Credit: engin akyurt on Unsplash
According to a recent poll by YouGov, 55% of Americans believe that we’re currently in a recession, compared with 22% who believe that we are not. Since whether we are in a recession is objectively measurable, we know that 55% of Americans are wrong about whether we’re in a recession—we are not. Quite far from it, according to the data. The labor market remains strong, with unemployment low and near-record levels of job openings. Consumer spending continues its robust growth. The economic indicators all look healthy.
Those 55% of Americans may be wrong, but they reflect a widespread feeling of doom and gloom that can be heard almost everywhere, from Jamie Dimon to Cardi B, to the stock market. Maybe that’s because wonky economic indicators are abstract, while the price of goods and services that you buy every day are very real and very tangible. Inflation is at a level unseen in decades, and everyone hates inflation.
Everyone hates inflation because inflation sucks. It’s always right there, in your face as you fork over more money than you did yesterday for the same thing. It’s the worst, and it affects everyone, everyday, and their attitude towards the economy. A different poll asking Americans to evaluate how they felt about the national economy plummeted to the lowest level ever measured. However, when those same respondents were asked to evaluate their own financial well-being, positive feelings topped to their highest level ever measured. That’s a perfect encapsulation of the current economy: strong fundamentals, terrible vibes.
Stay tuned for more on this project.
Newest entry in the 'OSHA violation' series:
...and we'll leave you with something to improve the vibe: