NEWS AND OPINION:
Well here it is Black Friday, and Americans are skittish about rising prices and buying stuff — certainly not ideal for what is supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year. The thrill is ebbing now that the U.S. has become an inflation nation in the era of President Biden.
More than three-quarters of U.S. adults — 77% — say inflation is affecting their lives on a personal level just as the holiday season kicks in, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — and 57% blame Mr. Biden.
“Americans of all political persuasions expect prices to shoot up over the next year,” reports Terry Jones, editor of Issues & Insights, which partnered with the Tipp Poll on the matter.
The survey found that 84% of Americans — including 94% of Republicans and 81% of Democrats — agreed that prices on gasoline, food, and other household products will rise, and keep on rising.
The poll of 1,396 U.S. adults was conducted Oct. 27-29 and released Tuesday.
Pessimism increases with age, the poll found.
“For those 18-24, 71% expect higher prices next year; the 25-44 year-olds are at 78%; those aged 45-64 stand at 87%; but those 65 and overcome in at 94%,” Mr. Jones wrote.
“Is it just that the older people remember the 1970s’ traumatic inflation? Or that many if not most of them are living on fixed incomes? Are younger people marginally more optimistic because they have more years to make up for any potential income losses due to higher-than-anticipated inflation? It’s hard to say,” he continued.
“Whether inflation turns out to be a short-term blip on the long-term time horizon, consumers are getting their first taste of sustained price increases since the early 1990s. Back then, Fed rate hikes quelled nascent inflation pressures, but also pushed the economy into a recession that many believe cost President George H.W. Bush a second term in the 1992 presidential election,” Mr. Jones said.
THE COVID-19 FACTOR
COVID-19 has also had a lasting effect on the happy shopper mentality.
“Last year, during the first holiday season of the pandemic, more than 60 percent of consumers agreed that the pandemic had influenced their shopping behavior — they planned less in advance, had lower budgets, and shopped more online. This year, many U.S. consumers will continue to be more conservative with their spending post-pandemic – 78 percent said they will continue to reduce their spending even when life returns to normal,” noted the Global Black Friday Forecast, conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners, a Boston-based global strategy and marketing consulting firm.
REPUBLICAN-LED STATES LEAD THE WAY
Newly released employment Bureau of Labor Statistics data for October reveals that those states with a Republican governor and state legislature are leading the nation in employment matters.
The data revealed that 17 of the top 20 states for jobs recovered since the coronavirus pandemic began are led by Republican governors — while 18 of the top 20 states have Republican-controlled legislatures.
It also found that 16 of the 20 states with the lowest unemployment rates are led by Republican governors while 17 of those states have Republican-controlled legislatures.
In addition, the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates all are led by Republicans; the eight states with the highest unemployment rates are all led by Democrat governors.
The average unemployment rate for the 27 states with Republican governors is 3.9%. Democrat-led states have an average unemployment rate of 5.4%.
“It’s more evidence of what we already know: Republican policies deliver jobs and opportunity, and Democrat policies instituting mandates and reckless spending don’t work. One thing is for sure, having a Republican governor is definitely something millions of Americans can be thankful for,” said Tommy Pigott, rapid response director for the Republican National Committee.
“If you want a job, move to a Republican-led state,” he said.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: Historic country retreat and equine property built in 1900 on 37 acres with a pond in Culpeper, Virginia. Four bedrooms, 4 baths, open concept interior, original woodworking, doors and floors; chef’s kitchen; 4,115 square feet. Deck and sitting porch, detached two-car garage, two stables with 14 stalls, two “wash stalls,” riding ring, views of “pond and pasture.” Priced at $975,000 through Mcleanfaulconer.com/listings; enter VACU2000274 in the search function.
FIND GRAND BOOKS HERE
Message to those seeking holiday gifts amid supply-chain problems — SeaWolf Press offers 350 classic literature titles with all their original and often incredible illustrations and cover designs.
We’re talking Jack London, Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, books for children, and a number of books pertaining to Black history. Hardcover and paperback versions are available.
“These are not photocopy versions of old books but rather newly formatted editions that contain the text and illustrations from the first or early edition. Most also have the original cover from the first edition, or from beautiful paintings. The text has been properly formatted with an easy-to-read font similar to that used more than 100 years ago,” the company explains.
Titles can be found in many bookstores or on Amazon.com. Check out the website for more information and a look at these handsome editions at SeaWolfPress.com.
POLL DU JOUR
• 55% of U.S. adults disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing; 70% of Republicans, 66% of independents and 34% of Democrats agree.
• 17% overall neither approve or disapprove of the job Congress is doing; 14% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 21% of Democrats agree.
• 17% overall approve of Congress’ job performance; 7% of Republicans, 9% of independents and 36% of Democrats agree.
• 11% overall are not sure how they feel about Congress; 8% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 9% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 20-23.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.