Is the Arab Spring headed stateside? A Newsweek/Daily Beast polls finds Americans are more fed up with the economy than ever—and that last jobs report didn't help. Plus, great thinkers from Cornel West to Robert Reich tell us what they're angry about.
Gas and grocery prices are soaring, the housing market is crashing to new lows, and yet another dismal jobs report has confirmed a stubbornly high unemployment rate. Could the anger fueling the Arab Spring soon bring club-wielding protesters to America?
According to an exclusive poll by Newsweek and The Daily Beast, reality is beginning to break down Americans' normally optimistic attitude. Three-quarters of our respondents think the country is on the wrong track. A majority say the anxiety wrought by this recession has caused relationship problems and sleep deficiency. Two-thirds even report being angry at God. See the results of our poll below.
By almost four to one, Americans say our economy is not delivering the jobs we need, 81 percent to 12 percent.
And Obama isn't helping. 50 percent of respondents think the president has no real plan to balance the budget; 40 percent say he does.
Republicans aren't getting any love, either. Our poll respondents say the GOP is just laying the blame on Obama rather than making their own positive proposals, 58 percent to 29 percent.
Over half (52 percent) say their personal economic situation makes them nervous. Forty eight percent say it makes them anxious, 44 percent say it makes them upset, and 30 percent say it makes them angry.
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Americans are even losing sleep over this: 56 percent are so angry about their personal economic situation that they have lost sleep.
Thirteen percent say their anger has affected their sex life. Of those, 63 percent say they experienced a lower sex drive at least some of the time.
Listen up, Republicans: Our respondents overwhelmingly say they support increasing taxes on the wealthiest as a means of balancing the budget, 68 percent to 27 percent.
Seventy percent of Americans are nervous about their retirement because of their personal economic situation; 45 percent are nervous about being able to put their children through college; 31 percent are nervous about starting a family; and 29 percent are nervous about being able to afford to buy a home.
Twenty seven percent say their family's economic situation has affected their health, and 26 percent of those married say it has affected their marriage.
Of those who say their family's economic situation has affected their marriage, 57 percent say their relationship with their spouse has become worse, while 34 percent say it has become stronger.
Douglas Schoen is a political strategist and author of the upcoming book Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System to be published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins on September 14. Schoen has worked on numerous campaigns, including those of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Evan Bayh, Tony Blair, and Ed Koch.