In a recent AP-GfK poll that pretty much got a “duh” response from me, it was reported that 82% of al Americans feel that 2010 will be a better year for their families than 2009, and 72% are optimistic for a good year for the country. That’s pretty strange since almost 67% of people believe that their family finances will either stay the same or get worse during the same time period.

It seems that, though most of us can’t claim anything like what my friend Josh Shear said about his year in 2009 being very good, I hadn’t realized it was as bad as I had thought, with only 16% of the population saying the same thing. Then again, at least 60% said it was a good year for their family, which is positive. At the same time, 75% said it was a bad year for the country, with 42% saying it was a very bad year.

Here’s the reality. The year 2009 had more job losses than at any time in history, mainly because there were more jobs to lose. Foreclosures were drastically high, and we had 140 banks close, the third highest in history for one year. The Dow Jones almost fell below 6,500, and rallied to get back into the 10,000 range falling around 120 points on Thursday to head into the holiday weekend and end around 10,400. The stimulus supposedly created jobs, but who wants to join me in asking “where”? Okay, in law enforcement, where it was probably needed since it seems more regular people were predisposed to try something new to help their families this year.

There were some other interesting things about the study that weren’t necessarily financial. People don’t have positive feelings about either Iraq or Afghanistan. Republicans feel worse about things than Democrats. People overall are happy there’s a health care plan, but aren’t sure they like the one we got.

Here’s my overall take on things, if I may. Things will get better because they have to. The bottom of the housing market will come by late summer or mid-autumn, then we’ll see things heading back up. Bank closing will continue at a record rate until around the same time, then will level off; I don’t think we’re going to have to worry about big numbers come fall. Businesses will start hiring some people back, but people are going to be making less money overall than they were before. Discount retailers are going to benefit because they have the most products at lower prices.

So, I agree that 2010 will be a better year overall if we all have faith and work together to make it a great year. If not, then it’ll only be a good year for me. 🙂

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