Are You Better Off Than Four Years Ago?

Massachusetts home sales are up and unemployment below national average.

Exactly four years ago this month, the bottom dropped out of the U.S. economy

Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008. The next day, the Federal Reserve announced a bailout of AIG. Bad news continued to pile up almost daily, with the stock market collapsing and millions of jobs vanishing.

No single factor will define such a complex process as selection of a president, but none might be greater than the simple question: Are you better off than four years ago?

In Massachusetts, the state unemployment rate in August was 6.3 percent, up from 6.2 percent in July. Unemployment in the Commonwealth peaked at 8.7 percent in August of 2009. Nationwide, unemployment was at 8.1 percent in August 2012.

Sales of single family homes in Massachusetts in August 2012 saw a 20 percent increase from August 2011, according to the Warren Group.

“One more month of strong home sales confirm speculation that the housing market recovery is underway,” Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement.

Are you better off than you were four years ago? Or is your financial life the same or worse? Can you credit a presidential administration with business' success or failure or is the state of business left to business leaders? Let us know in the comments section.

Mel Cross September 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Four years ago I worked 45 hrs a week, now I am working 70 hrs a week just to keep my job. With so many unemployed, it is tough to move to another job. They know you can not job hop so the do more with less, lean and mean as they say.......Gas close to 4.....Food is the one area that is killing the budget, more than doubled in some areas..... Answer NO and a resounding NO. Lets face it this election needs to be about the economy, not all these issues that we will be arguing about in the next 100 years, like abortion.......Its about Jobs, and getting the economy rolling......Not low paying jobs either, we need high quality jobs..........And not Jobs created by gov. spending. Jobs that are created by small business, innovation.
D September 26, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I agree TOTALLY. I work so much harder and have less, but am so thankful to have a job. NO I am not better off then 4-years ago. We have to get Obama OUT, if you or I are not doing our jobs we get fired, Obama has done a horrible job, and he needs to be fired. It will be so scary if he gets a 2nd term.
LCT September 26, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Let's see.....NO: gasoline prices have doubled (causing all items to rise); food has gone up anywhere from 10% to 100% depending on the item; my house, my biggest investment, has gone down in value 25-40% but somehow homeowner's taxes have gone up; natural gas is up; medical insurance up 25%, co-pay increased & less meds covered; my 401K retirement is on life-support. I'm on a fixed income & am runniung out of places to trim monthly expenses. I've changed my cable back to basic, I hardly go out to eat or get take out, I don't own a cell phone or other electronic gizmos, no more theater, concerts or sports events, no hairdresser, except for socks & a new pair of sneakers no new clothes in over a year, I dread this winter when I'll have to make hard decisions about staying warm, refilling med scripts or cutting out one meal a day. I CANNOT take another 4 years of obama-economics & obamacare scares the daylights out of me. Our country will permantly be changed if he is re-elected; we will never dig out way out of the debt/deficiet, printing money & his "bumps in the road" in the Middle East don't bode well. If we don't become energy indepentent as soon as possible gas will be around the $8 mark in short order. When, not if, the dollar collapses even martial law won't be enough to quell the masses.
Blowin Smoke September 27, 2012 at 03:15 AM
YES we are ALL much better off now! We're finally wrapping up Bush's reckless, pointless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost 3.7 TRILLION dollars - a staggering amount. Making progress on universal health care, and CAFE standards to improve vehicle fuel efficiency. We no longer have a VP like Cheney, who was in the pocket of the oil & defense industries. No longer setting up secret torture centers around the globe. Unlike Romney, Obama recognizes the risks of climate change. The LAST thing we need is a tycoon Mormon in the White House (even though his agenda WAS liberal when he was governor of MA, before he flipped to conservative in seeking presidency).
Jared September 27, 2012 at 01:40 PM
@Blowin Smoke So glad to see the tolerance. "tycoon Mormon" What does Romney's religious beliefs have to do with anything.
Brenda Floyd September 27, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I agree with the comment above. The economies whole downward spiral started with Bush/Cheney and their cronies, making the rich richer and taking away all safeguards for people aainst the big banks,top 2%. We are moving away from dependency on oil and going greenier. Fixing the messed-up econmy that went far to wrong will not happen overnigt. So all those sucking off people, AND I MEAN BIG BUSINESS THAT GET TAX BREAKS AND HAVE PARTIES PAID FOR BY ME TAX PAYERS, NEEDS TO STOP.
Tim September 27, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Four years ago we could take the family out for dinner once in a while. We haven't gone out as a family to a restaurant in over a year now. Four years ago we never worried about food in the refrigerator. Now we are going hungry until the next paycheck. Four years ago, school clothes were never an issue. This year, the kids had very little to start the school year. Four years ago we could afford to drive two cars. Now, we make do with just one.
LCT September 28, 2012 at 04:11 AM
blowin Smoke wrote: "YES we are ALL much better off now!..." Kindly please do not assume to speak for all of us. You have no clue what's going on with my wallet, life or anything else personal. I just spent close to $70 to fill up my car. That's approx $35 less [than I would have had 3 yrs ago] now have to spend on food, meds, utilities, etc. all of which have gone up considerably in the last 3 yrs. Spare me the 'blame it on Bush/Cheney' rant; it's grown quite old & boring. Have you heard the phrase: "it's to economy, stupid"? There's no special stores with discounts for Dems, Reps, Independents; the pain is spread to all. I'm glad you're doing well financially. I wish I could say the same. Maybe what you're "smoking" has killed off too many of the brain cells that control logical thinking. Lastly, unless something has radically changed, we have freedom of religion in this country. Assaulting someone's private beliefs is crass, intolerant, small-minded, insulting & completely uncalled for. Shame on you!
Ouie Boscoe September 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Blowin Smoke must be smoking some real good stuff. So good he has lost contact with reality. Must be one of those who just sits at home and waits for the Govt. to support him. That is why he hates Mitt he is afraid that Mitt will force him to go to work.
ovaltine0827 September 28, 2012 at 05:28 PM
@Brenda Floyd "taking away all safeguards for people aainst the big banks"remind me again, who repealed Glass-Steagall?
Ouie Boscoe September 28, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Barney Frank is one person to blame for the mess the country is in. But all of his buddy's filled their bank accounts because of Barneys lies and corruption.
Josh Hill October 03, 2012 at 11:07 AM
What was the price of gas per gallon, the day that HOPE was inaugurated? What is todays gas per gallon? I rest my case, it effects everything we touch and everything we buy. You are a clown!
Mike D October 03, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Only an idiot believes that the president controls gas prices. Until you understand how that basic concept works, you should refrain from making assessments on the job the president is doing.
Mike D October 03, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Um, you do realize that gas prices, food prices and housing prices have shot up all over the world, right? So unless Obama is president of the world, this is a market issue and not a government one. Blame someone else. As for medical prices, he's the only one trying to keep it under control by making sure that you don't have to pay for someone else's lack of insurance.
JOHN MATAKANSKI October 03, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I remember ,then candidate Biden, making an issue out of Gas prices 4 years ago. Remember the man he met while he was at home depot???That man said he couldn't afford to fill up his (second) car with gas?? Biden blamed the previous administration for that, wooed listeners to vote for him and Obama........well........4 years later..gas prices doubled!!!! what was Biden/Obama saying then????? I think the president and Biden could take Mike D's advice too.
Patrick Ryan October 03, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Romneys record. He had billions of government money from the big dig yet raised 1000 fees licenses/permits for electricians plumbers etc trippled. He took ma from 17 to 47 in the country and unemployment went up, Imagine how much worse off we would be if the banks failed, Romney said let them fail,same with the car industry.If your going to vote for this guy you must want to pay more money to the government unless your a billionair.Ryan says he wants to cut medicare and ss and give the money to defence contractors.Do we need another Bush white house. I'm better off my 401k is up after 3 years of losses under bush Were not at war with Iran something Romney would get us into. How about a 20 dollar fee for an ID to vote. Thanks to the republicans Voteing should be free.
Deanie October 03, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Lets, see..GAS up, my water & electric bill UP, 23 million unemployeed, food prices up, small businesses closing due to EPA rules, Healthcare with NO choices once it gets implemented! It has in some small ways, such as NOW hospitals will be fined if a medicare patient returns to the hospital within 30 days from a procedure! CONTROL of our lives & finances is Obummers agenda & massive socialism which is NOT what this country was built on! Obummers forefathers are Bill Ayers & communists! Wake up people, he is a con man backed by Sirros & his Billions to transform this country. Explain all this to your kids & grandkids when they have no rights or freedoms! Obummer has ignored OUR constitution & alone signed over 900 executive orders of CONTROL! The most a President ever signed in 8 years in office was 60! This man is dangerous...send him to the Middle East where he caused all the trouble...NOT a stupid video!!
Deanie October 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Your brainwashed! Obummer cut 750 Million from medicaire for his Obummercare which is social medicine & control of our health! Romney did NOT want GOV control with Romneycare as this Marxist does! If you want your income and every check you cash, your retirement & savings taxed 1% for the Gov...then vote for this dictator! That is one of his taxes in Obummercare which has NOTHING to do with healthcare! I want my country back, not a wimp who cover ups Fast & furious & now the Middle East! BO had 4 years to stop blaming Bush & fix things...now its 10 times worse with 16 triilion in debt..more soent than any president evr...with NO accountability as to WHERE the $$ went! GOD...wake up! Romney never took a salary for his service & unemployment went UP...
Briny O'Boy October 06, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Briny O'Boy October 06, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Mike D is not totally correct. Gas when Bush was President was $4.00 per gallon then went down to less that $2.00 per gallon because he opened the reserves and forced Opec to change their prices. This President could do the same by opening the oil pipe line deal. But he will not and this is why so many of us are upset with him and in good faith will not support him.
sickofthespin October 07, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Jean York please pull your lip over your head and swallow!!!
sickofthespin October 07, 2012 at 09:25 PM
No I am worse off. I had never experienced a layoff in my life until 2009!! Now I have 3 layoffs in 3 years!! Romney/Ryan 2012
Toni Gisone October 31, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I will stop blaming Bush for this, the worst recession since the great depression, when his TWO WARS, one of which was Iraq - remember the weapons of mass destruction? ARE PAID FOR! Also, Obama has NOTHING TO DO WITH GAS PRICES get some information! The Republican party has been bought and paid for by the 1% and they have successfully USED the RACIST, GREEDY and IGNORANT to work FOR THEM. Wake up and do some READING of FACTS! OBAMA 2012 or this country is in DEEP TROUBLE.
Toni Gisone October 31, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Romney left Massachusetts with a huge deficit. He charged FEES - HUNDREDS of them, instead of raising taxes. When he was Governor, Massachusetts was #47 in the COUNTRY FOR JOBS! Dont spout about your JOB, or lack of them, and then STILL VOTE for ROMNEY! Rebuild the economy FROM THE MIDDLE OUT - Trickle down does NOT work! How many times do you want to try it???
Deanie November 01, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Sooo..lets see, capitolism made this country great! Bo has buried us with MORE debt than any other President with several belly up bankrupt GREEN companies with NO accountability as to WHERE the money went! But the biggest diagrace is that we had 4 men in Libya that died & Obama continues to LIE! THAT alone is NOT protecting our own especially when the White House told our men going to help to STAND DOWN! I don't know ONE soldier that ever joined the service to protect SOCIALISM!! Romney did a good job as far as I'm concerned & will be a GOOD PRESIDENT and will leave NO MAN BEHIND!!


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