Yes, I am Better Off Now

This has really been a topic that I have had simmering for a week now.  It’s not that I was at a loss for words, anyone who knows me, knows that isn’t close to the truth.  No, it was simmering because I required ample amounts of time to collect my thoughts on the matter.  Why?  Well, it is a weighty question that deserves more than just a pundits quip, or a politicians subtext.

In this great country we are uniquely individual, within a collective context.  So for me to give just weight to this lofty question I had to first address whether or not I felt that I was better, and then whether or not the collective is better.

Do I feel that I am better off now, than I was four years ago? Yes.  I have struggled and pushed to succeed.  I did not build my success on my own.  With a loving family, a considerate government, great friends, and personal downfall; I was able to work my way to my very personal best.  I have a tough degree, from an amazing university.  It was some hell of stress waiting and applying for a career.  I found that career.  I found myself to be a lonely man, and I found the most amazing woman to share my life with.  No, we aren’t wed yet, but we will be.  This love is unique.  I may not be monetarily wealthy yet, but I take care of my personal health, and I work harder than hell.  I will be one day, yet, I am personally wealthy.  I have everything that I need and more.  So yes, the very fact that I did not have this four years ago, allows me to say that yes, I am better off now than I was four years ago.

Do I feel that the collective is better off now than it was four years ago?  Yes.  Staggering job loss has turned into steady gains.  If unemployment has held steady, it’s because the economic downturn has allowed companies to learn how to survive by slimming down.  Why hire when you can do the same with less.  Don’t believe me?  I lived it.  Ask any well meaning kitchen service worker who kept their job over the years containing 2008-2010.  Short staffed is an understatement.  I won’t dare speak for the country, but I will speak for a city that I know so well.  Pittsburgh is better off now that it was four years ago.  I’ve seen it with my own eyes.  Roads are becoming more accessible, the city continues to revitalize itself.  The city looks good.  My job revolves around paying attention to retail statistics.  All retail.  Cars, clothes, construction…the works, the backbone of the economy.  Over the past four years, retail is growing.  Consumers are purchasing hand over fist, that’s a fact.  This does not apply to everyone, but economic turnaround does not take four years.  Short term thinking is what puts anyone in financial despair.  It’s part of what caused the collapse in the first place.  No, we have to think long term.  For those who are suffering, it will get better.  Economic depressions are uncontrollable and unplanned.  No man, woman, politician or president controls the economy.  The economy is, and we react to it.  An economic depression is like a natural disaster.  Some areas take decades to recover.  So yes, with the country on recovery from the worst economic depression of our time, we are better off than we were four years ago.

I wish to close with this.  I am currently watching President Obama give his acceptance speech.  I watch with pride swelling in my chest, not because of the man giving the speech.   No my pride is swelling, because I love this country.  I’ve watched most of both conventions; last week was depressing as hell because apparently we are living in a shelled wasteland of a once great nation.  No, I don’t believe that.  The idea of America is not being destroyed by a political party.  The idea of America, if at all to be tarnished, will be brought about by those who do not understand it…

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…

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