Tags: Independence | costs | july | fourth

Visa: 21% of Americans Say They Can't Afford to Celebrate Independence Day

Monday, 02 Jul 2012 12:40 PM

More than one-fifth of Americans, or 21 percent, say they can't afford to celebrate Independence Day this year or will spend less doing so than in the past, a survey from the Visa Corp. shows.

Last year, 18 percent said they wouldn't celebrate Independence Day.

Those who do plan to celebrate will spend an average $191 from travel to food to fireworks, down from $216 last year, according to the Visa survey, USA Today reports.

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

Some say the nation's founders would approve of the air of frugality marking this year's holiday.

"My hope is that people have really sort of changed their priorities," says Jason Alderman, director of Visa's financial education programs, USA Today adds.

"The Founding Fathers do not want us to go into debt to buy sparklers."

Some experts are ignoring the economic aspects of the disappointing numbers, pointing out that Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year.

"I don't believe that Americans have ever shopped to be 'patriotic.' " People really don't look at spending in a macro sense — it's very individualistic," consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow says, USA Today adds.

"Fourth of July is all about community, and that's a white-hot want right now for many Americans who feel increasingly disconnected (due to) divisive politics … and less-nourishing techno-fueled relationships."

The less-than-festive numbers fall in line with weak consumer sentiment figures.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment fell to 73.2 in June from 79.3 in May.
Sentiment is at its lowest in 2012.

Wealthier households — those bringing in $75,000 a year or more — grew particularly less confident over the fate of the nation.

"While the overall level of consumer sentiment is substantially above last summer's low — which would normally indicate a growth slowdown, not a downturn — the buying plans of upper-income households have also sharply declined," says survey director Richard Curtin, according to Reuters.

"Since these households account for a large share of total spending, if the declines continue in the months ahead, it could have a substantial impact on total spending."

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.


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