Despite living in what is likely the wealthiest nation to ever have existed, Americans sure are having a hard time getting by. As most people are well aware of this point, wage stagnation and numerous structural economic changes over the years have led to a shrinking middle class, fewer and fewer “good” jobs, and calls for political policies that were once thought to be too poisonous to touch — like a $15 minimum wage, for example.
Given that most people are, relatively speaking, doing just fine, what do Americans have to whine about? We have refrigerators, televisions, smartphones — all things that are inconceivable in many parts of the world, even to this day. But still, people can’t escape the feeling that the screws continue to turn. While facing even more uncertainty about the future, Americans are turning to strongmen political figures or false hopes that things will turn in their favor.
Are Americans truly struggling? It’s impossible to levy one simple judgment that encapsulates everyone in the country, but we can look at averages. And a good place to start is to look at how much money the average person has in their bank account.
Even this might not paint the most accurate picture, as incredibly high earners and billionaires can skew the numbers quite a bit, while those who are deep in debt will still have some money in an account somewhere, but it does give us a starting point.