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Gloomy Americans foresee a downhill slide to 2050

By By CONNIE CASS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ask people to imagine American life in 2050, and you'll get some dreary visions.

Whether they foresee runaway technology or runaway government, rampant poverty or vanishing morality, a majority of Americans predict a future worse than today.

A new national poll finds that whites are particularly gloomy: Only 1 in 6 expects better times over the next four decades. Also notably pessimistic are middle-age and older people, those who earn midlevel incomes and Protestants.

Some groups have comparatively sunny outlooks, including racial and ethnic minorities, the young and the nonreligious. Yet even they are much more likely to say things will be the same or get worse than to predict a brighter future.

The survey by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research was taken in December.

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