Monday, September 3, 2012
Things Are Better
The Romney campaign is pushing the question: are you better off than you were four years ago? I don't mind the campaign pushing this as a rhetorical question, and it makes sense if they are trying to turn this into a referendum rather than a choice election. (Conventional Wisdom says that's a good thing to do with an incumbent.) But it seems the media is picking it up as a real question that people should think about. That's a problem. There are a million things someone might be asking with "how are you doing?" but any substantive way of taking this question will include one's prospects. Somebody on Death Row could have a fleeting moment of happiness the day before being executed. They're still doing pretty bad. Four years ago was the beginning of a global financial crisis, the collapse of the banks, the collapse of the auto industry, the bursting of the housing bubble, massive unemployment, high amounts of private debt, etc. Given that those things are being remedied, however slowly, instead of immediately on the horizon means yes, no matter how you "feel" at the moment, you are better off than you were four years ago.