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Most Americans say the economy’s bad but are satisfied with their salary

By Lee Cleveland - August 19, 2023

“Can you be generally happy with your personal financial position and still think the economy is going in the tank? For a broad section of Americans, apparently so,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release.

The results of a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University reveal an intriguing trend among Americans’ perceptions of the economy and their personal financial situations. Despite a majority (71%) of respondents describing the economy as either “not so good” or “poor,” and 51% believing that it’s deteriorating, an interesting contrast emerges when examining their personal finances. A significant 60% of participants characterized their financial situation as “good” or “excellent.”

This apparent discrepancy between people’s views on the overall economy and their individual financial health highlights a noteworthy phenomenon. According to Tim Malloy, a polling analyst from Quinnipiac University, this suggests that a considerable portion of the American population can maintain a positive outlook on their own financial position while simultaneously perceiving the broader economy as facing challenges.

This discrepancy could be attributed to the influence of political factors on people’s perceptions of the economy. Various surveys suggest that individuals’ views on the economy can be heavily influenced by their political affiliations, especially when not in times of recession.

However, when it comes to personal finances, these views might be less swayed by political biases. The distinction between the larger economic landscape and individual financial circumstances could play a role in this clearer perspective.

The Quinnipiac University poll underscores the intriguing dichotomy between how Americans view the overall economy and how they perceive their own financial situations. This contrast suggests that personal financial circumstances might offer a more impartial lens through which to assess economic well-being, especially when political factors are taken into account.

The American public’s perception of the economy, and how it differs from the actual state of affairs, will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the outcome of the 2024 election. Understanding this contradiction is crucial for both candidates and voters alike.

Lastly, with the easing of inflation, we are finally seeing positive growth in real wages and an increase in consumer sentiment. This is undoubtedly a positive development for the economy. However, the question that lingers is whether this trend will continue in the long run.