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Global Optimism - 10/23/14

Over the course of roughly the past two hundred years, millions of people have come to America in the hopes of building better, safer lives.  But something remarkable seems to have happened in recent decades – people in many developing nations are now more optimistic than the people of the United States. 

According to a report released by the Pew Research Center based on a survey of more than 48,000 people in 44 nations, only 30 percent of Americans are optimistic about the future.  This is hardly unique to America.  Many respondents from wealthier nations also express doubt about their respective nations’ futures.  The Pew survey indicates that only 28 percent of respondents from advanced economists believe that their children will be better off than they have been.  An incredible 65 percent say that their kids and grandchildren will be worse off. 

In France, just 13 percent of respondents told Pew that they are optimistic about the next generation’s prospects.  By contrast, in Vietnam, a former French colony, 94 percent of respondents are bullish about the future.  In China, Chile, Brazil and Bangladesh, more than 7 in ten respondents are optimistic about the future.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.