Even as attitudes about personal finances have turned more negative, views of the ability of Americans to solve problems have become substantially more optimistic — especially among African Americans. Fully 62% of non-Hispanic blacks now say they believe that “as Americans we can always find a way to solve our problems and get what we want;” in 2007, just 41% of blacks said that Americans could solve problems — among the lowest measures ever in a Pew Research values survey. Whites also express more confidence now, but the change has been more modest (60% of non-Hispanic whites agreed in 2007, 70% today). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.