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Generation Gap: What’s worth our tax dollars?

November 14, 2012 Leave a comment

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®

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Generation Gap: Withdrawing Trust

October 9, 2012 1 comment

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®

Generation Gap: Gen Y is the Most Optimistic for Economic Rebound

January 13, 2012 10 comments

While hope for an economic rebound may be fading among consumers in general, Gen Y is the most likely to have a Pollyanna-like outlook for our future economy, generationally speaking:

Silent (born 1945 or earlier)
Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
Gen X (born 1965 – 1982)
Gen Y (born 1983 – 1993)

According to the latest data from our Consumer Intentions & Actions® survey, more than one in three (36.7%) Gen Y youngsters have faith that the economy will bounce back to its pre-recession glory. Gen X isn’t too far behind at 35.8%, though Boomers (29.5%) and Silents (26.8%) are having a harder time embracing this outlook.

Interestingly, Gen Y-ers are also the ones most likely to view the future of the U.S. economy with a big ‘ole question mark (37.5%). Perhaps, though, this is because those on the younger end of this generation just didn’t fully experience the pre-recession economy as full-fledged “adults” [you know the full-time jobs, housing, debt, supporting a family…all those “fun” things]. Fewer of those in the Gen X (33.9%), Boomer (32.5%), and Silent (33.9%) generations express this uncertainty.

But who’s the Generational Grumpy Gus? Two in five (39.3%) Silents aren’t holding out hope for a rebound, while nearly as many Boomers (37.9%) feel the same way. Fewer than a third of Gen X-ers (30.3%) are taking a pessimistic standpoint, while just one in four (25.8%) of those in Gen Y share this sentiment.

Final thoughts? Speaking from a Gen X standpoint, let’s all hope the economy at least recovers to a point where we’re not waxing nostalgic about a time when it was worth ($) planning ahead for retirement. Sorry, Boomers.

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

Source: Consumer Intentions & Actions® Survey – JAN-12 (N = 9317, 1/4 – 1/11/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

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