What about my economy?

Actually I mean our economy, people who earn a pretty good to low wage, or is unemployed. It’s dificult to put it in numbers because cost of living and wages vary so much around the country (US), but “pretty good” around here would top out at something like $60-70k.
It seems to me that people in my bracket were a little better off when Clinton was running things, but when I try to find facts to back this up, I can’t find anything specific. Plenty about the rich, and the market and such, but little to compare middle and lower’s then and now.
Two things I do know; There are more people below the poverty line, and there are fewer people earning wages at the middle and upper levels of this group.
Is there an index, or comparitive study, that shows what’s happened with our individual financial situation over the last twelve years or so?
Any educated, non-partisan opinions?
Peace,
mangeorge

Who are you talking about? The $60-70k demographic is very different from the $20-30 k demographic. The poverty line is something like $12k a year IIRC.

“better off” means different things to these groups. Someone making $30 might evaluate it based on whether they can afford to buy new clothes or get their car fixed. Someone in the $60-70 range might evaluate it based on not being able to find a $100k a year job.
If you want specific numbers, there is plenty of salary and cost of living data and indices on www.bls.gov, www.census.gov and other sites. What they dont tell is the story of law or business school grads who thought they had $75 - $120 k a year jobs only to have them recinded or indefinitely posponed or have been unable to find a job in their field. While the guy making $20 a year might would consider himself lucky to have a $60k job, take it from me - it sucks having to take a suck job with a suck company after busting your ass in grad school. In a sense it effectively becomes a waste of time and money. People do not evaluate their financial success relative to the whole population, they evaluate it relative to their peer group.

Take it from me - it also sucks having to take a suck job in a suck company after years gaining the experience, training, and skills to be proficient in a trade.
And That’s what I’m asking. People earning $60 - 70K are in a group of jobs, nurses, engineers, upper level teachers and such. How are they doing today relative the same job group in, and during, the pre-Clinton era? Is it harder now being a minimum wage earner that it was 12 years ago? Or six? Poverty is worse they say.
Can a carpenter or electrician afford a better lifestyle now?
Higher real estate prices have moved mid-to-lower income earners farther from their jobs, and commuter expenses are harder on them than those of us lucky enough to get into a house and a good paying job a little earlier.
I did well during the Clinton years and have managed to just hold on during the last four. Money that used to go to savings now does to co-pay at my HMO. Stuff like that.

By the way, msmith537, thanks for the links.

I was solidly employed at a professional engineer’s salary during Clinton.

For two years under Bush, until less than 2 months ago, I was unemployed or did part time work at a tiny fraction of my previous salary (but I did have 3 or 4 months good contract work). I’m making good money now, but I’m still very, very worried about my job security and career.

I’m not blaming Bush, but I was much better off under Clinton.

Why not blame Bush? It’s his policies that are largely responsible for the hole we’re in. While a post-Clinton recession might have been unavoidable, there’s ample evidence that Bush avoided steps to mitigate the crash or shorten its duration.

To use but one example:

And just to add to the survey, I’m also a solid, white-collar engineer who saw the best times under the Clinton Administration. During the last four years of Bush, I’m considered lucky when my now-reduced salary manages to “tread water” and keep up with the rate of inflation…

Somehow I doubt that he’s to blame for the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

Well, $60-70k in Berzerkly is different than say, $60-70k in Carbondale, IL, where one can buy a decent family house for $25-40k. I just hope that sort of disperity exists when I reach retirement age.

Yep. So says the second sentence in that which you quoted. Generally, though, wages tend to follow the cost of living in any given area. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, someone living in Carbondale who earns that much isn’t very likely to buy a $40k house. Nor is someone working at a skilled job likely to earn anywhere near that much.

Now I hear that dual income couples are “encouraged” (by lenders and realtors) to take out interest-only loans to get into a high priced home they can’t otherwise afford. “Don’t be afraid of it” they say. Well, I’m no economist, but there’s something scary to me about paying interest only for 5-10 years, then re-financing a regular loan with no credit for the first one. Ok, so it’s not that simple. But it sounds like a sucker bet to me.

Sure, but his policies took us deeper into the hole, instead of out of it.