I am troubled by the presidential election. I don't particularly like any of the candidates very much. And it is fair to say that I really dislike Palin. The more I see the more distasteful she becomes. Her inclusion on the McCain ticket just makes me shake my head.
It makes me want to grab John and ask him when he lost touch with reality. If you stop and listen for a moment you'll notice that about one third of the 17 long term readers are gasping for air in disbelief as they never thought that they'd hear me say anything like that. Another third are cheering wildly, so much so that I can ask for all sorts of interesting favors. And then the third and fourth thirds....
Gotcha Shmata Queen, you can calm down now, I know that there aren't four thirds in a whole. But don't forget that I figured out a long time ago how to stuff a hole full of all sorts of really fun stuff, but I digress.
If you'll pardon me for the stupid inside humor we'll move on to the meat of the post. In a recent discussion with my son I spent a chunk of time trying to explain how to make an informed decision about who to vote for and why. Since he is only in second grade I tried to make it a very basic explanation.
I told him that when we evaluate the performance of our leaders we need to ask ourselves if our lives are better now than they were four years ago. Now to be clear when he gets older we'll go into greater depth about how some events have a genesis that preceded the administration. But that is too much for him right now, he doesn't need to know how to build a watch, just how to tell the time.
But as long as you are asking I have to say that I can't say unequivocally that my life is better now than it was four years ago, or even eight years ago. In truth it is a hard question to answer because there are a number of factors that can sway it in either direction.
Since it is almost midnight I'll take the path of least resistance and say that it is not as good as it was. From a financial standpoint it is far more challenging. My income has taken a dramatic hit and every month is a struggle. Ok, I can't really go this route without adding a couple of comments.
My income is down from what it was, but even if it had stayed the same it would be harder. Now I have children in private school, back then I did not. My expenses have increased so if I am going to conduct a real analysis I should probably take that into consideration.
Back then I didn't own a home, but I do now. And even though it has taken a hit,it is still worth more than when I purchased it. So I suppose that you could call that a mitigating factor.
From a career standpoint things have changed somewhat. I have taken on a couple of ventures that conceivably could yield exceptional rewards. So in theory if they pan out I'll turn around and view this timeframe quite differently.
So where does that place this question of whether life is better now than it was. Good question. My gut response is that life is challenging no matter what is going on. If you quadrupled my income some things would become very easy, but I'd still have some serious concerns about what is going on.
I guess that what I am saying is that even though I feel like things are good, from a global perspective I am less optimistic and less confident. I am not a rah-rah kind of guy. I don't care if the world likes us or hates us. But I do care about having confidence in our leadership and right now I just don't.
So the answer is that I felt better when Clinton left office than I do right now.