Pollster John Zogby has released some interesting stats lately. He recently wrote, "Even in these uncertain economic times, my polling shows the American Dream is still alive and well, but is undergoing an historic transformation."
In his book, The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream, Zogby splits American Dreamers into two distinct groups: "Traditional Materialists" and "Secular Spiritualists."
Zogby defines Secular Spiritualists as Americans who are more satisfied with fewer material assets and less wealth.
"Secular Spiritualists are clearly the ascendant group, and in a June 2008 Zogby Interactive poll, they surpassed the Traditional Materialists," reports Zogby. (See more details on the poll here.)
But with this new-found "spirituality," we're not necessarily more optimistic.
In a separate Zogby poll, dubbed the New Year's Eve poll:
- 75% think the current year was worse for the world than the previous year, compared to only 39% who said that a year ago.
- Last year 59% said the current year was better for them personally than the previous year; this year only 32% said it was better.
- Only 43 % of respondents think next year will be better for them personally, compared to 59% who said that a year ago.
- Young people are more optimistic, with 57.9% expecting 2009 to be better
- Lower income respondents ($25K or less) are the least optimistic about the New Year
- Only 40% of respondents expect those born in 2009 to have a better quality of life than the generations before them