We Think We'll Do Better This Year

After another week dominated by tough budget news, here's a ray of light for Californians:

Most of us think our personal financial situation will improve in 2012.

That was the finding of a poll conducted last month from the Public Policy Institute of California. The poll got plenty of attention at the time for results showing that Gov. Brown's proposal to raise taxes temporarily has popular support. But the optimism that Californians have about themselves got ignored. Fifty-three percent in poll said their financial situations will improve some or a lot this year.

Of course, Californians are not optimistic about their state and its economy as a whole. Sixty-percent say the state faces bad times in 2012. And nearly half are concerned about members of their own family losing their jobs. But PPIC notes that the percentage of residents saying the state is in a recession is down to 43 percent, down from a high of 63 percent in March 2009.

Let's hope we're right about our own improving prospects -- and wrong in our pessimism about our fellow Californians.

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