March 6, 2011

You Never Had It So Good: Chart of the Day, Week, Month, Year, Decade

Cast your peepers on this chart and tell me again about the "good old days."


For those who prefer the background: Taken from Inequality, Consumption, & Happiness

From the IHS Vault: How well-off are we? Using economic data, economics professor Steve Horwitz addresses questions about inequality, consumption, happiness, and well-being. Are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Is there income mobility in the United States? Are Americans happy? Are we "objectively" better off than we used to be? This lecture was taped in 2010 at the IHS summer seminar, "Morality, Capitalism, & Freedom" at Wake Forest University.
Posted by Vanderleun at March 6, 2011 8:29 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Happiness is all internally generated. It has to do with family, community, and religion, not with things.

Posted by: Fat Man at March 6, 2011 9:35 PM

Not included is how often you have to replace your wonderful cheap toaster made in China because it was made in China and it is cheap.
And the same for your other appliances.
Dishwasher gave up the ghost after a year.

Posted by: Jewel at March 6, 2011 10:20 PM

Have you taken a good look at the weight of those sweat pants, those shirts, or any of the clothes that are lower in price?

How long does that tool last before it breaks? Does that wrench strip and bust your knuckles on the adjoining bolt head?

How much is that toolmaking neighbor earning now, that he's work at Wal-Mart?

We live with a microwave mentality-everything done in five minutes and turns to shit in ten.

Posted by: Peccable at March 7, 2011 5:35 AM

Glad he mentioned Reaganomics. Community Reinvestment Act was implemented in 1977. It was the Democrats who blocked attempts to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the early 2000's. The abuse of the CRA by community organizers is what caused the sub-prime trend that caused the entire world's economy to crash. Wall Street was doing what Wall Street does. It was the threat of the Almighty Race-Card that triggered the cancer that grew into the world's crash. And we may or may not recover from it. The crash affected my life and my neighbors so harshly I was forced to explain to my kids the suddden change in their world. It was affecting our neighbors, their marriages, their sanity. I explained to my kids that "fake money" or "fake wealth" was inserted into the money system. Social Justice in a nutshell. I can't tell you how crazy it makes me as a private sector/ homeschooling family, after watching my neighbors ripped apart in the last several years when I hear the complaints of the public union protesters. The crash hurt everyone in every quintile. His data conveniently drops away just as Obamanomics was hitting the legislature. That growing middle class? History. I'm constantly scouring the future as a homeschooling mom. My best advice to my kids to be in the highest 20% is to be a public employee in a public sector union.

Posted by: RedCarolina at March 7, 2011 12:58 PM

and we haven't even brought up the effects of green regulations. I recall people buying one car or one appliance and it lasted them FOREVER. He doesn't mention this. That "reduce reuse recycle" thing cracks me up because back in the day, we had no choice but to do all these things because we couldn't afford anything else.

Posted by: RedCarolina at March 7, 2011 1:08 PM

At 53, I'm too young to have lived back in the days when everything was made of stone, wood, and iron, and never broke or wore out.

Posted by: ELC at March 7, 2011 2:11 PM

Your point is well taken but there's a category missing: homes.

In the early '50s, my grandfther bought a 1600 sq. ft. home with a /14 acre lot on Vancouver's west side for around $8000. He was employed as a labourer and earned about $2000/year. Cost of home was four year's income.

Today, that same home is up for sale for 1.2 million and the owner sold off 1/2 of the lot a few years back for a couple hundred thousand.

I don't know what my grandfather's job would go for today but I'm going to guess it would be around $20./hr or 40K a year. Cost of home today is 30 year`s income.

Here`s the kicker: the realtor told me that the price was really for the lot only because he would expect any buyer to knock it down and build a new one.

Posted by: mikhail silo at March 7, 2011 3:02 PM

You might be back into the 25% of income very soon for a house. Projections are for another drop in prices of between 20 to 30% of value. Since Obama has many people making $20,000 a year once again, what's not to like.

Posted by: Peccable at March 7, 2011 5:55 PM

Some of those prices are wrong. (the new ones, anyway) I can get a coffee maker, blender and other small consumer appliances cheaper than what they list there.

Yeah, all of it is made in China, but I recently replaced a coffee maker made in Taiwan that I bought when I was in the Army over 20 years ago, and that was because the wife broke the carafe, and I couldn't find a replacement. I expect the new one to last as long, frankly.

While I've seen some shoddy stuff out of China, the great majority of it actually works.

The home prices though, that's what's totally out of kilter these days.

Posted by: Eric Blair at March 10, 2011 10:12 AM
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