The American public's sour mood is in interesting contrast with many of the public's views during the Great Depression of the 1930s, not only on economic, political and social issues, but also on the role of government in addressing them.
Immigrants are gaining jobs at a time when native-born workers continue to sustain losses. Foreign-born workers job gains may be the result of greater flexibility with regard to wages and hours of work or greater mobility. But despite rising employment, immigrants have experienced a sharp decline in earnings as well as a still substantial net loss in jobs.
Most Indians have a positive opinion of President Obama and the U.S. Many see Pakistan -- and extremist groups linked to that nation -- as a threat, but most also want better relations and deeper economic ties with their neighbor and rival.
At a time when global publics are mostly glum, half of Brazilians say they are satisfied with national conditions, and 62% say their economy is in good shape. Most also see their country as a rising global power.
Confidence in Turkish institutions and leaders -- including the military, religious leaders, and the prime minster -- has declined over the last few years. And Turks continue to express largely negative views of major world powers.
As their country struggles with ongoing economic challenges and drug violence, Mexicans are unhappy with national conditions. Roughly eight-in-ten (79%) are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country and 75% say the economy is in bad shape.
Mexicans overwhelmingly continue to endorse President Calderón's campaign against the drug cartels and most -- though somewhat fewer than a year ago -- see progress in the drug war. But opposition to direct U.S. involvement has increased, and Mexican views of the U.S. generally turned negative following passage of the recent Arizona immigration law.
Pakistanis have grown markedly less concerned about extremist groups, and are far more worried about the external threat from India. America's image remains negative and support for U.S. involvement in the fight against extremists has waned. Many Pakistanis endorse extreme views about law, religion and society.
Most Americans envision a future where cancer is cured and space travel is for everyone. But they also see a world beset by war, energy shortages and a terrorist attack with nuclear weapons. Still, most see a better future for themselves and the nation over the next four decades.
Despite broad dissatisfaction with their country's current economy and direction, Czechs' enthusiasm for free markets and open elections has remained strong.