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Americans Optimistic About New Year December 30, 2006

Posted by Michael in News.

Curiously, the country is perceived as being in bad shape, but people think that personally they are doing just fine.

An AP-AOL News Poll finds that while most Americans said 2006 was a bad year for the country, three-fourths thought it had been a good one for them and their families.

“In a time of war, so little has been asked of us as citizens,” said Given, who teaches ancient Greek at East Carolina University. “We haven’t had to sacrifice anything. We’ve been allowed to live our lives very, very well.”

Looking ahead, optimism reigns.

Seventy-two percent of Americans feel good about what 2007 will bring for the country, and an even larger 89 percent are optimistic about the new year for themselves and their families, according to the poll.

The reason — they feel in control  of their own destiny.

Krista Grueninger, communications director for Optimists International, a volunteer service organization based in St. Louis, Mo., says it’s easier for people to be optimistic about their situation “because they feel they have more control over their own lives. It kind of goes along with the American dream; if you really want something you can go out and get it.”

Iowan Jack Duvall, who organized a tongue-in-cheek countervailing group called the Iowa City Benevolent & Loyal Order of Pessimists, says that when people look at the country, “it’s easy to say, ‘No, I’m not optimistic.'” But on a micro level, he says, “We insist on seeing our lives as having hope.”

Is this a great country or what?

Americans optimistic for 2007


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