I'd say public opinion findings like this are why America is poised to elect the black guy with a funny name instead of the white war hero: "A majority of Americans say they are worse off financially than a year ago, marking the first time in Gallup's 32-year history of asking the question that more than half of Americans give this pessimistic assessment." Nobody under 40 really remembers it, but the recession around the middle of Reagan's first term was really, really, really bad. It licked inflation, but at the cost of sky-high unemployment and the worst recession since the Great Depression. And even then the public's view of their personal finances was rosier than it is now.

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