Americans are delaying major purchases according to a new poll by CNN. Some 62% percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning say they've postponed a major purchase. That's up 10 points from December, during the height of the Christmas shopping season. Low income families have been hit hardest, but even a quarter of those making more than $50,000 say they have had to cut back on necessities.
This is no surprise. Everyone is still skittish about the economy, money and debt. Even folks who are doing well are holding back with major purchases. I see it in my own business. Some of the companies I work with are having a banner year, yet they are cutting conferences and conventions because they don't want to give "the wrong impression." They don't want it to look like they are free spending when others are having problems.
As I watch the money flow to AIG and other companies as part of the stimulus package, I can't help but wonder if it could be put to better use. According to my math, if it was returned to taxpayers instead, every man, woman, and child in America would get $5,000. With our family of four, that would be a total of $20,000. That's a lot of money. I think I would go buy a refrigerator and car.