job or are worried that unemployment may hit them in the near future. The poll was conducted starting Friday, when the Labor Department reported that the nation's jobless rate edged up to 9.1 percent.
"The poll reminded respondents that during the Depression in the 1930s, roughly one in four workers were unemployed, banks failed, and millions of Americans were homeless or unable to feed their families," says [CNN Polling Director Keating] Holland. "And even with that reminder, nearly half said that another depression was likely in the next 12 months. That's not just economic pessimism - that's economic fatalism."
The poll reveals a stark divide between the official, rosy, view of things and reality. For example, official unemployment is 9.1% in America. But the real number is far worse, as those who have given up the job hunt, or are only working part-time (but want full-time work) are counted as "employed".
Economist John Williams' alternate unemployment tracking (roughly equivalent to the methods used during the first Great Depression) shows the real jobless rate at 22%.
The real picture may not be reflected in headline inflation and unemployment data. Stocks are going up. But Americans clearly realize that something about the economy is broken. Main Street sees the debt piling up, prices going up, and is confronted with a bleak jobs picture.
Related: See yesterday's piece on Richard Russell's "Great Depression No. 2" call.+15
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