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YOUR TURN: Better Off Than Four Years Ago?

The answer to this question around the country will have as much influence as any over who wins the U.S. presidency in November.

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.

Massachusetts's unemployment rate was 5.8% four years ago, spiked to 8.7% by the following October and is at 6.3% in the latest figures. That is below the national 8.1% unemployment rate. 

On this four-year anniversary, incumbent Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney are nearing the home stretch of the Presidential election. No single factor will define such a complex process as selection of a president, though none may be greater than the simple question: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Share your views with other residents in the comment section below. 

Michael Sullivan September 26, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Leonardo.........Great Post !!!
fred September 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Sully, there was nothing great about leonardo,s post. The debt turnover was more like 10 trillion. So what does the new prez do, fund bailouts, fund social programs, force businesses to close, more people out of work or not looking for work, allowing illegals to come in and take our jobs. he raised the debt to 16 tril. you don't blame the previous admin, you correct it's mistakes and get on the right path running, not borrow and print more money to pander to your voting crowd. o failed, and wait until ocare kicks in. if he gets in, watch out.
fred September 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Morning Dave like you, long time malden guy. father of kids in the health care field. I respect your opinion on obama, but do you really think he will get us out of this mess. he made it 6 trillion dollars worse. Dave, i don't know about you, but my lack of writing skills go back to malden high, (no computers in those days) I will bet diana and whatsup are new to malden and attended some private school on the southshore. couple of losers.
Michael Sullivan September 26, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Fred .....I will Watch out , for an increase in Jobs, affordable health care for all where everyone can afford to pay........Lets call it Ro-Bama care.....We were paying for everyone through our increased premiums every year anyway.....As for the Debt......once you turn the Economy around and stabilize it then you can begin the task of Paying off the Debt....Such Gloom and Doom Fred.....Like the Repubs....You GOT NO PLAN !!!
Frank September 26, 2012 at 02:35 PM
If better than four years ago means watching America crumble. If better means watching the so called leader of our country go around apologizing to everyone for our fathers and grandfathers crushing them in World War 2. If seeing our country become a haven for illegal immigrants who don't have to do what our families did when they came to America. I could go on but why bother.
Ray September 26, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Their conclusion is their opinion Mike. Just like my conclusion thanks. 'm sorry I don't believe anything from PolitiFact or the Washington Post.
DannyBoy September 26, 2012 at 05:29 PM
fred, why you are complaining? You own 4 houses. Politicians come and go. Life is short, enjoy it while you can.
fred September 26, 2012 at 06:06 PM
You are right boy. I should be happy, but i am not. Big deal, i have 4 houses, 70 k owed on the one i live in, 115k NH vacation, 248 k on the one in dorchester with section 8 tenants, my worst nightmare and one in albany ny, no mortgage yet. i cannot stand the direction my country is headed. 90 k owed for parent plus student loans, taxes on all property's plus my salary is getting hammered. (thanks liawatha for that line) I was better off 4 years ago, i am sick over the thought of the next four.
Craig September 26, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Indeed it's amazing how our economy has become so stable in a mere 36 months; regardless of the fact that there has never been a budget passed, the value of the dollar has plummeted, and I can image what it will be like when the S&P AA- rating jumps to a A or even a BB (which is speculative if anyone is curious). Indeed the "New World" is moving full steam ahead & into the future of irrelevance!
Andrew25 September 26, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Just received notice of my first Obamacare tax increase today! I love paying for other people's wonderful ideas. God forbid we all pitch in for this BS!
david mokal September 26, 2012 at 07:11 PM
@ Fred..I allways was told thgat "The Devil You Know Is Better Than The one You Don't Know" When I was a young apprentice in the steel trade everyone was 30+ years older and many had lived through a depression and that allways stuck in my head so its allways worked for me. I used to like Mitt Romney but when he dragged Ryan with him Thats when I get 2nd thoughts.Most likely Ill probably change my mind when Im behind the cutain casting my votes.
Diana September 26, 2012 at 09:41 PM
So what you're saying is that you're in debt up to your eyeballs living on the razor edge of your means, and you blame the government for that, Okey dokey.
fred September 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Dave, I hope you come to your senses. Diana, yes i am in hock pretty good. I was looking to unload that crackhouse I have in Dorchester. I would have to unload by the end of the year because the GOVERNMENT snuck in a capital gains increase in the obamacare package. What does realestate tax have to do with healthcare? Andrew is correct. Those extra taxes are to fund his voter base.
Diana September 26, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Erm... I just wanna be clear on this; the crackhouse is a money-suck which would be difficult to unload by the end of the year and yet it increased in value enough that the capital gains tax you'd have to sell upon its resale is a dealbreaker? Also... dude, you bought a crackhouse? Do you blame the government for that, too?
david mokal September 26, 2012 at 11:36 PM
YES increases. it is the Governments Fault. Seniors have to supplement their income because social security didn't give any cost of living increases in the last 2 years. So many have gone to selling their scripts to pay for their utilities. Some have gone to growing Marywanna. Now the Government wants to end all the social security so they will have to start cooking Crystal Meth. This is a tough sctuation. OMG what are we to do?
fred September 27, 2012 at 12:07 AM
i like that, "dude" four years ago things were good for me. As soon as that moron took office things started to change. Rent was not a priority anymore. I had two evictions since 2008. Cost me $2500 and lost 5 months rent (2 units). The city of boston supplied advocates for these 47%ers. i guess i was paying for that too with my boston tax bill. At that point, i had to spend a small fortune to get lead compliant and update that building. Evidently i got the bottom of the barrel at the section 8 office. again, their share of the rent is not a priority. I find lobster bodies in the trash, 5 adults in the building, no one has a job. Very disrespectful people. There are other landlords on here. They know exactly what i am talking about.
Meggle September 27, 2012 at 01:21 AM
You should not have bought a bunch of houses you couldn't afford. This is basically what is wrong with American's ideas of "living within their means". If you have student loans, taking on mortgages for at least three houses is ridiculous. I mean seriously... you have $523,000 in debts, unless you are making at least well into six figures after tax this is an utterly outlandish financial decision.
Meggle September 27, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Four years ago, in the middle of winter, I was wondering if my then partner could afford to go to the ER for a persistant 102 degree fever that nothing was lowering and severe flu symptoms. We chanced it and he was fine, but I really never want to be in that place again. In between then and now I graduated college, paid down most of my student loan debt, set up an emergency fund and put still managed to put half down on a barely used car... Most of my friends who graduated around when I did are at least starting to find work that pays above minimum wage again. As a trade off, I live in a rather crappy apartment, but the cost savings are worth it, as I'll probably be looking in to buying a house next year, yes, in Malden. It is all about living within your means, but those at the lower end of the wage scale have very little means to live within. It's tough. I've been there and I don't want to go back.
Craig September 27, 2012 at 03:49 AM
meggle - it's people like yourself that will make malden better... and I hope to live in a neighborhood with neighbors such as yourself... however, as for the initial topic being a personal reflection of changes after the past 4 years, I would have to say in general that our nation has dropped significantly in perspective where we were & where we would have been with another president/administration in the white house. even if hillary or joe biden were president, we would all be better off... and now the middle class will face another 4 more years of turmoil as neither president is concerned about the middle class.
Diana September 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM
"As soon as that moron took office things started to change." Well, that sort of magical thinking explains why you thought you could afford all this stuff.
Leonardo DaVinci September 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM
How do you account for the yearly poll taken by 238 of the this nation's Presidential Scholars by the Siena College Reseach Institute in upstate New York, who have rated President Obama as the 15th best President of all time. This is a non-partisan research poll taken every year since 1982. Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington rated 1 through 5. The criteria used to rank the Presidents: Integrity, intelligence, leadership, communiction skills, ability to compromise, and accomplishments, etc. Througout the list are members from different parties, so there is no bias opinions. We all have to admit are posts often are spurred on by our own preconceived notions and views. Best to look at those who can be trusted to give non-partisan opinions, based on reliable information and research. These problems we face today are not and were not created by the present admininstration. They were asked to man the dam of debilating debt, AFTER THE LEAKS, had sprung. There isn't a hell of a lot anyone can do, to make it much better right now, so all you can do is keep it from bursting, No one likes the position our country is in. It's not a declared war we are in, but make no mistake we are in war, just like those who scarificed their lives for us in all of "Our Nation' battles.. Be thankful, if you can, that we have had it as good as we have till now. We need more than the little Dutchboy, to hold this flood back, we need all of us.
Diana September 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Seriously fred, do you hear yourself? "Waaahhhh, I had to delead the apartments!!!" Well, yeah. You probably shouldn't have bought a property that needed that much work if you weren't willing to do it. Also, and please correct me if I'm mistaken, I don't believe that the government hijacks private property for section 8 housing. You either bought a house that was already section 8, or you applied to provide section 8 housing. And now you're bitching that the government milk you're suckling is insufficiently sweet?
fred September 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Good morning diana i think i am starting to warm up to you. Yes meg, that is alot of debt, but there are rents carrying most of those mortgages. before 08, things were running smooth. When the moron took office, my tenants got the entitlement attitudes. They felt that they were entitled to free rent, along with their free phones, free food, free ebt, free healthcare, free transportation and free legal counsel. I did not go out and buy properties, this is a long term investment. But now dealing with the social programs, i see how bad things are and will be when the funds run out. (greece, spain, ect...)
fred September 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Good luck meg you are going to make it.
Diana September 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM
fred, people didn't magically get a feeling of entitlement in late 2008 and early 2009. They lost their jobs. They ran out of money. Kind of like you have in the interim. Nothing supernatural about it, the universe isn't out to get you. And I repeat... you thought all that guaranteed government money would be pretty sweet, huh? My bleeding heart doesn't bleed for you. Sorry 'bout it.
whatsup September 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Fred, In your response, in the first line you said you made a 'typo'. In the next line you said that your 'lack of spelling' did not hurt you too bad because you own four houses. I am sorry, that I did not realize you are mentally challenged. Let me put it in easier terms for you to understand. -If it was a 'typo', that would mean you knew the spelling but you typed it wrong. -If you have a lack of spelling, that meant you didn't know how to spell; hence it was not a 'typo' These are mutually exclusive, meaning they cannot occur at the same time unless you are not only mentally challenged, but also a habitual liar apparent from the inconsistency in your post. Someone like you, who can't spell at second grade level or have the mental aptitude of a four year old can have four houses; certainly we are better off than four years ago.
fred September 28, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Four years ago I was wondering if I would be able to keep my job, if I would ever be able to buy a house, if I would ever be able to have any savings, if the country will ever be in the right track with millions of jobs getting lost every week. Whatsup, I took this statement from your earlier post. (if the country will ever be IN the right track) did you mean ON, typo ? I believe I called you a LOSER earlier, that still stands. Keep going over the postings, see how many more mistakes I have made. CHECK YOUR OWN
fred September 28, 2012 at 05:14 PM
jobs getting lost? loser
paul surette September 28, 2012 at 11:25 PM
To Fred...with all due respect, it was YOU who made the decision to take the Section 8! Please don't tell me you weren't aware of the type of people that can be attached to that? If you rent to children, then by law, you HAVE to be compliant with lead shielding, Section 8 or not!
paul surette September 28, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I work in Cambridge (God, I hate that) I work near the projects, which take up two very large city blocks. Obviously, that is all subsidized housing....meaning you pay a percentage of what you earn to housing, and they pick up the majority of the rents. What really sets me off, is walking by those same projects and seeing the types of cars that are parked there. Most cars there are brand freakin' new. I even see some new Chrysler 300's, Lexus, and yes folks....BMW's and Mercedes. Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture? Romney hit it right on the head when he said a lot of Americans have a sense of entitlement. They are entitled to not pay for their rent, but can get a new car in the deal. THIS, is largely what is wrong with America today! And that was Romney's point to begin with, but you knew the Liberal Machine would spin that into "Romney hates poor people!" Last I checked, poor people didn't drive a Mercedes, at least not the REAL poor people!

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