With the “fiscal cliff” looming and potential tax increases on the horizon, it’s interesting to see where Americans of all ages agree (and where they don’t) when it comes to their hard-earned dough being divvied up by the government.
No big surprise, most Americans (71.2%) would rather shrink the size of government than raise taxes. Members of the Boomer Generation (75.9%), Silent Generation (75.2%), Gen X (70.5%) and Gen Y (61.9%) agree. But where should the government cut back?
Members of Generation Y appear most likely among the age groups to opt for a tax increase instead of cutting public services (police, education) or social programs (welfare, Medicare). The Silent Generation seems to agree, while the middle generations are mixed:
Although all generations appear willing to support education and safety, the majority of Gen X and the Boomers would prefer the budget for social programs like welfare get a trim before their paychecks.
Perhaps Gen Y is more likely to support higher taxes because most prefer to be unemployed! Over half (55.2%) say they would rather be unemployed and happy than be employed and miserable. While happiness is great, older generations are more likely to cope with misery if it means food on the table and shelter for their family:
It seems the Boomer Generation is the most likely to opt for employment even if it means unhappiness—perhaps they are housing some unemployed and happy members of the youngest generation! 🙂
Source: American Pulse™ Survey, October 2012 #1, N = 3529
© 2012, Prosper®
Tomorrow is the big day. The presidential election of 2012 has come in like a lion with vicious attacks from both camps. If you’re anything like me, you’re sick of the negative campaign ads, the constant phone calls and the rhetoric. But tomorrow night it will all be over. Hopefully. I’m crossing my fingers this one doesn’t end up at the Supreme Court, but this is going to be a close one folks.
The latest American Pulse™ report is tracking Romney (46.1%) and Obama (45.9%) to be running neck and neck among likely voters. (Although if you are into old wives tales, the Washington Redskins loss this past weekend pretty much seals the deal for Romney.) However, the findings from the report could provide some foreshadowing into who will be sworn in come January.
According to the report, it’s all about the economy. Sure people are worried about Iran, Afghanistan, and other issues abroad. But at the end of the day it comes down to what’s going on at home—and who’s best equipped to get the economy headed in the right direction. Here’s a few things we found to be particularly interesting.
- 71.4% rate the economy as poor/terrible; 52% say it’s heading in the wrong direction.
- 76.2% say economy will have the most impact on their vote; 37.2% say President Obama’s performance regarding the economy has been “terrible.”
- 53.9% know someone receiving unemployment benefits; 55.1% know someone receiving food stamps.
Additionally 4 in 5 Americans believe their vote matters. Three-fourths say nothing will stop them from voting this year and roughly 70% say they are excited to vote.
Should make for an exciting day.
Check out the report:
For further insight, take a listen as our Consumer Insights Director, Pam Goodfellow, discusses the analysis on one of our favorite local morning radio programs: http://ow.ly/f2rkX
You’ve heard the phrase “new normal” on the news, during conversation, in reference to the economy, etc…but what does it mean for most Americans? What has truly become part of normal everyday living in post-recession USA?
Most Americans agree that fluctuating gas prices (71.5%), the rising cost of food (63.5%) and high national debt (60.4%) are now normal parts of living in America that we just have to deal with. The slow-growing economy (53.1%) and the hassle of frequently shopping for sales (50.4%) also top the list.
Although fluctuating gas prices top the list of “normal” conditions for all age groups, members of the Silent Generation (83.9%) are more likely than those in Generation Y (57.5%) to say frequent pain at the pump is part of the “new normal.” Youngsters in the U.S. probably don’t remember when gas cost less than a dollar per gallon while those in the Silent Generation might be reminiscing of the good ol’ days when you could buy a gallon or two with the spare change in your pocket.
The generations also differ when it comes to modesty: not surprisingly, fewer members of younger generations notice a difference in the generally accepted code of conduct, while those in older generations are more likely to see a lack of modesty as a recent development in American living.
While the disappointment of deferring purchases is lower on the list of “new normal” situations to cope with, the Boomer Generation is most likely to feel the sting here. 39.6% of Boomers consider pushing off the purchase of a flat screen, vacation home or new car as just another part of living in the U.S. of A. For comparison, only 26.8% of Gen Yers agree.
For more on the “new normal,” head over to the Prosper Now Blog at Forbes.com.
Source: American Pulse™ Survey, October 2012 #1, N= 3529
© 2012, Prosper®
Do you trust your bank? Or do you stash your cash inside the mattress? We asked Americans how they felt about their personal bank and the federal banking system. Nearly 3 in 4 (73.8%) said they can count on their local bank while fewer (39.4%) put stock in the U.S. banking system as a whole. Interestingly, trust levels vary by generation:
It seems as though older Americans have more trust in their local bank while youngsters are more trusting of the United States banking system as a whole, compared to other generations.
Gen Yers are also more optimistic that recently announced lower interest rates will help the economy. 31.1% of these young adults are more or much more confident in the housing market as a result of the Fed’s interest rate adjustment. 25.3% say the same about the economy overall along with 23.1% who show a boost of confidence in the job market. Members of Gen X, just one generation older, are less likely to be confident in all three areas:
Perhaps Gen Y is more confident because this age segment is the most likely to take advantage of lower interest rates. 61.2% of members of Gen Y plan to make some type of life change as a result of the Fed’s announcement: 22.4% say they are likely to buy a car, 20.9% are in the market for a home and 20.5% plan to go [back] to school. Most members of older generations do not plan to make any life changes at this time.
For more fresh insights on American consumers, including confidence in the economy, expectations for gas prices and even Election 2012 updates, be sure to check out the complimentary American Pulse™ InsightCenter!
Source: American Pulse™ Survey, September 2012 #2, N=3282
© 2012, Prosper®
Many Americans across the nation have been shaken up by recent violent attacks in Colorado at a movie theater, in Wisconsin at a Sikh temple and now New York, just outside the Empire State Building. Are citizens of these states more concerned about violence than the rest of the nation?
More than 1 in 3 (35.1%) Adults 18+ say they are somewhat or very concerned to visit public places, as of early August (shortly after the Dark Knight shooting in Colorado). Residents of New York (36.1%) and Wisconsin (35.8%) show slightly higher concern, while those in Colorado (24.7%) are not as worried. Ohioans (36.5%) also show elevated concern for visiting public places. As a native Ohioan, I must admit I get a little nervous when visiting Cleveland—perhaps it has something to do with the viral tourism videos…
So what types of places have Americans thinking twice? Where might they avoid if possible? Despite TSA attempts to make airports safer, 2 in 5 Americans are still concerned about random acts of violence at these travel hubs. Shopping malls (33.1%) were the next highest location of concern—something retailers should really be aware of heading into the all-important holiday season. Santa’s little helpers might appreciate some added security this year.
Places of worship are understandably a big concern in Wisconsin (39.0%) while citizens of Colorado (34.9%) and those in Ohio (33.6%) show elevated apprehension for violence in schools. Whether past or present, vicious attacks such as those occurring in Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Columbine, Colorado; and Kent State University in Ohio still impact the perception of safety in the United States.
Overall, those in New York are the most concerned about random acts of violence in public places—7 in 10 admit to concerns about violence in at least one location.
Ohioans are less concerned—37.8% say they are not worried about violence in any public places. Perhaps this state isn’t such a bad place to visit!
Source: American Pulse™ Survey, August 2012, N=3,281
© 2012, Prosper®
When you are in need of java fix, are you more likely to head to Starbucks or McDonald’s? Did you ever think that the drive-through you pull up to may indicate which presidential candidate has your vote?
There’s a lot of mud-slinging in the political arena these days—battle lines have been drawn and it seems like every other TV commercial is a negative campaign ad. So we like to lighten the mood here at BIGinsight™ every now and again and look at some unique voter segments to see how they plan to vote in the presidential election. First up were the coffeehouse titans.
I should start by saying that Independent Voters will likely decide the election. The political atmosphere is anything but bi-partisan and Republicans and Democrats appear to be behind their candidate. But Independent Voters who plan to vote in November are split. Our analysis shows that over a quarter of these voters are undecided and therein lies the opportunity for the presidential hopefuls.
So where, oh where (sorry—couldn’t help myself) can these voters be? Our “Coffee Cup Politics” analysis for August takes a look at where they go most often for their coffee and which candidate coffee drinkers from each coffee shop tend to prefer. Check it out…
- Likely Independent Voters who still haven’t made a decision are most likely to head to Starbucks.
- 13.9% saying that’s where they purchase coffee most often.
- McDonald’s comes in at number two among this segment.
- 9.3% go there most for coffee.
- Likely Independent Voters who go to Starbucks most often seem more inclined to cast a ballot for Obama.
- Those who prefer McDonald’s coffee are more likely to vote for Romney.
- It’s interesting to note that over a quarter of each voter group remains on the fence and historically unsure votes tend to end up in the challenger’s tally.
For further insight, take a listen as our Consumer Insights Director, Pam Goodfellow, discusses the analysis on one of our favorite local morning radio programs: http://ow.ly/dbpWf
As some of you may know, we’ve been releasing these really handy tools called InsightCenters, perfect for serving up answers in an intuitive, interactive and illustrative way. You can find insights on a wide range of topics – mobile device ownership, Hispanic consumers, new vehicle purchasers, government unemployment stats, and even the economy of China—all at the click of a mouse or the tap of a touch screen!
At the moment I have a domestic focus, and have been exploring our American Pulse InsightCenter, which takes a look at how Americans feel about the upcoming election, the economy, technology, and much more!
In just a few minutes, I was able to easily gather these fun facts:
- Members of Generation Y are more likely than older generations to say they are addicted to the Internet and Facebook.
- More Boomers than younger Americans say they are addicted to TV.
- Men are more likely than women to be happier with the work life, and both genders’ happiness levels in the workplace are higher in 2012 than they were in 2011.
- Women, however, are more likely than men to be happy or totally happy with their love lives.
- In July, Hispanics were more likely than Whites and Blacks to thoroughly enjoy their lives rather than worrying about making money.
- Members of Generation Y are more confident that the government’s economic policies will help lower unemployment, and their confidence is growing.
- Neither Presidential candidate has a positive Net Promoter Score* among Likely Voters.
- Obama, however, receives a higher score among Democrats than Romney does among Republicans.
Take a look for yourself and see what you can learn about the pulse of America: the people! And for the people, did I mention access to this InsightCenter is totally free? 🙂 (Just click the image to access the online version or download to your Android tablet!)
© 2012, Prosper®
*About the Net Promoter Score (NPS): Respondents were asked to rate, on a scale from 0 (Not at all likely) to 10 (Extremely likely), the probability they would recommend each presidential candidate to a friend or colleague. 10 and 9 responses indicate Promoters, 8 and 7 responses are Passives and 0 through 6 are Detractors. NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.
Net Promoter, NPS and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld