Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the year, and also a great source of revenue for restaurants, candy manufacturers, and florists. Couples are exchanging gifts, going on dates, and generally spending money on their significant others. But in the last four years, even the smallest gifts have increased dramatically in price.

Flowers and chocolate are staple gifts on Valentine’s Day to the point of being cliché. They are a simple way to express your feelings to your loved ones. However, according to information from the Federal Reserve Economic Data and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of chocolate and confectionery manufacturing has increased nearly 18% over the last four years, which is the steepest increase over the last 10 years.

The increase in the price of something small like chocolate is just one example of a larger trend Americans are facing. Government policies have caused  inflation that has famously, or infamously, led to “grocery store anxiety” where Americans from every walk of life feel they’re spending more and receiving less. Americans are fed up with shouldering the inflationary burden and tax burden of policies like Guaranteed Basic Income, and the rising property taxes that municipalities are having to employ to cover their out-of-control spending habits that are shrinking the spending power of their paychecks.

As the 2024 elections draw ever closer a question that Americans need to ask themselves is “Am I better off this Valentine’s Day than I was on Valentine’s Day four years ago?”