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Patch's Poll: Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?

As we head into the meat of the election season, that's the question everyone is asking. How do you feel?

With the national conventions in the rearview mirror and the election season fullly under way, both parties are asking Ronald Reagan's famed 1980 question of voters: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

In 2008, the economy was in a freefall just prior to the presidential election. While the country has technically emerged from recession, only 96,000 jobs were added in August and the national unemployment rate is still above 8 percent, according to cnn.com.

Connecticut's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in July, the latest statistics available. That was above the national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent that month.

That's the big picture, but how have things changed for you on a personal level?

Take our poll and elaborate in the comments.

Andrew Ziemba September 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM
NOPE, back then I was making a killing in online poker and then the federal government took it away... THANKS GUYS!
annie kelleher September 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Four years ago we were on the verge of total economic meltdown, courtesy of the last posse of Republican Lone Rangers who thought it would be a great idea to unleash the dogs of greed on the unsuspecting public. Four years ago, the Albuquerque Journal was printing front-page articles on how to survive a depression. Politico was wondering if Bush was the new Hoover. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review declared that economic collapse was way more likely than the US wanted to admit. And the New York Times was reporting that "(b)ehind closed doors, calamity beckons." Are things perfect now? No, of course not. Capitalism is a deeply flawed economic system with its roots in feudalism. Even Adam Smith was aware of the problems... corporate greed being the foremost. But until someone comes up with a better way of doing things - which I also think is already happening - it's the one we got. Do I agree with what was done to save it? Not necessarily, but - upper middle class, white American woman that I am - I prefer economic order to economic chaos. So to anyone who can't remember, ardent free-market capitalists that I am sure you all are, the answer to the question are you better off now... is a resoundingly loud "You betcha."
Andrew Ziemba September 11, 2012 at 11:46 PM
We are on the verge of total economic meltdown and it's WORSE NOW because of the intervention... It is because of both Democrats and Republicans who refuse to balance a budget because the only way they can get re-elected is by keeping promises to their voter base. I feel sad for your entire family because you will all be broke and homeless if you honestly think that we are in a recovery now... It is going to get much worse and if you don't understand and prepare for it you will be screwed. Uhhhh... free market capitalism? We have not had that in a LONG time...Bush was a horrible president who set the groundwork for a lot of programs that Obama has continued and expanded! Bush gave his pals tons of bailout money and Obama continued it by giving his pals bailouts too! And it's very funny to see someone coming out to attack Bush when MOST of the horrible stuff he did was bipartisan! Also, Obama has continued everything that Bush started. Capitalism is a deeply flawed economic system? Jeez, well why don't you explain how America became the shining star in the world where the streets were paved in gold? Stumped? Learn history, It was because of raw. American Capitalism. Just look at Ford for example... On that note, he paid his employees better then than ford does now, WITH true Capitalism... It will take total economic collapse to restore this country. The economy needs to swallow the nasty medicine to get better. Accept it.
Canton Taxpayer September 12, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I agree with you annie. Well said.
Fred September 12, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Four years ago we had just seen two full years of failed policies of a majority controlled congress and senate and a president that gave into them.
Adam September 13, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Annie: Ah, yes, once again, let's drag back out George Bush for yet another spanking. If we following your logic, there is no level of devastation that Barack could unleash on the economy without its seeds first being planted by President Bush. President Obama is apparently beyond reproach not matter how bad things get. To remain true to your convictions, I suppose you deprive yourself of any of the benefits of capitalism, including Starbucks, an Iphone, cutting-edge cancer therapies, side-impact air bags, organic humane farms, and the like. I recommend that you watch a series of films called "Free to Choose". Then come back and tell me what EVIDENCE you have that Barack's policies of rationing, regulating and central planning have made things better by introducing more innovation to more people at cheaper process - rather than the opposite. In my estimation, overwhelming evidence shows that his $700 billion stimulus, bailout of GM, failed investments in green energy were nothing less than abject failures by any measure of fiscal responsibility, which you claim to prioritize. As an "upper middle class white American woman," I recommend that you put down the New York Times, and expand your limited sources of information, because people are really suffering, especially here in CT, by most objective metrics.
Harry Sawyer September 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM
small business wise, this is the worst year yet! The next four, would of been a full blown out, patriotic, entusiastic, turn around if Ron Paul was elected!!!! Any questions???? I didn't think so....
Michael Mercier September 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
4 years ago I was happy that gas went down to 2.00 a gallon. Today I paid 4.11/gallon. Soon, I am going to have to fill my oil tank. Will I take a loan out, or sell a car to pay for that? I pay much higher taxes than 4 years ago. Thanks to Obama, congress, and chairman Mao Malloy.4 years ago I could afford to buy the retirenment home I wanted for the future, and I should have, because I cannot afford it today.

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