America: Moving Toward the 21st Century

Archive Report

Post Election Protents

Constrasting Portraits of the Nation

Americans seem to be feeling good about themselves and their country these days. In his 1985 State of the Union message, Ronald Reagan, the most active promoter of such feelings, proclaimed a “great and robust growth” of national confidence. Evidence abounds to support this assessment of the national mood. A recent Gallup Poll reported that 52 percent of Americans express satisfaction with “the way things are going in the nation,” three times the number who expressed the same view four years earlier.1 Experts point to a number of reasons for such optimism: a dramatic drop in inflation, decreasing unemployment, lower interest rates and a booming economy. Americans, especially affluent members of the baby-boom generation, are on a spending ...

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