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Author Topic: Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago  (Read 2043 times)
Wakie
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« on: September 08, 2004, 08:56:37 am »
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For you personally ... are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?
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MODU
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2004, 09:53:05 am »
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Yes:

- More than doubled my salary over the last 4 years.
- Paid off all debt this year (car, credit, college, etc)
- Currently searching for a new home to purchase on a larger lot (for investment purposes - as discussed in a side topic earlier last month)
- Stock portfolio currently up 47.24% (as of this morning)

Now . . . all I need is my lotto numbers to come in, and I can retire and go into teaching.  Smiley
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A18
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2004, 11:47:25 am »
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AOL is not better off now than it was four years ago
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Beef
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2004, 01:02:14 pm »
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Yes.

Fall 2000: economy going into the crapper, staying in school just so I could hang onto my $12/hr student job.

Fall 2004: going on 3 years of non-stop employment, now working as a consultant where there's so much demand, I'm often overworked, taking on multiple simultanous projects.  Almost all of my current clients are in the manufacturing sector, or are service sector businesses that work closely with the manufacturing sector.

(Granted, the manufacturing economy in NE Wisconsin is about as recession-proof as you can get.)
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Nym90
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2004, 01:18:17 pm »
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My family isn't better off than it was 4 years ago; at that time, my father was still working as a teacher. Now he's paralyzed and his income was cut in half since he relies on disability pay, and had to take an early retirement thus he's not getting a full pension anymore.

As for myself personally, I make more money than I did 4 years ago (when I was still an undergrad student; now, I'm a grad student but working full time), but I also have more debt, so financially, it's about equal. Other areas of my life are much happier than 4 years ago, so on balance, I'd say I'm better off.

The responses to this question aren't going to be representative of most people, since most of us are young and thus probably make more money than we did 4 years ago due to that fact.
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Beef
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2004, 01:49:25 pm »
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My family isn't better off than it was 4 years ago; at that time, my father was still working as a teacher. Now he's paralyzed and his income was cut in half since he relies on disability pay, and had to take an early retirement thus he's not getting a full pension anymore.

I'm sorry to hear about your father, Nym.  My dad was partially paralyzed in a car accident in 1993.  I know how tough it can be to go through that.  He lost his ability to play music, which was the thing he loved the most.
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The Duke
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2004, 01:56:05 pm »
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This thread shows that ultimately, to a large extent, people's lives are determiend by their own hard work ( or lack therof) and their own good luck (or lack therof).

No Bush policy is responsible for Nym's father being injured, or for MODU paying off his student loans.  This is the result of personal choices and tragedies.

I am better off than I was four years ago, and so is my family.  I know better than to say its Bush's success.  Its our success.
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StatesRights
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2004, 03:40:00 pm »
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My success has gone no where but up since 2000. But I consider that things my family and I have done. Politicians never come to mind when I think about my gains.
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A18
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2004, 03:47:45 pm »
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Whenever a politician is rightfully thanked for anyone's personal gains, it's for staying out of the issue.
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Wakie
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2004, 03:48:00 pm »
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This thread shows that ultimately, to a large extent, people's lives are determiend by their own hard work ( or lack therof) and their own good luck (or lack therof).

So you think Reagan's argument in 1984 was total bunk then?

I would argue that while an individual's success is controlled by their own actions, the # of people able to succeed is controlled (at least in part) by the actions of the government.
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A18
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2004, 03:51:20 pm »
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Reagan helped get government out of people's lives, and that's all he ever took credit for.
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The Duke
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2004, 04:13:31 pm »
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This thread shows that ultimately, to a large extent, people's lives are determiend by their own hard work ( or lack therof) and their own good luck (or lack therof).

So you think Reagan's argument in 1984 was total bunk then?

I would argue that while an individual's success is controlled by their own actions, the # of people able to succeed is controlled (at least in part) by the actions of the government.

I'd say that the government can affect the aggregate gains or losses in the economy, but to take credit or blame for things that happen to individuals is a bit silly in most cases.  Did Bush cause Nym's father to face personal tragedy?  No.  If we're talking about purely economic impact, then political leaders can take credit or blame if they can trace a line from specific policies to specific individuals struggling or thriving.  Where is the Bush policy that is designed to help MODU pay off student loans?  There isn't one.  MODU is better off, but not because of Bush.  Nym is worse off, but not because of Bush.

The things that affect us the most are not necessarily things that can be traced to economic policy, that's my main point.  This doesn't mean that sometimes people aren't better off because of certain policies, but to whether an individual if he is better off usually has little to do with the big picture policies of Presidents and congresses.
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zachman
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2004, 04:18:04 pm »
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I'll answer yes. My life in six grade was incomparable to how it is now and I have enjoyed my last few years of school more than ever.
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2004, 04:19:32 pm »
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I'll answer yes. My life in six grade was incomparable to how it is now and I have enjoyed my last few years of school more than ever.

Perfect example of what I mean when I say that the things that improve people's lives as individuals are not usually things that result from policy.
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Senator Cynic
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2004, 05:32:40 pm »
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No. Four years ago, my family had money, we could afford to go on vacation, we could fix our cars without it becoming a major family emergency. On my personal level, I've seen no change. I'm still the same lovable, cynical, pessimistic, sarcastic, overweight, never had my first kiss, loser I've always been. I still have alot of friends, and am still doing my acting and school political activities.
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Bandit3 the Worker
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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2004, 08:00:01 pm »
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are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?

You must be joking.

And I was worse off 4 years ago than 8 years ago.

And I was worse off 8 years ago than 12 years ago.

And I was worse off 12 years ago than 16 years ago.

And I was worse off 16 years ago than 20 years ago.

And I was worse off 20 years ago than 24 years ago.
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dazzleman
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2004, 08:43:13 pm »
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I am better off financially than I was four years ago, if you look at my income and assets.

The reality is that I was pretty well off then, and I'm pretty well off now.

Reagan used the "are you better off now than you were four years ago" in his 1980 debate with President Carter, not as a measure of the success of his own administration.

Carter had created the "misery index" in 1976 which was the inflation and unemployement rate added together, and used it against President Ford.  By 1980, the misery index under Carter was far higher than it ever was under Ford, and most people felt they were worse off than they had been four years before.  This gave Reagan his opening to ask this question at the end of his 1980 debate with Carter.

In 1984, most felt they were better off than they were four years earlier, and Reagan got a lot of political credit for it.  But I don't think he ASKED people that question directly in 1984; I think his campaign simply put out the indicators to prove how much better off the country was under his policies.
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Defarge
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2004, 08:44:27 pm »
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No.  Family's hurting.  My aunt has lost her job and my family is being forced to help her and my uncle support the kids
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2004, 10:03:44 pm »
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No.   I was unemployed for two of the last four years (two separate job losses).  One tech job was outsourced.   I had to sell a home and still wound up 100K in debt.   Absolutely no health care for 3 years.   I've recently gone back to work at about 2/3 of prior salary.   Half the people I know have had similar experiences in their family.  Everyone knows somone who's been through hard times.

I'll agree success requires persistance and effort, but those do not guarantee it.   Some people were unlucky and lost their job regardless of the quality of their work and effort.  With no new hiring they were locked out.

Bush didn't cause the recession, but I and a lot of other people think he could have done a lot more than promise that when the taxs cuts for the wealthy are completely phased in over the next ten years that things would improve.

He's certainly no Roosevelt.   Whatever your economic philosophy, you have to be prepared to put it aside to get results.   Bush did nothing.
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Nym90
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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2004, 10:48:11 pm »
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My family isn't better off than it was 4 years ago; at that time, my father was still working as a teacher. Now he's paralyzed and his income was cut in half since he relies on disability pay, and had to take an early retirement thus he's not getting a full pension anymore.

I'm sorry to hear about your father, Nym.  My dad was partially paralyzed in a car accident in 1993.  I know how tough it can be to go through that.  He lost his ability to play music, which was the thing he loved the most.

Thanks. Yes, it was a trying time, he came down with a rare staph infection in his spine from an injury he sustained, and it was misdiagnosed and mistreated.

The sluggish economy when I graduated from college in 2001 caused me not to be able to get a job, but in retorospect, I'm probably better off because of it actually...I went back to grad school to go into a profession that I'll enjoy more.

I also met my girlfriend who I otherwise never would have met if I hadn't gone back to grad school. So...sometimes life works in strange ways. Smiley
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 09:05:52 am by SCJ Nym90 »Logged
CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2004, 07:57:18 am »
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This thread shows that ultimately, to a large extent, people's lives are determiend by their own hard work ( or lack therof) and their own good luck (or lack therof).

No Bush policy is responsible for Nym's father being injured, or for MODU paying off his student loans.  This is the result of personal choices and tragedies.

I am better off than I was four years ago, and so is my family.  I know better than to say its Bush's success.  Its our success.

Excellent post.
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Wakie
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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2004, 08:41:21 am »
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are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?

You must be joking.

And I was worse off 4 years ago than 8 years ago.

And I was worse off 8 years ago than 12 years ago.

And I was worse off 12 years ago than 16 years ago.

And I was worse off 16 years ago than 20 years ago.

And I was worse off 20 years ago than 24 years ago.

Hey, Reagan was the first one to ask this question.  If you don't like it then take it up with those who deify him.
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nomorelies
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« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2004, 10:25:26 am »
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Partisan politics. Everyone knows that they arent in general but this is a political question that the Republicans will never admit.
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MODU
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« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2004, 10:40:15 am »
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Partisan politics. Everyone knows that they arent in general but this is a political question that the Republicans will never admit.

Huh   Please rephrase.
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nomorelies
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« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2004, 10:57:41 am »
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If you ask a fair question YOU GET A DUMB RESPONSE from Republicans.

Are you for big government?
Republican voter: NO
Are you for excessive spending
Republican voter : NO

Does Bush stand for your beliefs on government?
Republican voter : YES  

Need i go on
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 10:58:18 am by nomorelies »Logged
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