And it will only get worse unless something dramatic isn't done:
Wherever the nation should be headed, this isn't it.
The number of Americans who believe the country is moving in the wrong direction has risen sharply, to nearly eight in ten, amid soaring food and gas prices, falling home values and unending war. Just 17 percent say the country is going in the right direction, according to an AP-Ipsos poll.
The right-direction number is the lowest ever recorded by the survey, which began in 2003. When other surveys are taken into account, the general level of pessimism is the worst in almost 30 years.
And it's getting worse. The 17 percent positive reading was down from 24 percent just since April.
Those who said the country was on the wrong track totaled 76 percent of the people contacted in the survey, which was taken from June 12-16. That's up from 71 percent in April and 66 percent near the end of 2007.