US Economic Worries Hit 2 Year High

Tyler Durden's picture

According to Gallup, attempts to distract the US population with trivial side stories is failing spectacularly, as 74% of survey respondents have responded that the economy is the "most important problem" facing America today, which is the highest percentage in two years, and since the market lows in March 2009. So even as the market has doubled, this appears to have done little for the average American who is now more concerned about the true "economy" than ever since the Great Financial Crash, and not merely the one indicated by the Russell 2000. Chalk one more failure to Ben's attempt at forcing the wealth effect upon the great unwashed.

From Gallup:

Gallup has been asking Americans the most important problem question on a monthly basis since 2001. Economic issues began to dominate Americans' concerns in 2008 as the financial crisis unfolded, and rose to an all-time high of 86% in February 2009. Since then, Americans have still generally been more concerned about economic matters than non-economic ones, although the percentage naming economic concerns did fall for much of 2009 before creeping back up in 2010 and 2011.

Main concerns are the economy, jobs, and the price of gas, not the S&P

General economic concerns (35%) and unemployment (22%) are the specific issues currently at the forefront of Americans' minds. The percentage mentioning the economy in general is up significantly from 26% in April, while unemployment is up just slightly from 19%.

Twelve percent of Americans mention the federal budget deficit or federal debt as the nation's most important problem, down from 17% in April, although still high on a historical basis. The April reading was the highest Gallup found since 1996.

Mentions of gas prices are up to 8% in the May 5-8 Gallup poll, the highest in nearly three years.

Oddly enough, even now people don't rush to blame the government:

The leading non-economic problem -- dissatisfaction with government --
lags way behind Americans' top economic concerns, at 8%. Mentions of
dissatisfaction with government are down from 13% in April, likely the
result of the rally in support for President Obama and Congress after the killing of Osama bin Laden.

This will be sure to change next week when the death of Al Qaeda leader is forgotten.

Gallup's bottom line:

While Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Washington are desperately seeking common ground on the federal budget deficit and debt issue -- the United States will reach its borrowing limit  Monday -- Americans are worried primarily about the economy and jobs. If Congress fails to raise or delays raising the debt limit, it could cause economic problems for the country, but Americans may not fully understand these consequences and may instead be prioritizing the issues that are affecting their current daily lives.

Although U.S. job creation reached a 2 ½-year high in April, Americans are still highly concerned about unemployment, underscoring the extent to which the recession devastated the job market. Further improvement on the jobs front -- which is closely tied to spending and economic confidence -- may be needed before Americans' priorities on the nation's top issues shift away from the economy.

Perhaps it is time for the Fed to shift the popular rhetoric of QE as a means of raising to stock market to one of job creation, the same pretext used back in March 2009. This will be especially needed in advance of QE3 now that the labor participation rate is expected to jump and the narrow unemployment rate will likely move from 9% to double digits once again.

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I am more equal than others's picture

We have a lot to worry about.  Looks like reality has just shown its ugly face.

Chuck Walla's picture

Pity the political class has other imperatives and their media allies suborn this treason.

oh_bama's picture

People are WORRIED cause they don't TRUST THE FED, but for the people who don't trust BEN he will NOT make money!!



TruthInSunshine's picture

Ben S. Bernanke.

A failure of a Federal Reserve Chairman.

A failure of an Economist.

A failure of a man.

A failure of integrity, morals and ethics.

Ben S. Bernanke.

He is, quite simply, a case study in failure.

He really should have stayed in the ivory tower of Princeton or some similar academic setting, whereby his Keynesian fantasies would have made for great black board exercises in the classroom, but wouldn't ever have had the opportunity to wreak so much economic destruction and market disortions upon the real world.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

one part of the recovery story not addressed enough is : Justice..

few with equity want to risk it in a system that is obviously corrupt, ( the exception is those who are at the top of the pyramid and feel they control the markets)..

argue qe++ or no qe. important but not strategic.

Over regulation in favor of the oligarch co's such as GE (see light bulbs mandated by law)

forces out investment capital.

taxation on all the non oligarchs co's is artificially high due to the exemptions (see exemptions to obama care and nancy pelosi's district)..

the economic advantage of the big banks which are supported no matter how much debt is not serviceable and no matter what criminal behavior they employed..

in short "somebody has to go to jail" is being nullifed which is not fixable by QE or any FED tactic..Justice is neutered but the result is an economy without the trust needed for business to commit to growth.

lizzy36's picture

Actually that may turn out to be Obama's biggest mistake. Listening to Geithner (listening to tiny tim at all but i digress), on this one, refusing to prosecute.

It also may be the financial industries biggest error. Refusing to demand prosecution of their own. It taints the whole industry, paints everyone in it with the same brush.  

blindfaith's picture

Yes, indeed, fools we are.  We 'bought' the crap that a politician can CREATE JOBS.  They can't, they are politicians NOT businessmen.  They can't even if they give a lifetime of tax breaks to business.  Business has no confidence in politicians, that is the problem number one.  I don't meaninternational corporations getting the dol, I mean US business owners...home grown, home based. 

Every politician BELIEVES they can trade their 'elected' jobs back and forth between them and their R & L political parties we have a damn choice (unless we as Americans do something, God knows what that is, I don't).  Hey...You guys take it this session, and we'll take next session...OK? deal?  It is like having all the money, benefits and 2 to 4 years paid time off to get your breath, back before the next election that we dumb ass Americans keep perpetuating.

Anyone who thinks that Marie Antoinette and Louis are dead can't see the forest for the trees.




How when a given political party LOADs the Justice Department with 'like-kind' thinking which started with Reagan and saw it excellerated with G. Bush, and fires anyone who is not 'with the program?  Where were was on the news, we all heard it.  We did nothing, like always.  You have people like Roger Moore exposing corruption, what do we do...nothing, not even write a letter.

LRC Fan's picture

You're a douche.  I never voted and will never vote any of these fucks "out of office" or "into office" so there is no "mandate" from me other than FUCK OFF!  Blaming someone like me or most others reading this (who probably don't vote either) is retarded.  Write a letter?  Are you fucking kidding me?  Seriously?  Writing a letter would have changed things in Washington?  Voting?  Lmao.  You want to know what I did?  I've been buying physical silver.  I've been laughing at the politicians and all their propaganda.  I've been trying my hardest to educate everyone I come into contact with about the sham.  I've spread the word about Zerohedge,, and Lew Rockwell.  I've told people who Murray Rothbard is.  Hardly anyone gives a fuck, they think they can "vote the bums out" and all will be well.  Blame them, not the people here who generally laugh at Washington DC and call out Bush/Obama/Pelosi/Geithner/Bernanke for the mother fuckers that they are.  The real problem are those who absolutely cannot call out BOTH Bush AND Obama with equal anger.  Government depends on the consent of the people, at least a large % of people.  If 90% of people acted like I did, the government wouldn't matter.  Not voting, ignoring the propaganda, accumulating physical PMs, and educating others is the way to "change" things.  I can only control so much.  You're delusional if you think one letter, or a million letters would change anything.  Not voting, if done on a large enough scale, would change things significantly.  Same as not paying taxes.  But I won't hold my breath on that one either. 

Sam Clemons's picture

Once "they" lose control of the stock "market," this is really going to get bad quickly.

cossack55's picture

Where's the freakin' helicopter. I keep looking outside, waiting to see my lawn covered in Benjamins and all I see is the grass glowing from the Fuku plutonium. All I ever see are black helicopters. WTF?

tmosley's picture

Currently, they are only offloading money at locations with helicopter pads.  That means you have to be a banker, or fantastically personally wealthy to get the freshly printed cash.

Peter K's picture

Me thinks the Bamster is toast in '12. Just saying.

cossack55's picture

They will be buttering our asses long before that.

lizzy36's picture

Me thinks everything is relative. Not absolute.

Against the likes of Newt Gringrich, he is definitely not toast.

blindfaith's picture

yea...good ol' Newt.  When he runs he can bring his wife and various girl friends to the fund raisers at the church in South Carolina that Mr. Sanford attends.

johnnynaps's picture

Yep, I agree. He will be replaced with an even bigger quack! Because this has got to be the dumbest population on the planet now!

lizzy36's picture

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times, and bernanke and geithner, should lose their jobs?

FOC 1183's picture

speaking of "relative" as it relates to elections:


mrdenis's picture


Homeland Security Advisory System .....we need a RED alert ...stat!

SP666_IsComing's picture

All news everywhere now is completely worthless and irrelevant except for ONE!

The truth will finally come crashing down in October of this year. There is no escape. It will be impossible to prop these markets through October, impossible.

Comet Elenin is going to be a real nasty little bitch.  The earth will pass through its comet tail in October.  The solar winds will be cut in half for days.  It’s impact will be ENORMOUS.  It will cause the earth’s mantle to vibrate, it will create unimaginable weather of wind and rain.  It will cause destruction beyond comprehension.  Dust particles from the tail will create enormous rainclouds on a global scale.  Sea levels everywhere will rise, a great deal higher than right now.

How many Fukushima type nuclear power plants are sitting in the US? All of them are designed to blow sky-high when they lose power.  Elenin is going to cause a worldwide blackout and hell will fall on the earth when power is lost everywhere.  How many Fukushima’s in the US are priced into this market right now?

SP666 is going to be taken out when Elenin passes, there is no doubt.

We are about to start the perilous journey down the other side of the human population growth impulse spike.  Literally billions of people are going to die when Elenin strikes, and world population will continue to tumble when all infrastructure is destroyed and food becomes as scarce as gold. 

Bankster criminal elite families have been planning for this event for millennium.  They’ve used their central banking thievery machines to steal the world’s gold, created paper mountains of bullshit, all for this event and its all about to go up in smoke, as planned.  This comet is old.  Only those “elect” few have known of its existence and timing.  The old books of Enoch for example, and the old stories of the great flood, the Epic of Gilgamesh, etc. Even some old jewish texts allude to this comet as being the coming “Messiah”. 

It is going to be downplayed by the lying ass media till it smashes everything. There is no stopping it. The destruction to come is not a joke. It will be very very real.

SP-666 is coming, and very soon.

Wake up world. Protect yourselves.

Ahwooga's picture

From Discovery Channel website:


Let's look at the physics. Comet Elenin is a loose agglomeration of volatile ices and dust a few miles across. It is therefore one hundred billionth the mass of our moon. (The relative difference is roughly the same as the mass of a mosquito vs. the mass of an oil supertanker.)

The comet will pass no closer to us than 84 times the Earth-moon distance.

Move along folks, nothing to see here.


topcallingtroll's picture

The guy is a schizophrenic.

He is impervious to fact or rational thought and they bounce right off of him with no effecy

Ask him about haldol. If he hasnt met my good friend haldol he is likely to meet him soon.

I make my living off these guys when they eventually do something really crazy and the judge sends them my way.

MachoMan's picture

At least with court appointed clients, you might have a chance at getting a captive audience...  not so much when the clients are incentivized to avoid mental recovery when doing so means losing government/other benefits... 

DaddyO's picture


Tin-foil hat - check

Tin-foil underwear - check


blindfaith's picture

Wait a minute.



I just heard on NPR the other day that the GREAT Judgement DAY was coming on May 26th (posponed from an earlier date), not October. 

My gosh I was just packing up all my important stuff so when I assend, I'll have what is important right there at my side.  Now what do I do?

Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Maybe October is the rain date.

topcallingtroll's picture

Me and my clinics and psych hospital ought to have a booming business in the run up to 2012.

DogSlime's picture

Hey SP666 - maybe you should end it all before the tragedy hits?  That way if the world does end, it will at least end with one less moron walking around on it.

j0nx's picture

$4.20 a gallon gas, 50% increases in the cost of food and stagnant wages all within the space of a year will do that for a population. But there's no real inflation out there right...

Spitzers Black Socks's picture

50 percent increase in food prices?

My iPad2 is twice as tasty and twice as nutritious. What's the problem?

Jason Bourne's picture

Every week I meet with a group of YPO guys - even they don't fucking get it. We've talked about the Fed, Bernanke, Tim, Wall Street, the scams the fraud the favoring of friends. They don't fucking get it. FUCK!

"they had to do what they had to do to save the system"

"it would have been worse if they didn't do what they did"

When will enough people start to see the truth of what is going on? As a whole are we this stupid?

Our family is fine in terms of financials/assets/resources, the constant ignorance/acceptance of what is happening by people around me is starting to affect my health and mood.

I'm wondering if reading Zerohedge is good for me. I tend to get more and more pissed off every day. I find myself HOPING that America actually fails, just so the liars are exposed and the ignorant get it.

Even though at the end of the day I'm a pacifist, in my unhealthy fantasies I find myself wishing some elite team would start eliminating everyone who is responsible for our impending collapse. I know this isn't the solution because if you "repay evil with evil, evil will never leave your house", but nevertheless it tickles the revenge part of my being.

What is the solution here, or at least what is the solution for me? My guess is that there are quite a few of me. Can anyone share some wisdom.

Can anyone give me an reasoned intelligent spin on how there is any chance that this will work out well for common people? This is a serious question and I would love to walk around with some actual hope and a well reasoned story to go along with it.

falak pema's picture

stop reading Zh and do it more often to your wife!

Johnny Lawrence's picture

Couldn't agree and relate with you anymore.  I don't have anything else to add than that.

Bindar Dundat's picture

After the collapse, people will still need to eat, still need to have a place to sleep and the world will go on. I too wondered if we can handle the truth about what is happening to our world. The Bhuda said that all suffering is due to your "attachment " to a desire.  We are all attached to the desire that the world will act fairly and nobly as people.  That is clearly not true so understanding that and detaching yourself from that desire will free you a bit.  It is still sad but it should not result in suffering. 

topcallingtroll's picture

Just be patient.

We may still get our chance.

MachoMan's picture

We always have it...  the problem is not having the means, the problem has always been the motivation...  the battleground is always the motivation...  For example, he hopes that a special team goes around doing his work for him...

Yes_Questions's picture

I'm wondering if reading Zerohedge is good for me. I tend to get more and more pissed off every day. I find myself HOPING that America actually fails, just so the liars are exposed and the ignorant get it.

Balance ZH with History Chanel, Discover, Animal Planet, Science Channels and the like.

Try to see the bigger picture.  But keep up with posters like those here on ZH for some insights on how folks are reacting.  What others are feeling.

Overall, and it matters not if you are alone/loved/single whatever; YOU are responsible for your happiness.

My .02 fiats.


Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Read Survivalblog dude.


do not watch Dancing With the Stars. It will zombify you.


Have faith in Darwin.


Hang with your ZH friends.


Luv ya!

Johnny Lawrence's picture

Gallup does good work.  I'm surprised the Feds haven't cracked down on them.

SoNH80's picture

Even TPTB want some sort of accurate instrument panel to gauge how the peasants are feeling.  Gallup is from that lost era of social science, where objectivity was strived for in measurement.

Central Bankster's picture

The average American does not understand how the looming US government default affects them, so as usual, they are apathetic about the deficit.

sharonsj's picture

It won't take a comet to screw up the world; we're doing it quite nicely all by ourselves.  P.S.  There is no recovery and I've been buying physical silver for some time....

poor fella's picture

QE2.666 and dollar repatriation would create jobs.

So let's all call our representatives and demand our companies bring that money back home! It would be a boon to McDonald's self-service terminal installers.

Which would then free up the time of hundreds of thousands of people, who can then return to school and get a better job more inclined to our 'information' age.

Millions more people could work from home!

When there's a huge demand for more information iTechs, McDonald's can turn their stores into giant unmanned vending machines and acheive a huge cost savings while supplying more workers.

Fixing the economy is SOOO easy.

AldoHux_IV's picture

You're telling me that the only 8% accounts for people dissatisfied with the government, poor leadership, corruption, etc.??? How accurate is this survey or am I just a small percentage of Americans that believe the corruption/poor leadership/piss poor policymaking up top is much the problem along with anything else?

This survey is suspect at best or maybe the American people really haven't woken up as much.

Refuge2012's picture

I have never heard so much double-speak on mainstream media (no, I don't listen to them to get the truth), as the past several months.  They say housing starts drop precipitously, then say the housing market is recovering.  Unfortunately, most people are so afraid of any kind of change in their lives that they hear only the good (bullshit) news.  place of refuge 2012 dot com