Are you better off than you were? Why that question no longer matters

Are you better off than you were X years ago?
It's a damn good question, although somewhat unfair due to timing.
Nevertheless, it's a question worth asking...until recently.

What happened in between that so dramatically altered how Democrats and Republicans each saw the economy? Donald Trump’s election and inauguration. Did Republicans truly believe that Trump’s presidency immediately and fundamentally strengthened the economy? And did Democrats really conclude that after Trump’s inauguration, the American economy was crushed almost overnight?

The answer to those questions is: no, the public is lying about how the economy is doing.

Two academic papers published in 2013 showed that giving survey respondents financial incentives (i.e., paying them) to accurately answer factual questions about the economy (e.g. “What is the unemployment rate?”) dramatically reduced partisan differences in responses.

What actually happened is a continuation of what was happening under Obama: the rich continued to get richer while the working class has continued to get shafted.

For most Americans, the answer to that commonly asked election question — are you better off than you were two years ago? — is most likely either no, or not much, unless they’re in the stock market.

Excluding investment accounts, Americans’ collective wealth, despite the strong economy, has grown $4.7 billion a month slower under President Donald Trump than it did in the two years of Barack Obama’s administration before the 2016 election, according to data from the Federal Reserve.

Another sign that Americans’ fortunes aren’t improving as fast: The cash they have on hand — what is in their checking and savings accounts, as well as any money market funds or under their mattresses — is up just 7 percent since Trump was elected president, according to the most recent data from the Fed. That compares with the 13 percent gain during the two years before Trump’s election.

The WashPost may try to say that this is a change for the worst, but in actuality there is no significant difference.
Republicans will point to the low unemployment rate, but a) it was only 4.9% when Trump was elected, and b) Trump repeatedly claimed the official number was a lie when he was a candidate.

What is going on is that people are self-identifying with the crooks and liars of their chosen political party, and that is scary.


It has been clear for some time that Trumpism has all the seeds of a genuine authoritarian movement. Chief among them is an all-consuming deference to The Leader, which even extends to granting him control over The Truth itself. "Just remember: what you’re seeing and what you're reading is not what’s happening," Trump said last week in Orwellian fashion, with the implication that whatever he says at this moment is what's really happening.

And that seems to be resonating. If Trump says it, it is so.

I can't picture myself trusting ANY politician farther than I could throw one, much less trusting one more than people that I know.
And trusting Trump of all people...???? Well, that is beyond my ability to understand.
Trump-haters are only slightly less unhinged.
Why anyone would wrap up their sense of well-being and identity with a political party that sold them down the river a generation ago I will never understand. It's like those people who go to pro wrestling matches and believe they are real.
On an individual level it's just sad. But on a societal level its dangerously unhealthy.

23 users have voted.


I hate to say it, but this started with Jimmy Carter. He was faced with an unpleasant circumstance - the wage/price spiral of the 70s favored the worker. (though it killed the person on a fixed income) His response? He jiggered economic statistics to try to show their actual effect on working American - though they would now under report their effect on retirees. (I'm sure he wasn't the first, but he did it during hard times, so it looked like he was trying to lie) People caught on and called him on it. A couple years later Reagan outright lied, but people were used to it (and wanted to believe)so he wasn't called on it.
The difference between Obama and Trump: with Obama people were willing to admit the truth, with Trump people are willing to attack someone for telling the truth. Again that started with Reagan.

7 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

I'm an officer.

4 users have voted.

Fox News actually pretend that it isn't the GOP mouthpiece network

Fox News scolded its top star, Sean Hannity, after he appeared alongside Donald Trump onstage at a campaign rally and referred to the press corps as “fake news.”

The network called Hannity’s appearance at the event in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, an “unfortunate distraction” and said it had been addressed. Fox News didn’t say if he faced consequences for the transgression.

“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” the network said in a statement. “We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work.”

Hannity went onstage at the Trump rally after tweeting earlier in the day that he was just there to interview the president. He was followed by another Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro, both of whom gave remarks from the lectern backing the president.

Hannity also mimicked one of the lines that Trump frequently delivers at rallies: He pointed toward the press in the back of the room and called them “fake news.” It was a group that included his own Fox News colleagues.

9 users have voted.


called them “fake news.” It was a group that included his own Fox News colleagues.
7 users have voted.


6 users have voted.
Hawkfish's picture


They are disproportionately old.

3 users have voted.

We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Raggedy Ann's picture

because I made it happen. No one helped me - I did it all on my own.

6 users have voted.

"The herd management intent is simply to get you into one of the corrals. Nobody is right, if everybody is wrong.
I am a free range DFH."