How are people surviving?

“Like, how are people surviving?” That is the question that was posed to millions of followers on social media by Cardi B regarding this economy that is still not showing the signs of real recovery. For someone in her shoes, a millionaire several times over, there might not be a significant change in her lifestyle or bank account, but that is not the case for most Americans, especially those in the Black community.

The full quote from Cardi B is: “I was looking at some areas. The way that the prices soar up…like how are people surviving? I want to know. My family and my friends, they’re so grateful to have me, but it’s just like, what happens to people who don’t have a me?”

The data shows that people are struggling to survive, and most do not have the safety net of a multi-millionaire to keep us afloat or help us buy a home, pay off debt, or the high gas and grocery bills.

A recent poll conducted by High Point University shows that 73% of North Carolinians continue to believe that the issue of inflation is the most important issue, with 47% saying President Biden deserves a lot of the blame. “North Carolinians were also asked to think about the prices they are currently paying for products compared to last year. Majorities said that prices are much higher for gas for their cars (76%), meat (64%) and eggs (52%). Less than half of the poll respondents said that they are paying a much higher price for fruits and vegetables (49%), milk (48%), natural gas (43%), bread (41%), electronics (36%), clothing (35%), water (32%) and toys (27%).”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the August overall Black unemployment rate increased to 6.4%, the Black unemployment rate for Black men increased to 6.0% and the unemployment rate for Black women increased to 5.9%.

Additionally, the bureau reported the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is defined as “the measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services,” increased 8.3%. That means hard working Americans are still paying more for basics to survive, like groceries, that increased 13.5%.

At some point we must conclude that what is being done at the national level is still not working. The honeymoon period is over – the training wheels are off – two years into the Biden-Harris Administration, we are not being well served. The Democrats are in total control in Washington, D.C. they have all the power, the policies and legislation that has been negatively impacting Americans since 2020.

The stimulus did not work, the infrastructure bill did not work, the so-called inflation reduction law that will not reduce inflation is not going to work either. None of these spending bills signed into law are having a positive socio-economic impact on struggling middle-and lower-income Americans who need relief making the simple question posed by Cardi B a legitimate one, how are people surviving when for 17 straight months we have seen Americans take a cut in real-wages.

Democrats had their chance to prove to everyone that they had the answers, and that their economic plans would work to empower, improve, and uplift but that is just not the case. You do not need an economics degree from North Carolina A&T to understand how bad this economy continues to be because the impact is real every day.

When you give someone your vote it is you telling them that you believe that they will do right by you, represent you and your interests, and enact policies that will keep you safe, and not hurt you from a socio-economic standpoint. When you look at the plight of Black community today, after giving the Democrat party the vote in such great margins, on the whole, we have very little to show for it.

The Democrats in power in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and The White House are pushing policies that are working against us and we know it, we feel it and see it. The question is what are you going to do about it?


Paris Dennard is a prominent communications and political strategist and consultant who has worked at all levels of government and Republican politics.

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