Economic Insecurity, Rising Inequality, and Doubts about the Future: Findings from the 2014 American Values Survey

Source: Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox, Juhem Navarro-Rivera, Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), September 23, 2014

From the press release:
Despite the overall improvement in the U.S. economy, a majority of Americans have a decidedly gloomy outlook on their personal financial situation and the economic future of the country heading into the midterm elections, finds the 2014 American Values Survey. Nearly 6-in-10 Americans report being in only fair (37 percent) or poor financial shape (20 percent), while roughly 4-in-10 Americans say they are in excellent (7 percent) or good (34 percent) financial shape. This assessment represents a notable drop from 2010, when half of Americans indicated they were in excellent (9 percent) or good (41 percent) financial shape.

The fifth annual look at religion, values and public policy in America from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute finds that over the last year many Americans have experienced significant economic hardships, such as cutting back on meals to save money or having trouble paying a monthly bill. An Economic Insecurity Index (EII), developed by PRRI from six specific indicators of economic hardship, finds that approximately 4-in-10 Americans live in households with high (15 percent) or moderate (26 percent) levels of economic insecurity, while 6-in-10 Americans live in households with low (20 percent) or no (39 percent) reported economic insecurity….

…When it comes to specific economic and workplace policies, Americans are largely in agreement. By a margin of two to one, Americans agree that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and poor (66 percent agree, 32 percent disagree). Approximately 8-in-10 (78 percent) Americans favor requiring companies to provide all full-time employees with paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Approximately 8-in-10 (81 percent) Americans favor requiring companies to provide all full-time employees with paid sick days if they or an immediate family member gets sick….
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