Why Only 5% of Americans Say Things Are Going Very Well

Only 5% Americans say things are going “very well,” against 40% who said they’re going “very badly,” according to a survey, taken June 23-26. Another 19% said things were “somewhat well” and 36% said “somewhat badly.”

The survey as reported in Bloomberg was conducted for CBS News by YouGov and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

According to the poll, some 72% judged Trump’s administration “unprepared” against 28% who said it was “prepared” to deal with the coronavirus outbreak when it started in early 2020.

The poll results were released on a day when U.S. virus cases have exceeded 2.5 million, and deaths are over 125,000, in both cases the world’s highest.

The crisis could last much longer — some public health experts say the need for social distancing could easily last for months.

To offset the situation on immediate basis, most American households (90%) are getting paid one-time relief check directly from the government after the Senate passed a $2 trillion economic aid bill in March as the nation braced for the massive economic blow due to coronavirus.

The final version of the bill includes a $1,200 check to every adult earning up to $75,000 — or a $2,400 check for joint tax filers earning up to $150,000 — plus $500 for every child they have.

Since the average household size is 2.6, say 3, each household will receive an estimated $2400 + $500 = $2900.

Additionally, the expansion of unemployment benefits could stand to put even more money in some families’ pockets than the relief checks.

The bill also adds four months of $600 weekly payments on top of the usual weekly unemployment checks. The bill also extends regular unemployment benefits to last an additional 13 weeks. That is a large bump compared with usual unemployment benefits.

The package also contains far more than just this assistance for households. There are also loans for small businesses and provisions to make much of that loan money forgivable. The bill also would allow federal student loan borrowers a grace period from making payments until October.

The Trump administration is also looking at longer-term measures. A deep response and a broad response, says an observer.

Earnings, Debts, Net Worth

The median weekly earnings of a full-time employee aged 25-34 (millennial) is $45,552 annually. This is for a 40-hour work week full-time wage or salary on a weekly basis.

Having potentially accrued up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, a young person making the average salary isn’t likely to have a positive cash flow or net worth. It would be in fact negative.

Net worth is someone’s assets minus their liabilities, and the more liabilities a person has, the lower their net worth is going to be. Even negative.

Buying goods on credit provides Americans with greater purchasing power, offering a convenient alternative to using cash. However, it adds “bills to pay” as a line item in the monthly payables and expenses list.

These debt figures include revolving debt, such as retail cards and credit cards, housing-related debt, such as mortgage loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and consumer loans, such as personal loans beside student loans.

According to Experian’s 2019 Consumer Debt Study, Millennials (aged 25-34) are carrying $78,396 debt.

The average net worth of a millennial therefore is negative $32,844 ($45,552 – $78,396).

Conversely, older generations, like baby boomers and the silent generation, are nearing or in retirement. They may have repaid a sizable portion of their debt even if disposable income may have reduced and age-related or other benefits may have kicked in.

The bottom line is maintaining the ability to pay debt from disposable income. Any lapses hurt individually and collectively. That is why, in our opinion, nearly all Americans (except the 5 percent) are perceiving things are not going well –Trump’s role in handling the pandemic and politics notwithstanding.