USA - We Don’t Know How Good We Have It

J. Froese

Something weird is happening in America. GDP growth for Q3 was just revised up from an already scorching 4.9 percent to 5.2 percent, more Americans have jobs than at any time in history, but the public is up in arms about economic conditions, with consumer confidence dropping to a six-month low. There really is no pleasing some people. 

So what’s going on? FocalData ran a poll for me, asking a representative sample of 2,000 US adults whether they thought economic circumstances had improved or deteriorated over recent years. The results were startling: Americans are consistently wrong in the negative direction on almost every measure we polled. By huge margins, they believe inflation is still rising (it’s falling), that it has outstripped wage growth (wages have outpaced prices), and that they have become less wealthy (they’ve become much wealthier). 

The most striking response from our survey concerned the sense of longer-term progress. Large majorities of Americans think the median income today pays for a worse lifestyle than 30 years ago (demonstrably false), and that poverty is higher than it was a generation ago (it has plummeted). One particularly revealing statistic is that Americans’ assessment of their own financial situation has barely budged over the past five years, but their rating of the national economy has worsened steeply. It seems they have decided that the vibes are bad, so things must be going badly for most other people, even if not for themselves.

It seems US consumer sentiment is becoming the latest victim of expressive responding, where people give incorrect answers to questions to signal wider tribal political or social affiliations. If you want to know what Americans really think of economic conditions, look at their spending patterns. Unlike cautious Europeans, US consumers are back on the pre-pandemic trendline and buying more stuff than ever.

-www.ft.com, 1 December 2023

Commentary

For decades, we have been pointing to Scriptures such as Matthew 24:38a, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,” as evidence of a prosperous and normal life in the end times. While some people currently endure hardship in America—as is the case in all times—and future economic downturns are inevitable, we must acknowledge that we are living in times of plenty when it comes to material comforts. -By J. Froese

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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