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Asian-Americans happier with president than general public

August 30, 2012

According to information collected from the Pew Research Center, 43 percent of Asian-Americans claim to be happy with the direction of the county — doubling the percentage of the general public at 21 percent.

The survey, The Rise of Asian Americans, released in June 2012, noted that Asian Americans, more than the general public, prefer an activist government and have higher approval ratings of President Obama.

Siddharth Chandra, director of the Asian Studies Center, said one of the reasons Asian-Americans would be more satisfied is because they usually are highly educated professionals and come to the U.S having the opportunities to work in an environment in which they are qualified and rewarded.

“I think that opens up opportunities to them that may often not be available, no matter what their race or ethnicity is,” Chandra said. “As a result, what that does is gives them a shot at the ‘American dream.’”

Economics professor Charles Ballard said there are many reasons behind the general population’s dissatisfaction of the country and can vary from person to person — but has one main idea.

“I think the biggest thing is that we are still struggling to climb out of the by far worst economic downturn in our lifetime,” Ballard said. “I think that’s on most people’s minds.”

Ballard said in an email that Asian-Americans might be more satisfied with the country’s direction because of the demographic’s median household income, which is higher than the average American household’s, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

Joseph Aquino, human biology sophomore and co-president of the Asian Pacific American Student Organization, or APASO, said he is a Filipino-American whose parents both were born in the Philippines.

He feels as if the general population of students involved in APASO are generally happy with the direction of the country.

Aquino also said from witnessing the experiences of his parents, immigrants from developing countries are more pleased with the United States because they usually are reflecting upon experiences from their home countries.

Chandra agreed the problems the U.S. has are lacking in severity compared to the problems of a developing country.

“Immigrants are coming here for something, they are leaving their country to find something better,” Aquino said. ”I believe an immigrant will reference back to their experiences in their home country.”

Chandra, who originally is from India, said from personal experience, working in the United States is one of the best places in the world.

“I am of Asian origin, and I find my job incredibly fulfilling, and I don’t believe I would have had access to such opportunities in most Asian countries, certainly not in India,” Chandra said.

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