“Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?”

Nate Silver talks a little history, noting that well into the 1980 campaign, Jimmy Carter seemed to be defying the bad economy.  Carter was…:

…holding his own against Ronald Reagan. Some polls, even well after Labor Day (that’s Labor Day 1980, not 1979), showed the horse race to be tied or even had Mr. Carter with a slim lead.

Mr. Reagan would win overwhelmingly, however, claiming 44 states (even Massachusetts and New York) while limiting Mr. Carter to just 41 percent of the vote. He surged in the final week of the campaign after he posed the following question to Americans in the presidential debate of October 28, the first and only such event in which he and Mr. Carter participated together:

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Where was the unemployment rate four years ago? Four points lower.

Where was our national debt? Bad, but not this bad.

Where was our budget? Settled, and while waaaaay too big (Bad Bush!), much smaller than today.

How was our standing in the world? Leftymedia yammering aside, about the same as it’d always been.

One could argue in a macroeconomic sense that I’m better off because my house doesn’t have all that mortgage-bubble-based false valuation on it. Someday I’ll look back on that had laugh.


Nope. Worse off.

5 thoughts on ““Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?”

  1. I hope that things will get better after Mr. Obama is sent back to Chicago, Kenya, or wherever he’s from next year.

  2. Related (economy and political leaders)…..heard on the radio today. A gov’t employee retirement fund, which holds a very large number of Target shares, is trying to prevent Target from giving money to pro-business organizations if they have ties to Republicans.

    So you buy Target shares in order to fund a comfortable retirement for your members. But you want said company to only contribute only to anti-business candidates, which in turn will cause your stock to go down in value.

    Welcome to the world of public employee unions.

  3. Chuck, it’s been going on for years. Look up TIAA-CREF. I actually closed my account with them because I didn’t want them filling out proxy forms on stocks.

    I’m sure they’ll miss my $200 or whatever was in it. :^)

  4. Loved the Reagan bit. Anyone that thinks that Obama is a great speaker needs to look at what Reagan did without a teleprompter in that debate.

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