question of the day

Much hay has been made over the past few days regarding the old saw, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" They are talking about it right now on All Things Considered.

To that question I answer, unequivocally, YES!

In 2008 I earned exactly $0.00 for the year. Not a single hour of paid work. I had found a wonderful woman, to be sure, by the summer of 2008. And I was 8 months sober on 13 September of that year. But I had no income other than food stamps and I had no possessions to speak of, save a second-hand laptop computer and a second-hand bicycle; I didn't have a driver's license either.

Today I have a full time job. I'm still with that wonderful woman. We managed to escape from Florida and have a house in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. I'll be 4 years and 8 months sober on 13 September 2012. I have a driver's license and a car.

Do I give President Obama credit for all of this? Of course not. The car was a gift. Lisa helped me find the job. And I worked hard to stay sober.

But starting at the end of 2009, I began to get periodic temp assignments installing and replacing computer equipment. It wasn't much work, but it paid fairly well.

I still never made much more than $1,600 in any one year until I got this latest job at a convenience store. It doesn't pay much, but it pays consistently and keeps me active. It reminds me of my first jobs at the library and then in the stockroom at the Detection Systems electronics factory. I'm serving up different stock, but I do my best to keep the customers happy. At Detection Systems, the customers were representatives of the various departments of the company. At Single Stop, the customers are the public at large.

So yeah, I am much, much better off than I was four years ago. And I believe that Romney/Ryan would hamper my progress.

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