Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Are We Better Off? 10 Headlines From September 2008

Recently, the Romney campaign has taken to telling voters that Obama “can’t tell you that you’re better off” now than four years ago. While the economic numbers suggest otherwise, there’s a simpler way to understand the reality of four years ago: take a look at what people were saying at the time. September 2008 was the month where the financial crisis — caused in significant part by Republican-supported deregulation of the financial industry — really took off, a point reflected clearly in the newspaper headlines from the time:

STOCK SHOCK FELT ROUND THE WORLD. Gets ‘nasty’ as Lehman tanks, Merrill vanishes, AIG wobbles [New York Daily News, September 16, 2008]

Depression Coming? Boil Some Beans; Ladies Who Quilt Give Tips On Surviving Tough Times [Albuquerque Journal, September 21, 2008]

One day on the brink On Wednesday, it seemed U.S. economy might collapse [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 21, 2008]

‘Great Depression’ closer than U.S. admits, report finds [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 27, 2008]

Will Bush become the new Hoover? [Politico, September 19, 2008]

Developers bend under housing meltdown [Colorado Springs Gazette, September 27, 2008]

Depression seen possible [Florida News-Press, September 27, 2008]

Wall Street Meltdown Continues [CNN, September 17, 2008]

Is It Really the Next ‘Great Depression’? [NPR, September 19, 2008]

Behind Closed Doors, Warnings of Calamity [The New York Times, September 20, 2008]

CHARTS: Yes, We’re Better Off Than We Were Four Years Ago

The Romney campaign this week is basing its message off of former President Reagan’s “are you better off?” question from his 1980 campaign, even though Romney himself admitted in an interview earlier this year that “of course [the economy is] getting better” under President Obama. And the numbers don’t lie.

While the economy is only recovering slowly, the trend lines when it comes to jobs, wealth, and the success of American business are all moving in the right direction, as these charts by the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Christian Weller show:


See more charts here. Four years ago, the economy was gripped by financial panic, with hundreds of thousands of jobs being shed each month. Now, the economy is adding jobs (too slowly), while the government has new powers to rein in the financial sector and hopefully prevent a repeat of the 2008 crisis.

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