Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Ken Arromdee says:

    Unless you are talking about people old enough to retire or get old age diseases, most people start poorly off and become better off as they get older. So asking if you personally are better off is going to make the reigning politicians look unjustifiably good.

  2. A.J. Sutter says:

    “So asking if you personally are better off is going to make the reigning politicians look unjustifiably good” [@Ken]: or unjustifiably bad. Which is how Reagan and Romney were using it. As if all these goods or ills are under the President’s control. The free-trade question is quite interesting, though. And is it just me, or isn’t there something both farcical and stomach-turning in the comparisons (see also Ross Douthat’s 09/01 NYT column) of Mitt Romney to FDR?

  3. Brett Bellmore says:

    If they’re not at all under the President’s power, then many campaign promises deserve nothing but contempt. (A result I’d be willing to accept…)

    In truth, while Presidents have little power to improve the economy, they do have considerable power to harm it. Or by refraining, permit it to recover from previous harm.

    For instance, a President could impose an illegal moratorium on oil drilling, block pipelines from neighboring countries, and otherwise pursue policies intended to drastically increase the price of energy. (EXPLICITLY so intended, if you follow the statements of those crafting the policies.) Which would inevitably harm the economy, as the cost of energy figures into everything.

    No, I’d have to say that, while Presidents are hardly the only influence on the economy, it is in fact fair to judge them by it.