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Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Displaying poll results.
Yes, dramatically better.
  6588 votes / 21%
Better off, Yes -- reasonably, but not dramatically.
  8666 votes / 28%
Better off, but barely.
  2526 votes / 8%
Hard to say; sort of a wash.
  4459 votes / 14%
Worse off, actually, by a smidge.
  1527 votes / 5%
Moderately worse off.
  2702 votes / 8%
I'm dramatically worse off now.
  2450 votes / 8%
I will tell you below why this question is absurd.
  1348 votes / 4%
30266 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Are you better off than you were four years ago?

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  • by jesseck (942036) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @01:07PM (#41540099)
    In the past 4 years, I have gotten a better job, bought my first house, left the military, and have 2 more kids. I an better off, but not because of Obama. I would have done that stuff anyways.
  • by tompaulco (629533) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:07PM (#41540837) Homepage Journal
    I'm only better off because I'm not eating Top Ramen in my college dorm anymore
    I eat Ramen at least twice a week and I've been out of college for 20 years. Believe me, it doesn't get any better after getting out of college. I had more spending money in college than I do now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:07PM (#41540841)

    A little over 4 years ago, I lost my job. I now have one.... so that is slightly better. However, I am making significantly less than I did with my previous employer. Having a job is better than none... I have a steady income, decent health insurance, I have payed off my car, and am slowly reducing student debt. However the pay stinks compared to my previous job and it is not enough to really aid me in working towards some goals I had set.

    The fact that I got this job had nothing to do with any claim of economic recovery. Instead, it has to do with the fact that this employer got rid of a couple people to save money and hired me to replace them. In my city, there has been a very small improvement in out economy... but it has been so slow that I can't say that it is due to any good decisions made by politicians.... If anything, a few reasonable claims could be made that a few politicians actually slowed the recovery.

  • by Antipater (2053064) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @02:57PM (#41541449)
    No longer broke and subsisting on Top Ramen. However, also no longer getting smashed and partying every weeknight, my only care being exams or a cranky professor.

    I'm honestly not sure whether that counts as "better off" or not.

  • Re:Very little (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:05PM (#41541539)

    I call shenanigans! 791 million might've been what the mil spent on toilet paper, maybe. Bloody well wasn't all that was spent for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Slashdot skew (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:21PM (#41541729)

    Results are going to be better than average here due to the reader base. The average slashdot reader is a young IT professional who is burning some time while at work. A large proportion of us have begun to claw ourselves out of the "poor college kid" phase. Many of us are either just starting to get their first real income, or have combined a college degree and a couple years experience to leverage a significant income boost.

    Still, it is nice to read that a bunch of us are doing well. Way to go us, keep up the good work!

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @03:25PM (#41541785) Homepage Journal

    I'm only better off because I'm not eating Top Ramen in my college dorm anymore. My Stock portfolio is at the same level...

    I still eat Top Ramen, buy it for 17 or 18 cents, use it for lunch.

    Use the money I save from that to go to fancy places.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:04PM (#41542199)

    I an better off, but not because of Obama. I would have done that stuff anyways.

    When I succeed, I succeed on my own. When there is failure, it's because the government has kept me down.

    Seriously, though: politicians - president or congress - don't have much influence over the economy. They can't agree on a coherent policy without poking it so full of loopholes as makes it useless. Anymore, they can't even pass lasting legislation, and short term policies aren't going to impact the long term business cycle. To admit that would put a whole legion of pundits out of business, though, and give up one of the most powerful fear-bludgeons held by the party propagandists.

  • by Calibax (151875) * on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:21PM (#41542383)

    Four years ago I was in chemotherapy after my second bout with cancer (first was seven years ago). Things were looking grim. I couldn't work, I felt like crap because of all the drugs, and I was paying my medical bills out of savings.

    Today I'm in good health, I married in February and we have twins due in December, I have an interesting job that pays well, and we just paid cash for a new minivan. Short of winning the lottery, I don't think life could be better.

    I just wish that Obamacare had been around when I needed it. I would have $400k more than I have now. USA badly needs medical insurance reform and the Republicans certainly don't want to help.

  • by xaxa (988988) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:47PM (#41542681)

    I still eat Top Ramen, buy it for 17 or 18 cents, use it for lunch.

    Use the money I save from that to go to fancy places.

    Except that's not a good meal on it's own. I sometimes use instant noodles, but I almost always throw out the "flavour" packet and add something less-processed -- frozen chopped vegetables are the easiest, but some chopped broccoli, fresh spinach, canned beans or chickpeas ... anything's better!

  • Re:Slashdot skew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erice (13380) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @06:44PM (#41543859) Homepage

    Results are going to be better than average here due to the reader base. The average slashdot reader is a young IT professional who is burning some time while at work. A large proportion of us have begun to claw ourselves out of the "poor college kid" phase. Many of us are either just starting to get their first real income, or have combined a college degree and a couple years experience to leverage a significant income boost.

    Still, it is nice to read that a bunch of us are doing well. Way to go us, keep up the good work!

    I'm not so sure about that. IT workers, yes, but Slashdot dates from the dotCom Boom and much of the readership has been working for that long or longer.

  • by slick7 (1703596) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @07:22PM (#41544195)
    Four years ago we, (the American populace) were not considered the enemies of State as the NDAA now considers us.
  • Way better off... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JigJag (2046772) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @09:03AM (#41547945)

    ... just not financially. In fact, my cash cushion is gone, so now we live from paycheck to paycheck; good thing I have a stable (read salary, not hourly pay) income.
    I picked way better off because in the last four years I fathered two kids and there is nothing in this world worth more than that.

    On a side note, living in Canada, it took me a while to understand the subtle hint about politics regarding this poll since not everything in the news revolves around politics here at the moment.
    Finally, my wife started working again, and with careful management, we'll be able to rebuild our cash cushion. The secret is not to live above your means. I still use an ancient CRT television and don't plan on updating since it works great. I haven't purchased new clothes in a long while since the ones I have still fit. Really, the only expenses we have are in order: mortgage, food, utility & entertainment bills (electricity, water, garbage, internet, netflix), property tax, gas, insurance. But having a loving wife and two kids at home: priceless, literally.

    JigJag

  • by niado (1650369) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @10:37AM (#41549005)

    There's definitely a large difference in what Europeans and Americans feel is the 'center' of the political spectrum. I'd say that the center of the European spectrum is firmly planted in the left of the American spectrum. People labeled conservative in Europe are, at best, moderates, or left-leaners in the US. People in the US labeled liberal are probably more centrist in European politics.

    This is probably the case.

    Obama, however, has definitely cemented himself as a liberal socialist. He's made it clear that he wants a large, strong federal government that controls the resources and allocates them from those with to those without, in a massive redistribution scheme. He can't achieve what he wants, because the Congress won't go along with it, but his preference would be to have a highly taxed upper class, punished for their hard work and accomplishments, and a dependent middle and lower class, suckling at the government teat. Of course, this flies in the face of EVERYTHING that the US was founded upon - self-reliance, small federal government, states rights, personal freedoms.

    This sounds like a Glenn Beck monologue :-p

    Taxing the upper income earners more than the middle and (especially) lower brackets is a pretty moderate political position considering our current system of government. Otherwise we would either be desperately short on revenue or end up with a system of regressive taxation, which is both untenable and reprehensible. Progressive taxation is not a punishment, it's just a sensible method of optimizing revenue. People who can afford to pay more do so, and those who can't, don't. There are of course bad ways to implement this (such as our current clusterfuck of a tax code) but I'm not sure why so many people have such an issue with this basic concept.

    Also, "states rights" is a loaded term, not useful in this context...perhaps localized government would be more appropriate...though it was pretty much settled in the first half of the 19th century that our federal government has ultimate supremacy over state government. I will grant you self-reliance and small federal government, but the founding fathers were really only concerned with personal freedoms for the rich, white, men who made up the "ruling" class at the time. =]

    All that said, I don't believe the political spectrum to be linear, but more circular. People like to label the Nazis as right-wing, but in reality, their government was very socialist, however, they pulled nationalism from the right-wing. Hence, they belong on both sides of the spectrum, at some weird vortex where shitty people meet shitty policies.

    Well, I agree that the political spectrum is certainly not all-encompassing, but it can be a useful tool. Nazism [wikipedia.org] is hard to categorize and does lie in a "weird vortex" as you say. However, in practice it was essentially a form of fascism, and (though they started out with a real socialist agenda) Hitler used a different definition of "socialism" than everyone else in the world.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @10:59AM (#41549211) Homepage Journal

    Well, yes, I have a wife and kids, a mortgage, a car payment.

    Well...THERE's your problem!!

    :)

    Yeah...if you decide to get hitched and especially if you decide to have one or more kids...well, there goes your disposable income. But hey, life is full of trade offs, and you have to decide what is important in your value system.

    Personally, I've never wanted kids...I like to have as much of my disposable income for me to enjoy and party with....I've not been much of one to want to be tied down to just one woman all my life...when there are so many out there.

    But again...trade offs for everything. I guess it all boils down to what you want to do with your money and your life.

    Whatever you choose....deal with the consequences, and try not to bitch too much about it...I don't guess there is much else any of us can do, eh?

    But I do applaud you...if you DO choose to have kids...realize that you must (unless you are lucky and quite wealthy) make sacrifices...that's part of having kids and raising a family. You have to give up that spending money for yourself, AND, most importantly...your TIME.

    While that's not a sacrifice I would be willing to make, hence, not wanting any kids....if you do choose to have them, then you have to be prepared to give up these things for them.

    Sounds like you have your priorities straight....so, good for you!

  • by srobert (4099) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @12:10PM (#41550017)

    A better question: Are you better off than you (or your parents, or maybe grandparents) were FORTY years ago? Whatever the answer, why do you think that is?

  • by sideslash (1865434) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @01:39PM (#41551151)

    Maybe. Or it may be a reference to Efrafa, a warren run by Gestapo-like rabbits where the only way to leave was by death. That also figures prominently into the plot. But I don't know for sure. Regardless, the book is an awesome read.

  • by fusiongyro (55524) <faxfreemosquito@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday October 04, 2012 @06:15PM (#41553615) Homepage

    Yes, you will have less time and money if you have kids, but it's not an entirely fair comparison. You don't know how much happier or more fulfilled having kids will make you feel until you do (and isn't that a big part of why we do our hobbies?). For many of us (most of us, hopefully) the deal works out in our favor because we're happier than we would be if we had all that time and money to spend on our old hobbies. It's a net gain, but it's easy to present as a net loss because it's the unknown.

  • by bsercombe72 (1822782) on Friday October 05, 2012 @12:49AM (#41555683)

    But seriously, while young...PARTY and get LAID as much as you can...especially getting laid.

    You really only for the most part...get to sleep with young chicks that have great bodies, and eveything is tight once in your life...when you are as young as they are.

    This is slashdot. You must be lost.

  • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Friday October 05, 2012 @11:48PM (#41565955)
    I think of electricity as "the grid" but I suppose you are correct in that I do have internet powered by batteries and an inverter. I am working on ramping up, but for the last 9 months we have lived on a 400W inverter and 2 6-volt (series for 12v) golf cart batteries. We are charging with a gas generator and working toward solar. We run the gen a few hours a day to charge, or when I need saws or nail guns, and the rest of the time we run on the inverter. Our avg load while on batteries is ~100W with 2 laptops, a few cfl's, a wireless router and the cable modem. We just got a 2A/40A charger off craigslist which has really helped on gen gas/battery charging.

    So thats how I post.

    Side note.. got the wood stove installed just before a cold snap.. yay.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

 



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