Don’t Panic: Why Inflation Anxiety Might Be Overblown

Arush Sharma
2 min readApr 30, 2024


Let’s face it, inflation stinks. Seeing grocery prices skyrocket can make anyone feel frustrated. But before you resign yourself to a life of ramen noodles, here’s a fresh perspective from an economist’s point of view.

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Imagine waking up tomorrow to a world with inflated price tags. Everything costs ten times more! But guess what? You also earn ten times more per hour. In this wacky scenario, even though numbers are bigger, your ability to afford things stays the same.

That’s kind of what recent inflation is like. Prices went up, but so did wages (by about 22%). It’s not a huge jump, but it’s actually better than average wage growth in recent decades.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Some folks are definitely struggling. But research shows we tend to focus more on the negative (higher prices) and forget the positive (higher wages).

Think about getting a raise. It feels great, right? But wearing an economist hat, we should see it as a cost-of-living adjustment, not a personal reward. It keeps your buying power steady despite inflation.

Inflation might feel like it’s stealing your money, but the wage increases actually bring it back. It’s like an invisible balancing act.

Some people, especially, younger folks who haven’t experienced high inflation before might be especially worried. They haven’t seen the “play” where prices rise in Act I, but wages catch up in Act II. This can make inflation seem scarier than it is.

The truth is, that the economy is booming. We’re more productive than ever, and average incomes are on track to be the highest in history.

Economic anxiety can feel real, but remember, it’s often blown out of proportion.

So take a deep breath, this inflation thing will likely pass. Just like a therapist might say, breathe through the anxiety and remember, better days are ahead.