AP Poll: Confidence good for 2012; Partisan Divide in Perception of 2011
Sour grapes right wing radio can’t drag the economy down forever — are consumers beginning to disbelieve the bile pissing pundits who talk down the economy daily?
Jeff Wolfe, 33, of Farmington, w.va., said 2011 treated him well because he was able to find steady work as a lineman. But for the rest of the nation, things were “pretty rough,” with so many Americans looking for jobs, he noted.
“For the first time since 2009, I worked all year,” he said. Wolfe said he lost work in 2008 and again in 2010. But in 2011, the father of two school-age children said he was able to catch up on bills, buy his wife a new car and renovate his home.
Overall, the poll found 68 percent of Americans described 2011 as a bad year, compared with 29 percent who felt it was a good one.
A partisan divide, much like the one that ruled Washington this year, seems the only split in public opinion on 2011. Democrats were most likely to view 2011 positively (40 percent called it good), while independents and Republicans were less effusive. Beyond that, the poll found general agreement that 2011 is best left in the past.
Mary Burke, 57, of Ridgeland, S.C., felt economic pain in 2011. She saw prices rise for all of her expenses, from her light bill to groceries. “Paying $5 for a jar of mayonnaise is outrageous,” she said.
Food and gas prices surged in 2011, but the most recent Consumer Price Index shows inflation leveling off. November statistics from the government showed a year-over-year inflation rate of 3.4 percent, the smallest such rise since April.