Americans Don't Accept Economic Reality

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I recently came across a new survey of personal financial and economic views of Americans done in March of 2023 by NORC at the University of Chicago, funded by The Wall Street Journal. Here are some of the findings I thought were particularly notable.

Most of us, a whopping 80%, feel the nation’s economy is poor or not so good. About as many, 85%, think the economy will get worse or stay about the same, and 78% think it will be worse for our children’s generation.

That perception is remarkably polarized and confusing when compared with reality, even within the survey itself. The respondents also reported the following:

  • 62% are either well satisfied or more-or-less satisfied with their present financial condition.
  • 62% say their personal financial situation is either getting better or staying the same.
  • 66% say their financial situation is better or about where they expected to be at this stage in life.
  • 72% say the rising cost of living is of no concern, not a problem, or minor in nature.

Perhaps these views reflect the reality that the economy is not in a recession, job growth is solid and exceeding expectations, and unemployment is hovering around the lowest rate since 1969.