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We're better off now?than four years ago

This is in response to the oft-asked Republican candidate's question, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" Am I? Well, consider:

In November 2008, the Dow Jones average was hanging around 7,500. My investments that I was relying on for my retirement were down about 40 percent. Today, the Dow crested 13,500. My funds have recouped their losses, and I am feeling much more secure about my retirement finances.

As for the country in general, four years ago, unemployment was at 10 percent; now it is at 8.1 percent and falling gradually. The housing bubble had burst, with disastrous consequences for both homeowners and the housing industry. Today, the housing industry and home prices have rebounded significantly, while mortgage rates have dropped, and regulations have been put in place to prevent unscrupulous lending.

Meanwhile, our great auto industry was in its death throes, with GM about to go under. But disaster was averted by the government bailouts, and now America's auto industry is back and doing very well.

Health care for all has been improved by the Affordable Care Act, which has made health insurance coverage available to many more Americans who otherwise could not obtain it.

While I empathize with young people having a tough time coping with the job market, I note that 3 million jobs are going begging because of a lack of suitable applicants. But the current administration has provided funds for job retraining, and would have made more assistance available, as well as numerous construction jobs aimed at restoring our infrastructure, had Republican legislators not played a totally obstructionist role.

So, yes, I am much better off after the past four years, and so is America.



Michael Silverman



Amherst