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Are you better off?

This is something I originally posted on Facebook on July 25, 2016.

I keep hearing people ask, "Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?" This meme actually goes back to 1980, when Ronald Reagan used it in a debate.

My life is better today than it was eight years ago, but I've never been comfortable with the meme. I don't always vote according to my own self-interest, and I don't think it's a good way to decide how to vote. I try to put the broader betterment of the nation and the planet ahead of my own personal well-being when I decide how to vote.

There are many ways we are not better off today than we were eight years ago. I believe we would be better off today, with lower unemployment and more income equality, if Congress had passed the stimulus package Obama originally proposed.

I believe we would be better off today if the American Jobs Act Obama proposed in 2011 had been enacted into law.

I believe we would be better off today if some politicians weren't in the pocket of the NRA.

I believe we would be better off today if conservatives didn't deny science and stand in the way of meaningful steps to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

I believe we would be better off today if we had the single-payer health care plan Obama originally proposed.

I believe we would be better off today if we had nine Supreme Court Justices.

I believe we would be better off today if corporations couldn't spend unlimited money from anonymous donors to support or oppose political candidates.

I believe we would be better off today if we embraced our immigrant history and recognized the value of our diverse social tapestry.

So in the respect that we're not better off today as a nation and as a planet, I know how this will guide me to vote.


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