Gloomy Americans foresee a downhill slide to 2050

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, a new national poll finds. …

Even groups with comparatively sunny outlooks — racial and ethnic minorities, the young and the nonreligious — are much more likely to say things will be the same or get worse than to predict a brighter future. …

Overall, 54 percent of those surveyed expect American life to go downhill, while 23 percent think it will improve, according to a December survey from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Only 21 percent predict life will stay about the same. That minority may be onto something, however.