Yet another survey shows that the vast majority of Americans think the economy is going down the tubes.
According to a poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal and the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC), 83% of respondents described the state of the economy “as poor or not so good.” Meanwhile, 35% said they are not “satisfied at all with their financial situation” — the highest level since the poll began in 1972.
A slim 27% of respondents believe they have a “good chance of improving their standard of living” — representing a 20% drop since last year. Nearly twice as many — 46% — do not believe their living standards can improve.
Jennifer Benz, vice president of public affairs and media research at NORC, told The Wall Street Journal that inflation, in particular, is driving the dismal results. Indeed, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen by 8.3% since last year — near the highest inflation rate in four decades.
The new poll is far from the only indication that rising price levels make consumers nervous.
When asked by a Harvard survey about inflation, 95% of respondents said that inflation is “very serious” or “somewhat serious.” A plurality — 47% — said that the Biden administration is responsible.
Another poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News revealed that 94% of Americans were either “upset” or “concerned” about the impact of skyrocketing inflation. Biden’s approval rating was underwater, with 42% approving of his work and 52% disapproving.
Many high-profile Americans — from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to rapper Cardi B — are likewise worried about a looming economic contraction. While the former told executives at the automaker that he has a “super bad feeling” about the economy, the latter asked her followers when they think “they going to announce that we going into a recession.”
The United States economy contracted at a 1.5% annualized rate during the first quarter of 2022, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which associates recessions with two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
In interviews with residents of West Philadelphia — a Democrat-run, majority-minority neighborhood where median household income is 43% of the national average — The Daily Wire found that soaring inflation and gas prices are making life more difficult for those with precarious financial standing.
“It’s too high. I don’t know what happened, because the price of everything is too high now,” Mohamed, a West Philadelphia resident and immigrant from French-speaking Africa, explained.
“I drive to work and I go home. And anything else in between, I try to do it as I’m going home from work,” added Art, a maintenance worker who lives in Delaware but commutes to West Philadelphia. “It’s just too expensive.”
“The way prices with everything have gone up, I’ve had to start cutting back on what I spend money on,” Kahil, a high school student, remarked. “There’s only one simple answer. Prices need to go where they used to be.”
“I was using maybe $30 per week. Now I use almost $100,” said Iliassou about his struggles to fill his gas tank. “People don’t have money in their pockets anymore.”