Most Americans Fear Another Great Depression
(RightWing.org) – In April 2021, signs started to emerge that inflation was creeping in. President Joe Biden and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell attempted to assure Americans it was transitory and temporary. Yet, it continued to rise. By October 2021, it rose to 6.2%. In June, it hit 9.1% and has since dropped to 8.3% in August.
As consumers have been hit with high prices on necessities such as food, clothing, utilities, gas, and most everything else they buy, some are expressing concern about the future of the US economy. Could it face a recession or, even worse, a depression? According to a new poll released by Rasmussen Reports, most voters believe a 1930s-like Great Depression could be on the horizon.
Poll Shows Voters Are Concerned About a Potential Great Depression Economy
The survey found that 57% of adults believe the US will likely experience a “1930s-like Depression” over the next several years. That includes 21% who think it’s “very likely” the country will experience an economic depression. Rassmussen noted the poll results changed little from May when 55% said a depression was likely in the coming years.
The latest poll comes as Americans experience financial pain. On September 22, a Heritage Foundation report stated American workers lost $4,200 in annual income under the Biden administration due to inflation and interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. It pinned the cause on President Joe Biden’s and Congress’ addiction to spending and the Federal Reserve enabling them by printing more money.
Recession or Depression?
While Americans express unease with the economy’s future, 52% of economists surveyed by Bankrate in July say a recession may happen in 2023. So, are economists right, or are voters? Let’s define the terms.
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (FRBSF) noted there are two standard definitions of a recession. The one most used by the media defines it as two consecutive quarters of gross domestic product (GDP) decline.
The second is used by economists, and it differs slightly. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is the non-profit organization that determines if the economy is in a recession. Economists use the NBER’s data to evaluate business cycles as they rise and fall. It takes into account income, employment, production, and wholesale sales. It defines a recession as beginning when “the economy reaches peak activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough.”
Between 1785 and the Great Recession of 2008, there were 50 recessions.
The FRBSF noted there is no standard definition for an economic depression. Still, the most common way to describe it is as more severe or extreme than a recession. The most famous was the Great Depression, which started in 1929 and lasted into the early 1940s.
So, are there signs of an upcoming recession? Most economists seem to think so. How about a depression? That is yet to be seen.
How Will the Economy Impact the Election
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Sunday, September 25, the economy and inflation are two of the most important issues for voters. When asked who they trusted to handle these issues, they give the GOP a 17-point advantage on the economy and an 18-point advantage on inflation.
If the economy and inflation continue to be the most important issues for voters, election day could be very good for Republicans.
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