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Nevada Today

Nevada Today is a nonpartisan, independently owned and operated site dedicated to providing up-to-date news and smart analysis on the issues that impact Nevada's communities and businesses.

News and informationThe Economy

Public Sees An America In Decline On Many Fronts.

Pew Research Center. Social & Demographic Trends

Majorities predict a weaker economy, a growing income divide, a degraded environment and a broken political system.


Click here to read complete research 

Overall  view  Economics 
1. Public is broadly pessimistic about the  future of America. 1.  About four-in-ten Americans say, by the  time they retire, Social Security won’t have enough money to provide benefits
2. Narrow majority of Americans are  optimistic about the future of the U.S. over the next 30 years. 2.  Few Americans predict a better standard of living for families in 2050.
3. Whites, highly educated more pessimistic about country’s future standing in the world. 3.  Large majority says health care for all would benefit future generations.
4. Less educated adults are more likely to say another major terrorist attack will happen. 4.  Majorities say increased government spending on health care, education would improve life for future generations.
Race and minority relations  5.  Who will pay – and who should pay – for long-term eldercare in the future?
1.  Nearly half of whites say a majority non-white population will weaken American culture. 6.  Slightly more than half the country expects a weaker economy in 30 years.
2.  Minorities are more optimistic than whites about the country’s future. 7.  Majority expects national debt to be larger in 30 years.
3.  A majority of Americans say population aging will have a negative impact; views of growing racial and ethnic diversity are more mixed. 8.  Race and income linked to predictions about the sizes of the social classes in 2050.
4   No consensus on the impact of the U.S. having a majority nonwhite population by 2050. 9.  Many are pessimistic about the future standard of  living for American families.
5.  More Americans say having a majority non-white population will have a negative impact on conflicts and culture than say it will have a positive impact. 10. Majority says older adults will have a worse standard of living in 2050 than they do today.
6.  About half of Americans say the rise in interracial marriage is having a positive impact on the country. 11. About four-in-ten Americans say, by the time they retire, Social Security won’t have enough money to provide benefits.
7.  Large majorities expect a woman and a Hispanic U.S. president by 2050. 12. Majorities across demographic groups say no cuts should be made to Social Security benefits in the future.
8.  Most Americans worry about the country’s moral values; half say religion will become less important 13. Most say older adults will be less financially prepared for retirement in the future.
9.  Whites, those who attended college more likely to say religion will be less important in 2050 14. Many say government should play major role in financing long-term care for older adults; few think that will be the case.
10. Predictions about the future of marriage, divorce and childbearing differ by race. 15. Opinions differ across groups on the government’s responsibility for the cost of long-term care.
11. A majority of Americans say people will be less likely to get married in the future; about six-in-ten expect divorce rate to stay about the same. 16. About half of adults say U.S. workers will have less job security by 2050.
12. More than four-in-ten think people will be less likely to have children in the future. 17. Most Americans say workers should rely on the education system and themselves for skills and training.
13. Narrow majority of Americans say aging population will be a bad thing for country. 18. Young adults less likely to see military having a positive impact in the future.
Technology Political view 
1. Older adults, those with less education more negative about the impact of automation. 1. Roughly half of adults are very worried about the way Washington works and political leaders’ ability to solve problems in the country’s future.
2. Adults with less education more likely to say the work they do will be done by robots or computers 2. Parties are divided over future role of government but united in their view that polarization will worsen.
3. Americans think science and technology will have a positive impact in solving future problems; few say the same about the federal government. 3. Democrats and young adults voice greater concern over climate change.
4. On balance, public says automation has done more harm than good for U.S. workers. 4. Majorities say increased government spending on health care, education would improve life for future generations.
5. Public says robots will take over much of the work done by humans, but most workers don’t think it will affect their own type of work. 5. Republicans and Democrats have different ideas about what government should do to improve the lives of future generations of Americans.
6. Most say workplace automation will lead to more economic inequality. 6. Big income differences among Republicans on future priorities for the federal government.
7. Republicans have a negative view of the role the news media will play in solving future problems.
8. Republicans and Democrats disagree on who should be responsible for worker training.
9. Parties are deeply divided on future worries and priorities.
10. Parties are united in their view that polarization will worsen in the future.
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About Author

Michael McGreer Mesquite, Nevada
Dr. Michael Manford McGreer is managing editor of and writes on issues that impact public policy.

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