Sad truth is your are right. Most of the people I know are worried about their personal economy and have ben so for years. It is a mixture of hype and reality. Prices have gone up (see gas), wages are going up slowly if at all for some, taxes are up (come to Houston and find out, the tax cut I got a few years ago has been swallowed up and then some by local taxes, debt is up for many, and many do not think they are secure in their jobs.
How much is truth and how much is hype depends on the person's situation. But most of the people I know are startign to worry and play their cards close to the vest.
I live in Houston, wages seem to be going up pretty good to me...just depends on which industry segment you work in.
Yes, I agree, it depends on the individual's fact pattern.
But, those I know...are happy, doing better than they've ever done, and are optimistic.
It may just be that they manage their money well, and they work for companies that are in cyclical upturns, but most I know agree...the economy, in it's totality, is doing well.