Inflation Is Dropping, So Why Is the Economy Still Hurting Us?

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pathdoc /

If you’re frustrated with the economy, you’re not alone. Groceries are high, gas is high, and credit card debt is growing.

The Democrats say that inflation is dropping. We also have lower unemployment numbers than we’ve had in a while. A quick glance would say that the economy is actually doing better – but is that really the truth?

We’ve managed to stay out of a recession, so that’s good news. The government also reported that consumer prices didn’t rise from September to October. And yet, retail purchases are slowing because many people still believe the economy isn’t very strong.

A poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that approximately 75 percent of respondents identify the economy as “poor.” 66 percent say expenses have risen while only 25 percent say their income has risen.

The Associated Press wrote, “Despite the steady cooling of inflation over the past year, many goods and services are still pricier than they were just three years ago. Inflation – the rate at which costs are increasing – is slowing. But most prices are high and still rising.”

The reality is that we don’t want the price of goods to rise more slowly. We want them to drop in price – and that’s what’s not happening. Basically, the higher prices are here to stay, and that’s not making anyone feel any better.

For anyone who has credit card debt, it’s getting harder to manage. That’s because credit card companies have increased the APR on most credit card accounts. People are now paying 10% more on their interest rates, and that means higher monthly payments and more time spent to pay down the debt.

Additionally, median weekly earnings have only risen slightly. According to calculations made by a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Wendy Edelberg, income has only risen by about 0.2% from the last quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of this year. That’s hardly capable of covering the amount that goods have risen during that same timeframe.

So, it doesn’t really matter if inflation is slowing. Americans are not making enough to cover the inflated costs, earnings haven’t risen enough, and unless we see any kind of deflation, we will continue to complain about the economy.

This is bad news for Biden’s re-election campaign, too. Most Americans blame him for the state of the economy (as they should). Since he’s not doing anything to fix it, he may not get the votes that he needs to see a second term. That’s good news for us, though. With a Republican president in office, we might actually see (and feel) an improvement in the economy.