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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.

JChar September 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Yes we definitely are doing much better than 4 years ago. My husband's shop has been very busy over the past year with solid future jobs going into next year. Everyone in our home has and continues to work steadily. I personally don't know anyone still out of work that has been let go, although there will always be some no matter what the economy is like. The job opportunities are MUCH better than 3 or 4 years ago. I can't see how anyone can deny that things are getting better. Even the media represents "disappointing job growth" when there actually IS job growth. The numbers ARE improving no matter how negative a spin people try to put on it.
Harry September 11, 2012 at 05:57 PM
No, we are def not doing better. Compare the value of your home from 4 years ago, compare Gas prices, Food prices, Clothing prices, home heating oil prices. Medium Incomes have fallen $4000 dollars. Obama has added 5 Trillion dollars to our debt. Iraq is falling apart, Afghanistan is a mess, Our Nation is not safer, Middle east is falling apart. Nations jobs outlook is pathetic, we have the lowest work force since 1948.. IF you took the workforce numbers from 2008 our unemployment numbers would be 20% today. REAL unemployment numbers when Bush left office was 7.8%, 4 years later we are at 14.7% unemployment.. For some unknown reason, the media fails to report that 12 MILLION Americans lost there jobs from 2009 - present. On average 365,000 Americans file for 1st time unemployment benefits EACH and EVERY single week since Obama took office. Obama has failed our country. As a Nation we are much worse off then 4 years ago.
JChar September 11, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Not sure where you're getting your "facts" so I'll just assume it's from Fox "News". Jobs outlook is pathetic? We're not safer? Are you kidding? You can look at any legitimate news source to find different statistics than you're coming up with. Not going to argue the point, just want to point out that there are very different news reports from many other sources with nothing to gain by trying to scare the nation.
Miriam September 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Please Char! The jobless rate is 8.1%, which does not include all of the unemployed. Look at the government's unemployment stats, and it will show that the TOTAL unemplyment rate (U6) is above 15! AND........ the more of those jobs that are "out there" are LOW-PAYING jobs. We are definitely NOT better off. Vote Obama OUT!
Linda Ingmanson September 11, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Yes - I'm doing much better. I've been able to save money and invest it, and my investments are doing great thanks to the success of the stock market. Also, we were able to get a low fixed refi on our mortgage.
Joyce September 12, 2012 at 03:02 AM
You must be tuning into CNN for your info. My husband lost his job in late 2009 and has been with a company now for about a year. He's making around $18,000 less than his previous job so we are definitely doing worse than the average. And on top of that we're paying more than 3X for medical insurance premiums than we used to. We need a positive change in this country and not someone who just makes a bunch of meaningless promises. Vote Obama out!!!!!
F Murch September 12, 2012 at 10:24 AM
" ... there will always be some [out of work no matter what ..." Yeah, try 12 million and rising. What planet did you come from?
F Murch September 12, 2012 at 10:33 AM
I agree, Joyce. I lost my job in 2009 as well and I refuse to accept jobs in my profession that pay what my wife, a secretary, gets for hers. That's purely exploitive robbery on the part of recruiters and employers. The only reason business enterprise is doing well (or they think) is that they can get people for half what they used to get and work the twice as hard so they don't have to hire more people. Those schmucks are glad to do it to keep their jobs, some are even piggish, I think. But in the meantime, the rest of the country's unemployed (12 million+), like me and your husband, hang tough, watch our money and don't spend -- and non-spending means lost sales! We have it easier being empty-nesters, the mortgage paid off long ago for a modest home, and nearing retirement. and we've always lived below our means when we both worked, so we have the financial resources. But my heart goes out to the younger families, for their ruined lives, unfulfilled dreams of a college education for their kids, homes lost, etc. It's folks like JChar and Linda that need a reality check in their lives and to wake up and smell the roses that Obama has financial ruined the country with his vision.
Richard Kiewlen September 12, 2012 at 11:59 AM
The last time I was doing better was when Bill Clinton was president. Since the Bush Republican policies I have done nothing but gone backwards. The Republicans blocking any attempt by Obama and the Democrats policies with no alternative plan other than to protect the tax cuts for the wealthy and loop holes for big industry has not allowed this country to pull itself out of the downward spiral.
LINDA DONAHUE September 12, 2012 at 01:04 PM
For all of you who blame the Republicans, remember that Obama had a Democratic congress the first 2 years of his presidency and the only thing he could get done was Obamacare which almost all who voted for it did not read it! The Democrats are ruining this country! By the way, did you know that there's a 3.5% tax on home sales which takes effect Jan. 1, 2013 that is part of the funding for Obamacare??? This is aside from the TAX for Obamacare. No new taxes on the middle class??? Nothing but lies! Richard, you have to stop believing the liberal media. The Democrats had 2 years to do something and they only made things worse. That's a fact!
Gary Baylor September 12, 2012 at 03:25 PM
We were doing fine until the democrats took hold of the congress under Bush. The liberal lending policies that Dodd and Frank put in place were not good for this country. That not only contributed to rising costs in the real estate market but led to many unsecured loans being granted with the attitude that "no one would loose" because the market would continue to inflate. It does not take rocket science to figure out that is not good. It is just plain common sense, just like voting out OBama.
Armand September 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Iraq is not our problem anymore, Afghanistan, we will be out shortly, Middle east falling apart, their problem , are we safer Yes...The banks have all re paid their bailouts plus, the car industry is thriving.. What would the Republicans have done four years ago that would have been any different or better ? Republicans have blocked everything that Obama has tried to do. I think you need to research a little better to find out what he HAS done . Not easy to undo what the republicans did, and Rome wasn't built in a day !
Jan September 21, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Much better...I had the worst job 4 years ago because it was better than nothing. My husband lost 20% of pay but has since gotten most back. You forget how awful it was. Its like you forget how bad it was like when you have your first baby and swear...never again.
Taxed too much already September 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Nope. Salary stagnant. Health care ins. costs up. Gas is 250% higher. Food costs more and more every month. Electric bills are up. My house has gone down over 20% in value and I still can't sell it. Town taxes are now going through the roof. If you made your own personal situation better because of some job changes or maybe your business is doing well that's nice for you. For the rest of us the management of the town, state, and country are all working against us. Several of my kids have been laid off. The Middle East is on fire and the Fed is monetizing our debt and buying up all of the country's 16 (like 17 by the time this is approved) trillion dollars of credit card bills. The dollars in my savings account are worth less than the day I put them there. College tuition has increased at 150% of the inflation rate and GM is using their bail out to create more jobs in China. Still CT continues to drink the far left kool-aid while my grandchildren's future goes down the tubes. Ah the Martist utopia. Hey a couple more years and I'll be able to get food stamps too. Ain't it all grand?

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