As economic challenges such as inflation continue to wreak havoc on our wallets, more and more Americans are reporting that they feel worse off financially than any other time since the Great Recession.
The Daily wire reports, Economic challenges such as inflation persist during the past year are making Americans more pessimistic about their finances than ever before.
Approximately 50% of respondents to a Gallup survey said they were “financially worse off” than a year ago, and 35% said they were “financially better off.” These are the worst results since the economic crash of 2008 and 2009.
The majority of lower-income Americans reported that they had been worse off since last year. About 61% of respondents expressed pessimism about their current finances in 2023, compared to 41% in 2018.
There is a clear partisan divide when it comes to perceptions of financial well-being: 61% of Republicans and 37% of Democrats say they are worse off. Americans tend to be more optimistic about their finances under administrations that align with their political party.
Throughout last year, inflationary pressures, labor shortages, and supply chain bottlenecks slowed economic growth, contributing to negative economic growth in the first two quarters. Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show headline inflation in December 2022 was 6.5%, down from 9.1% in June 2022.
During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Joe Biden noted that inflation, charted at 1.4% in the month before he assumed office, is presently on the decline.
However, despite companies raising pay to attract more employees, real wages decreased by 1.7% between December 2021 and December 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Additionally, the stock market had one of its worst years in modern history this year, which further explains the pessimism about current finances. The S&P 500 Index declined 20% last year, comparable to the 37% decline witnessed in 2008 during the collapse of the banking system.
The results of the Gallup poll are particularly stunning, as they show that an overwhelming majority of Americans—50%—say they are financially worse off than they were a year ago. Lower-income Americans, who have been hardest hit by rising food costs and threats of foreclosures, have seen their financial well-being decrease exponentially under the Biden administration. After so much promise of repairing the economy from the devastation caused by the Great Recession, it seems that all efforts have failed and left our economy in tatters. It’s truly shocking to imagine just how much worse people must be feeling about their finances now than when faced with an economic crisis over a decade ago.