Friday, November 9, 2012

Are we better off now? Depends

It was one of Ronald Reagan's defining moments in the 1980 presidential-election campaign, when he looked into the camera during a debate with then-President Jimmy Carter and prodded voters to ask themselves, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

Ever since then, the question has surfaced regularly during presidential campaigns, with the answers representing one succinct way to measure each incumbent's track record in office.

The question remains relevant as Americans again flock to polling booths. But it's not a perfect catchall. A number of economists noted that in the fall of 2008, the economy was just beginning to plunge because of a worldwide financial crisis. Four years later, it's slowly recovering.

Read more: Are we better off now? Depends

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