Mar 21, 2019

Americans agree on something: The future looks grim

Americans are expecting the worst of the future, with the country rapidly changing. They also agree that politicians likely won't know how to handle the new world, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center.

Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Americans fear:

  • Terrorism: 60% think that a terrorist attack as bad or worse than 9/11 will happen in the next 30 years.
  • Inferior education: 77% worry about whether public schools will be able to provide a quality education to future students.
  • Little or no retirement money: 85% said that by the time they retire they expect to receive no benefits or less benefits from Social Security.
  • Jobs taken by robots: 82% said robots and computers will probably or definitely do much of the work performed by humans today.
  • An old America: More than half say that the elderly outnumbering children in the U.S. will be bad for the country, and the majority say that responsibility for their care will fall on family members and older people themselves.
  • Inept politicians: More than 80% are worried about the way D.C. politics works — including almost half who said they are "very worried."

Between the lines: Americans are starkly divided over growing diversity and the threat of climate change.

  • Diversity: 59% of Republicans and 46% of whites said that a majority nonwhite population will weaken American culture, vs. 18% of African-Americans and 25% of Hispanics. 42% of Democrats and 30% overall said American customs and values would be strengthened.
  • Climate change: 60% of Democrats said they are "very worried" about climate change, vs. 15% of Republicans.

Go deeper

Judge rules against Trump policy limiting public comment on energy leasing

Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday overturned a 2018 Trump administration directive that sought to speed up energy leases on public land by limiting the amount of time the public could comment.

Why it matters: U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush's decision voids almost a million acres of leases in the West, according to The Washington Post. It's a victory for environmentalists, who tried to block the change as part of an effort to protect the habitat of the at-risk greater sage grouse.

  • The ruling invalidated five oil and gas leases in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, and affected 104,688 square miles of greater sage-grouse habitat, per The Associated Press.
  • Leases in greater sage-grouse habitat will return to allowing 30 days of public comment and administrative protest.

The big picture: From Axios' Amy Harder, this is the latest in a long and convoluted list of regulatory rollbacks the Trump administration is pursuing on environmental rules that courts are, more often than not, rebutting. With Congress gridlocked on these matters, expect the courts to be the default way Trump's agenda faces checks (unless, of course, a Democrat wins the White House this November).

Your best defense against coronavirus

Photo: Adrian Greeman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the novel coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials, as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

Why it matters: Frequent hand washing can stop germs from spreading in a community, a known preventative for COVID-19 and influenza.

Major League Soccer embarks on its 25th season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Major League Soccer begins its 25th season, the league is financially stable and surging in popularity, and its 26 teams have gorgeous facilities and rapidly increasing valuations.

  • It also continues to expand, with David Beckham's Inter Miami and Nashville SC set to debut this season as the 25th and 26th teams. Plans are in place to reach 30 franchises by 2022 — triple the number from 2004.
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