I book a lot of air travel. In February we were away for 19 nights. In January, even more. We know what to expect to pay when we book a flight. But even I had a huge sticker shock when I booked a flight to Nashville for mid-April this week and the cost came close to $600 for each ticket. This is over triple what I normally pay, as it is a short “puddle jump” from Washington DC to Nashville – with plenty of flights going to and from.
Of course it isn’t just airfare, it is literally everything has gone up – from gas to service to bread. As predicted in an earlier Substack, shortages and general economic hardship are likely on the way due to both the current economic situation of the last year (lockdowns, “stimulus”, inflation) together with the Russia/Ukraine disruptions. The predicted global food shortage is almost here.
If one goes to the export numbers of Russia, it turns out (excluding rice), that they produce more grain than any other country in the world.
Yesterday’s below the fold news was that White house is now signaling that Biden working on supply chain issues in conjunction with corporations. Yikes – he might have thought of that earlier (maybe he should have read my Substack)! It turns out that China has already secured a lot of the grain supply available globally. The worry is that Biden has done too little and too late to secure oil, grain and fertilizer supplies.
Smash these dire observations with the latest polling data that shows that Americans are already hurting economically and things get scary tough. To assess how people felt about the economy, a March I&I/TIPP Poll asked the question:
“Generally speaking, is your family better off today than it was one year ago, worse off than it was one year ago, or about the same as it was a year ago?”
Fewer than one in five (20%) said they were “better off.” while more than twice that number — 42% — said they were “worse off.” Another 36% said they were “about the same.”
What is interesting about this poll is the majority of Democratic respondents, who can clearly recognize that such a poll could reflect poorly on President Biden, answered that they were the worse off or the same than a year before. Only 29% of self-identified Democrats and 26% of liberals answered that they were better off.
For the mid-terms, a quick glance at the independent responses show that only 17% believe that their family was better off than a year ago. Almost nine out of ten (89%) of Republican respondents felt that they were worse off or the same than a year before
Taken as a whole, that means 78% of Americans have seen no progress or improvement at all in their financial and economic lives since Biden took over in early 2021.
The I&I/TIPP poll also asked Americans,
“How much does your household have in emergency savings — that is, money that is readily available in either a checking, savings or money-market account?”
Respondents were given eight possible responses: “No emergency savings,” “One month’s expenses,” “Two months’ expenses,” “Three months’ expenses,” “Four months’ expenses,” “Five months’ expenses,” “Six months’ expenses or more,” and “Not sure.”
The category “No emergency savings” garnered the biggest response at 34%. Both “One month’s” and “Two months’ ” had 11% each.
That means 56% of all adult Americans have either no emergency savings or at most, barely enough to last two months. The loss of a job or an injury, for even for a couple of months would mean economic disaster for the majority of Americans.
The opportunity to stop the Russian invasion before it started is long gone. The consequences are and will continue to cause us all to experience additional economic hardships. So buckle up, the worst has yet to come.
Therefore, it is no surprise that a Reuters/Ipsos poll came out yesterday showing Biden’s approval rating has dropped to a new low of 40%. This is three percentage points lower than the week before.
The national poll, conducted on March 21 and 22, found that 54% of Americans disapprove of his job performance. High inflation, food and supply shortages, the COVID-19 response, as well as how the President has handled the Ukrainian war, has convinced most Americans that Biden is doing a poor job.
So my friends, get ready. Get prepared and be smart in your economic decisions. And watch for further examples of politicized public health policy decisions and messaging designed to distract from and bolster these dismal projections.
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