In a gloomy start to the new year, an Associated Press poll finds Americans pretty pessimistic about the nation’s future. More than half of those surveyed, 54 percent, expect American life to go downhill by 2050, while 23 percent think it will improve. “Whether they foresee runaway technology or runaway government, rampant poverty or vanishing morality, a majority of Americans predict a future worse than today,” the news service reported. There still might be some good news in the findings, though. Last February, German research was published that suggested pessimists live longer, healthier lives than those who are overly optimistic.