The question asked every four years is, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” I searched The Tribune and found job losses in January 2009 were 820,000, the worst in 34 years. Circuit City closed January 2009; Linens & Things, October 2008; Gottschalks, April 2009.
The Tribune’s top stories of 2009 included “Housing collapse hits San Luis County developers” and “Hard year for local investors.” Estate Financial, Kelly Gearhart and Hurst Financial went belly up. Banks collapsed or were bailed out; automobile manufacturers were rescued.
My retirement account/401(k) lost 40 percent of its value, and so did my home. My small business saw an alarming drop in business.
A Google search showed the S&P up 74 percent since January 2009. My business has increased; I hired a new employee and increased part-time employees’ hours. My retirement account gained back most of its value. Our kids can stay on our health insurance policy until 26, and the policies I carry for my family and employees now must spend 80 percent of premiums on actual health care and can’t deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. So for me personally, my answer to the question is absolutely yes!
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