The pandemic may have eased considerably but the gloom that engulfed America has not lifted.
The pandemic had a negative effect on the economies of all the countries in the world but the US suffered more than most because of deep structural inequalities.
It also recorded more than 1.12 million deaths out of total infections of 103 million, the highest in the world.
During the two-years of the pandemic, while 99% of the global population suffered a decline in income, the 10 richest people in the world, most of them Americans, doubled their income.
Not surprisingly, with declining income and living from paycheck to paycheck, most Americans went into depression.
Their pessimism is due to the tanking economy as well as the deep political divide that grips the country.
These are the findings of an online survey conducted by Gallup last month (December 5–19) which found that 90% of Americans expect political conflict in the country.
Yes, you read that correctly: the overwhelming majority of Americans expect political conflict because of a deeply divided country.
Gallup released its findings on January 3.
The poll was conducted country-wide among US adults who are members of Gallup’s probability-based panel.
Among its other findings, Gallup found that nearly 80% of US adults think 2023 will be a year of economic difficulty.
Taxes will be higher rather than lower and the budget deficit will grow rather than shrink.
72% think the crime rate, already very high, will rise, and 56% predict there will be many strikes by labor unions.
Regarding world affairs, 85% of US adults predict the year ahead will be fraught with international discord rather than peaceful.
Russia’s war in Ukraine and the US involvement in it shape such thinking.
Since Russia’s invasion of February 2022, America has pumped nearly $50 billion into Ukraine, mostly in the form of weapons.
Much more American money has gone to Ukraine, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, that is unaccounted for.
At the same time, the US has increased its military budget to $858 billion for the year 2023.
Despite such massive military spending, 64% of Americans think the United States’ power in the world will decline.
73% of Americans think China’s power will increase.
If there is any consolation for them, 64% of Americans expect Russia’s power in the world will decrease in 2023.
Gallup believes it is likely a reflection of the recent setbacks Russia suffered in its war in Ukraine.