Left to Right: Christopher L. Jorgensen & Spank the Monkey
Here's my ask (to noun a verb):
Take a look at your finances today. Everything. Write it down. Don't go by your gut, do this objectively. Go check out your 401(k), your savings, your income, your ROTH, your brokerage account, your home equity; whatever you count as part of your net worth.
If you have car loans, credit card debt, payday loans, whatever, write those down as well. Subtract them from above.
Come up with what you dispassionately view as "how you’re doing."
Now, revisit this in November, and again in 2020.
Now, money isn't the only way to measure value, but it's a fairly objective one. It's a lot harder to measure things like values and morals. Is the country more divided? Is bigotry and racism and misogyny more accepted? Are we more safe and secure? Is government fairer, less corrupt, and more transparent? Are we closer to war, economic collapse, nuclear destruction? Is the US more respected abroad and trade policies fairer? Do we have greater religious and speech protections? Are we a freer nation of rights? Is there greater judicial fairness, justice reform, and accountability of police and prosecutors? Is education and healthcare more affordable and accessible? Do we have access to unbiased and factual information and news?
I have my opinions on those things, and I could probably go on all damn day. My opinions are probably different than pretty much anyone's. And I am guessing your opinions are as well, but these issues are harder to quantify. You can weigh one's right to a gun against one's right to not be shot. You can debate one's freedom of religion weighed against one's freedom from religion. You can argue adults should or shouldn't have a right to do what they like with their own bodies, or in their own bedrooms, and what religions are deserving of respect.
But you can't really measure many of these things.
But wage and wealth are easy to measure. Did you get a good raise? Are your expenses the same, lower, or higher? Do consumables and such cost less or more? How expensive are groceries and gas? How much has your tuition and health insurance gone up? Are you seeing acceptable gains in your portfolio? Do you have more debt than a year ago or more? Are you getting to participate in the success of the company you work for? Is your job more secure or less?
Write that shit down. You can’t tell whether you are doing better in a year if you have no idea where you are now.
Note: I don’t give a shit if you support my candidate of choice or if you will totally negate my time at the polls. Inform yourself, educate yourself, decide if you are happy with the direction of the country, decide if you are better off, or worse off, than you were today, be honest with yourself, and vote. Have a modicum of self-reflection and accountability. Demand it of yourself, and demand it from your elected officials.