Why Yes, I Am Doing Better Than I Was Four Years Ago
The Republicans have finally gotten around to asking the question that Reagan used so effectively in 1980 – Are you doing better than you were four years ago? I don’t want to gloat for those in different situations, and it’s certainly been a rough four years, but I have to answer yes I am. Sorry Mitt.
As far as the law practice goes, 2008 and 2012 are looking to have very similar results financially. 2008 saw a late flurry in family law work as old clients were forced to adjust the child support and visitation to deal with the economic collapse; 2012 is seeing a resurgence of transactional work with small businesses and non-profits, and a steady flow of other work. 2010 and 2011 were mostly just devastating, but they’re water under the bridge now, and even at their lowest points self-employment brought it more than retail drone jobs ever would have. I’ll call work a wash on the better-than / worse-than question.
On the bright side, the crash recreated the concept of affordable real estate in Southern California, something I’d begun to think was just a myth my parents’ generation talked about to tease my generation. In 2011, my husband and I became homeowners. The corresponding tax benefits started kicking in this year, and by buying low we may actually have a tiny sliver of equity in Casa. Even without equity, we have about 50% more usable space for roughly the same monthly outlay as our former apartment in a much better neighborhood. Of course, we pay for maintenance that our former landlord should have done, but we also don’t have mold in the master bath and have an HOA that actually deals with termites (the July fumigation vacation), instead of someone telling us to ignore them. Maybe if they felt ignored they’d just leave? I’m certainly call the housing a positive change.
Nissantruck, my 1994 pickup and a former regular of this blog, went to greener highways in 2008. It was replaced by a well-used Mercury Tracer on an interim basis, and then Cash For Clunkers brought us into a dealership in 2009. We upgraded to a 2010 red Toyota Corolla. Cabernet serves us well to this day and certainly counts as an upgrade over the last four years.
The rest of my day-to-day life hasn’t changed that much. I’m still happily married, at least according to California if not the federal government; still cancer-free and with coverage and good treatment from Borg Health; and still have too little put away for retirement.
I’ll probably talk more here later about who I’m going to vote for and why, but I’m not ready to go there yet. As Mitt likes to point out, the economy’s important, but it’s certainly not the only issue in town.