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Sunday, May 20, 2012

'To Be (better off in '12 vs '08) or not To Be...'

Before we begin, this is the 1,000th posting for 'Ants & Grasshoppers'..

So Yayy! to that..

Well, that's all the celebrating we're going to do.. onto Important things..

Today's posting poses one simple question- economically are things better off or worse now vs 4 years ago at this very time of year?  For statistical purposes, since May's stats have not been full complied and released yet, we'll center the question around essentially April 2008 vs 2012.

April of 2008 was Bush's eighth year as President; 2012 is Obama's fourth..

Now while Lehman Bros collapse occurred in September of '08, the US was officially in month 5 of a recession begun in December, 2007 so it was not as if April 2008 was all peaches and creme.

So.. Is the economy better or worse now vs 2008?

The best way to answer is with statistics from a variety of sources and you the reader can make up your own mind one way or another..
Unemployment:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

April 2008, unemployment listed at 5.0%
April 2012, unemployment listed at 8.1%

Percentage of Blacks unemployed April 2008-- 8.9%
Percentage of Blacks unemployed April 2012-- 13.0%

Percentage of Teenagers unemployed April 2008- 15.4%
Percentage of Teenagers unemployed April 2012- 24.9%

Americans not in the labor force in April 2008-- 79,241,000 people
Americans not in the labor force in April 2012-- 88,419,000 people

* In 2011, the number was over 85million, meaning 2012 showed an increase of 3 million Americans not currently in the labor force for one reason or another...

Homes:

Median home price in US: April 2008-- $232,100
Median home price in US: April 2012-- $161,000

** Median is the point at which half of all homes are sold for more and half are sold for less

Average sale price in US- April 2008-- $292,600
Average sale price in US- April 2012-- $228,300

** This is self-explanatory; what homes sold for on average
US Budget:

US National Debt: April 2008 - Approx $9.5 Trillion
US National Debt: April 2012 - Approx $15.7 Trillion

* Increase of $6.4 Trillion in 48 months

US deficit: April 2008 - $218 billion
US deficit: April 2012 - $719 billion

*  Think of 'debt' as the total debt you may owe all your creditors, and 'deficit' as what is the negative difference after all your annual paycheck is used up; the deficit gets added on to the total debt

Bankruptcies:

# of Bankruptcy filed specifically in April 2008--  90,000
# of Bankruptcy filed specifically in April 2012-- 124,000

Everyday things:

Gallon of gasoline ave. :April 2008 -- $3.32
Gallon of gasoline ave. :April 2012 -- $3.78

Gallon of milk: 2008 -- $2.65
Gallon of milk: 2012 -- $3.67

Loaf of bread ave. :2008 -- $1.98
Loaf of bread ave. :2012 -- $2.37
Movie ticket 2008 -- $6.95
Movie ticket 2012 -- $8.15

Bank savings rate 2008 -- 3%
Bank savings rate 2012 -- 0.01%

Example:  $25,000 savings x 3%       =   $750
                 $25,000 savings x 0.01%  =   $ 25
__________________________
We could continue but the point was made..

In exactly 48 months, unemployment and those given up looking for work is Higher.  So is the National Debt and the deficit.. So are the prices for gasoline, food and miscellaneous.  Meanwhile housing, which is the economic piggy bank for most people is Lower.

Is it Obama's fault?  Yes?  No?  Yes?

If so, how much fault?  A little?  A Lot?

Ultimately, if you believe things are truly better, you'll vote Obama. Even if you think things are worse, if your voting card has a D on it, you'll still vote Obama.   If you feel things are worse, you'll vote for change.  And if you think things are better than 4 years ago but have R on your voter card, you'll still vote Rep.

That's just how people are.

It will be Independents who make the difference, as always.