Immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a spirit of optimism in the United States. We had "won" so to speak, and in the words of our then president George Bush, we could look forward to a New World Order of peace, freedom, full employment, and the crushing domination of the US in world affairs and trade. This fresh outlook, coupled with one of the most powerful economic booms in history, led many to believe ever more strongly in the system. Yet there are chinks in the armor. To look at the stock market, the economy is still healthy. But corporate profits are at their lowest level in nearly a decade (in spite of the billions of dollars handed to them in corporate welfare), and for the first time since the early 1990s, workers are seriously worried about losing their jobs. While the momentum of the boom is still in most workers’ consciousness, it is apparent that among the most advanced layers, the mood is definitely changing in America. From optimism to pessimism, hopes for "the good life" are disappearing for broad layers of Americans, with important implications for the coming period.