There are two very simple questions that need to be asked over the next eighteen months. The first is, Are you better off than you were four years ago?

If the answer is “Yes,” the second question is even more blunt: Really?  How are you managing that?

March ’07
March ’11

Unemployment Rate
4.40%
8.80%

Gas price (per gallon)
$2.56
$3.60

National Debt
8.84 trillion
14.27 trillion

Monthly deficit
95 billion
189 billion

Median House Price*
$262,600
$202,100

S&P 500 Index
1420.86
1332.31

Employment-Population Ratio
63.3%
58.5%

Consumer Price Index*
205.532
221.309

(Items with an * are using February 2011 data)

…because the rest of the country’s kind of getting hammered, here.

Moe Lane (crosspost)