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Old 11-22-2018, 10:28 AM
 
17,783 posts, read 12,462,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
This is a classic example of the average can be misleading. While the average has gone up certainly, a better measure is the median. And the median size has not increased near as dramatically as the average. Some things that are driving the average is the increase in much larger homes without a corresponding increase in the size of the typical home. We saw this while living in Colorado Springs in the 90s. There was a huge rash of homebuilding in the 4000-6000 square foot size while across town there was a continuing run on 1500-1800 square foot building. So those overly large residences drove up the average but didn't really much change the size of the typical home being bought. Something else we saw happen and were keyed in on by a realtor friend was the inclusion of the basement, and sometimes garages, in square footage to make people think they were getting a bigger house. As he explained it the basement was not historically included in square footage, so the same house could grow a 1000 square feet just by counting the basement.
Median or average the size of houses has gone up significantly while the size of families has gone down


Quote:
The interesting this is when we look at the cost of luxuries such as TV. In the 70s a color TV could cost a couple month's wages. Today, a much bigger TV is only a couple days wages. So in real terms, not just inflation adjusted, the cost of luxuries live multiple TVs has come down. I could have five or size large screens in my house for less than my parents paid for a small color console in 1976. So those aren't really a good indicator of inflation. It seems today luxuries are cheap and essentials are what is expensive. That's a reverse of the 70s and may be a false indicator of the economy.
Iím glad you only looked to address TVs but even then itís questionable because of the increase in numbers of units per hh and frequency of upgrading/replacement. You also failed to address anything else in the examples so add up all. Multiple smart phones, tablets, computers, cable. The simple fact is a 50-60s lifestyle is no where near what it is today so trying to play the one earner vs two is a false equivalency
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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It is not a myth. Weíve lived it.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:56 AM
 
10,830 posts, read 20,353,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowexpectations View Post
Median or average the size of houses has gone up significantly while the size of families has gone down




I’m glad you only looked to address TVs but even then it’s questionable because of the increase in numbers of units per hh and frequency of upgrading/replacement. You also failed to address anything else in the examples so add up all. Multiple smart phones, tablets, computers, cable. The simple fact is a 50-60s lifestyle is no where near what it is today so trying to play the one earner vs two is a false equivalency
Spending patterns were much different. In the 50's we spent 1/3 of our income on food, now it's under half that. Clothing declining 10%.

The size of a house isn't as important as the cost of the land. Adding 50% more sq ft to a home doesn't equate to a 50% increase in costs. Land was cheap and plentiful back then, look at some photos of coastal CA even. Part of the reason homes were smaller is the cost of materials were much higher as well. Automation has greatly reduced the cost of building materials.

It would be tough these days to come out of high school and just work a regular easy no-education required job and have a life. Back then, many more opportunities for those in the bottom 70%.

Of course, the bottom 10% also live MUCH better these days as well.

Most of my middle class neighbors do not have cable TV. Some do. I will say many have later model cars though, much more is being spent on transportation these days.
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Spending patterns were much different. In the 50's we spent 1/3 of our income on food, now it's under half that. Clothing declining 10%.
Do you have data to support this? I would figure going out to eat was much less frequent in the 50s driving total cost lower

Quote:
The size of a house isn't as important as the cost of the land. Adding 50% more sq ft to a home doesn't equate to a 50% increase in costs. Land was cheap and plentiful back then, look at some photos of coastal CA even. Part of the reason homes were smaller is the cost of materials were much higher as well. Automation has greatly reduced the cost of building materials.
The increase in size is part of a increased consumption equation


Quote:
It would be tough these days to come out of high school and just work a regular easy no-education required job and have a life. Back then, many more opportunities for those in the bottom 70%.

Of course, the bottom 10% also live MUCH better these days as well.

Most of my middle class neighbors do not have cable TV.
Some do. I will say many have later model cars though, much more is being spent on transportation these days.
Where is this?
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Old 11-22-2018, 10:59 PM
 
10,830 posts, read 20,353,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowexpectations View Post
Do you have data to support this? I would figure going out to eat was much less frequent in the 50s driving total cost lower



The increase in size is part of a increased consumption equation




Where is this?
https://www.theatlantic.com/business...budget/255475/

You live in a fairly affluent Houston neighborhood, no? Maybe $400k-$500k homes? I live in the SE in a neighborhood with home values half of that.

Your neighborhood spending patterns will be much different from a lower income, more middle class neighborhood.

Same as when you go to Walmart and shop vs Target vs Whole Foods. A very different atmosphere and demographic.

I very much agree our standard of living is much more elevated now vs 70 years ago. Just like how people point out cars are more expensive than they used to be. That's true, but cars also have triple the mpg, maintenance free 100k intervals that would've been unheard of back then, no need for tune ups of the carb, anti lock and disc brakes, etc.
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Old 11-23-2018, 09:37 AM
 
8,373 posts, read 3,546,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
https://www.theatlantic.com/business...budget/255475/

You live in a fairly affluent Houston neighborhood, no? Maybe $400k-$500k homes? I live in the SE in a neighborhood with home values half of that.

Your neighborhood spending patterns will be much different from a lower income, more middle class neighborhood.

Same as when you go to Walmart and shop vs Target vs Whole Foods. A very different atmosphere and demographic.

I very much agree our standard of living is much more elevated now vs 70 years ago. Just like how people point out cars are more expensive than they used to be. That's true, but cars also have triple the mpg, maintenance free 100k intervals that would've been unheard of back then, no need for tune ups of the carb, anti lock and disc brakes, etc.
Excellent point IMO. Standard of living is more important than inflation adjusted wages.
Like discussed with cars, TV's and homes.

Cell phones, computers and the internet are now very important to lifestyle. And putting a dollar-life improvement on those is very difficult. But I believe to be larger than at first glance.

HC is a very big one. IMO the fastest, broadest and best way to significantly move up the standard of living of our middle class is through HC subsides.
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:37 AM
 
17,783 posts, read 12,462,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
https://www.theatlantic.com/business...budget/255475/

You live in a fairly affluent Houston neighborhood, no? Maybe $400k-$500k homes? I live in the SE in a neighborhood with home values half of that.

Your neighborhood spending patterns will be much different from a lower income, more middle class neighborhood.

Same as when you go to Walmart and shop vs Target vs Whole Foods. A very different atmosphere and demographic.

I very much agree our standard of living is much more elevated now vs 70 years ago. Just like how people point out cars are more expensive than they used to be. That's true, but cars also have triple the mpg, maintenance free 100k intervals that would've been unheard of back then, no need for tune ups of the carb, anti lock and disc brakes, etc.

Im more surprised at the food allocation more than anything. Itís intriguing enough for me to dig into a bit further. The cable/dish topic I thought I had read that something along the lines of 60%+ of hh had the service which presumptively would cover a good portion of the middle class to a point, maybe lower middle class is where most donít have it but I donít know where we make that cutoff
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:40 PM
 
1,105 posts, read 587,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bp25 View Post
Why should inflation adjusted wage not stagnate? If someone does the same job year after year, why should his pay be any more than what inflation dictates? ...
Bp25, Iíd consider your viewpoint more credible if commercial enterprises and corporate stock profits behaved similarly to the inflation-adjusted wage rates and totals. They donít, so I donít.
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:13 PM
 
10,830 posts, read 20,353,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowexpectations View Post
Im more surprised at the food allocation more than anything. Itís intriguing enough for me to dig into a bit further. The cable/dish topic I thought I had read that something along the lines of 60%+ of hh had the service which presumptively would cover a good portion of the middle class to a point, maybe lower middle class is where most donít have it but I donít know where we make that cutoff
Our food supply nowadays is automated as well. I don't remember the exact statistic but we went from something like 40% of the population working on farms to 2%. Look how raising meat has turned that into a factory as well.
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Old 11-24-2018, 02:02 AM
 
24,928 posts, read 27,108,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Yep. A right wing rag. Of course, the WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch so you have to look carefully to see if something is actual news or a regurgitated Fox News OpEd.

Iíll stick with The Economist for data on this. Inflation-adjusted, wage stagnation is not a myth.
We can call this or that paper a right wing rag, blah, blah, blah.

But what is rarely talked about in the media is one of the big factors in wage stagnation is health care costs. Employers and workers alike have been paying a lot more. It's not sustainable.

70% of what ails Americans is driving by lifestyle habits. If we really want to get control of our health care costs, and improve wages as well as quality of life for the populace at large, we need to listen to people like Dan Buettner:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so_1etvOJiw&t=106s
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