A record number of people have evaluated their lives as poor amid the economic downturn.
According to a Gallup poll released on Monday, the number of Americans who describe their situation as "suffering" increased to 5.6%. Since the summer of last year, this number has been slowly rising, and it is now higher than it was during either the 2008 financial crisis or the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Based on how respondents estimate their current living status and anticipated future position, Gallup's quality of life index classifies respondents as "thriving," "struggling," or "suffering." Four or fewer out of 10 are considered "suffering," while seven or more are considered "thriving."
In November of last year, 59% of Americans claimed they were "thriving," but as of this July, that percentage had dropped to 51%. The decline is not as severe as the 46.4% seen during the 2008 stock market crisis or the 46% seen during the first wave of lockdowns and job losses in the spring of 2020.
However, Gallup's "suffering" rate of 5.6% is the highest ever since it started tracking in 2008. It follows the April record of 4.8% and has increased since 2.8% in July of last year. In December 2008, not long after the Dow Jones experienced its biggest single-day loss in history, the pre-2022 high of 4.7% was attained.
Poll after poll reveals that Americans are pessimistic about the state of the US economy and prioritize these economic worries above all other problems, which may explain the apparent increase in suffering.
At 8.5% right now, the US inflation rate is somewhat lower than the 9.1% it was in June. The Biden administration has spent lavishly, providing more than $54 billion since February for military and economic help to Ukraine and approving a massive climate, healthcare, and tax reform plan earlier this month. This is in response to rising prices for food, fuel, and consumer goods. The Congressional Budget Office has stated that despite the bill's designation as the "Inflation Reduction Act," it will burden middle-class Americans with an additional $20 billion in taxes over the next ten years without having a "negligible" effect on inflation.
Using the phrase "Putin's price hike" frequently in his remarks, President Biden has attempted to attribute rising prices to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia's military campaign in Ukraine. Only 11% of Americans, on the other hand, think that Putin is to blame for the high cost of gas, and Biden's approval rating has been steadily declining, hitting a new low of 38% in a Gallup poll conducted in July.