The Route 1 Perspective: Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?
And will it impact your vote?
Patch was on the street today asking a question that comes around every presidential election: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
Lifeguard Michael Gadissa, 38, of Alexandria, was waiting for the bus in the 7600 block of Richmond Highway:
"I think things are getting better," he said. "I didn't have a job four years ago. I was laid off from my job at Jazzy Pool. Now I'm working on getting my second job."
Pet groomer Bayete Ato Jackson, 38, told Patch at another Richmond Highway bus stop that things are improving, but challenges remain:
"We spent the last 16 years digging ourselves into a hole and we've spent the last four years trying to fill it in," Jackson said. "It's going to take another four years with Obama in office to do that. It's easy for Mitt Romney to talk about what Obama hasn't done in four years, but he doesn't talk about what the past 16 years has done to the economy."
Morris Hinton, 29, spinning a Quizno's sign on Route 1, took a quick break to talk with Patch:
"No, I am not better off since Barack Obama got elected four years ago," he said. "Now I'm fighting for my health insurance. I get a veteran's check because my father was in the Army, but I no longer get compensated for my health insurance. I got three different types of braces on my left leg... I listened to one of Romney's speeches, and he said he's for lower income people, so I'm changing my vote."
Roger Patel has been the manager of Mr. Kleen Car Wash on Route 1 for 20 years:
"Yes, I am better off than I was four years ago," he said. "The economy is getting better slowly, much slower than we expected. We have added employees, so there is a spurt of growth, as opposed to cutting back. We are actually growing, and have seen about a 10 to 20 percent growth in the last four years."
Bill Brawley, 73, has owned Walter's Barbershop at 8518 Richmond Highway since 1977:
"Hell no," he said. "High gas prices affect everything, including my tips. I don't lose the customers, I just don't see them as much because they don't have that expendable income... My mind's been made up about this election for a while. I don't think more and more stimulus money is going to help anyone. There are people who are trying to work and save; it's going to cut their dollar value in half. Do you agree with me? If you do that's good, because I'll give you a good haircut."