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Old 08-22-2011, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,470 posts, read 18,186,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
This isn't romanticizing anything.
This is about accurately comparing the PURCHASING power of a single wage relative to a family lifestyle.
Umm...yeah, I'm talking about purchasing power and you can't compare purchasing power by appealing to inaccurate romanticizations of your childhood...

Anyhow, real wages are higher today than in the past, as a result a single wage family has a higher purchasing power than they have had in the past.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:49 AM
Status: "But in the aggregate..." (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,331 posts, read 69,465,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
...as a result a single wage family has a higher purchasing power than they have had in the past.
you're talking in circles again.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:56 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 14,043,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
you're talking in circles again.
Do you have any actual numbers to back yourself up?

I posted statistics showing the average American lifestyle is more extravagant today than it was 50 years ago. If you disagree, please either prove it or leave the conversation to the adults.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,624,776 times
Reputation: 5180
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
The toys have gone down in price, for example computers are dirt cheap today where as they were a luxury item just a bit ago.

The issue is that people have more toys not that the toys are more expensive, but at least from personal observation people are putting the most money into their home and cars. For $2,000 one can go out and buy a flat screen, computer, Wii, Xbox, some games and it will last years. On the other hand, the mortgage, maintenance, taxes, etc on a large home is likely to cost you $1,000+ more a month and a more modest home.



Unless your dad was vastly over paid this isn't an accurate memory. Movie tickets in 1955 were ~$.60 and the minimum wage (started in 55) was $.75/hour. So 4 tickets would be 3.2 times the minimum wage, once you include all the other stuff your dad would have made 6 times minimum wage... Unskilled, uneducated factory workers didn't get made 6 times minimum wage in 1955....or any period...

Its amusing to what degree people romanticize the past.
Truth is not many worked for the minimum in those days. My father was a master machinist, in 1958, he was making $5.75hr, the cost of a 3br track house was around $7000, and a new car was around $2000.
If you think factory work is unskilled, then you have no experience working in a factory. I know you want to believe these are the best times ever, but they are not. We have been on a downward trajectory since the late 50's, in real terms.
The bubble economies of the past 20 years provided some quick riches for those who cashed in, but the country as a whole did not prosper.
If you figure in the damage of the massive personal and government debts, we are in the worst financial shape we have seen since the great depression. What’s more, we will be suffering from the results of those debts for decades to come.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:24 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 11,155,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilVA View Post
They are sitting in Incident centers (similar to a call center) watching computer screens for glitches in the system. And then there are the people who are watching more computer screens watching these computer screens verifying they are doing their jobs and responding to issues in a timely manner. Then there are the people who carry PDA's and each time an incident occurs, it gets transmitted to that PDA and get to watch it too.

Did you really think that each time to swipe your credit card, that there isn't a group of people somewhere watching for the transactions to flow to their correct locations (servers)?
A few very talented people are responsible for designing the computers the guys in the NOC are watching. Good work if you can get it.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:49 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 11,192,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
Truth is not many worked for the minimum in those days. My father was a master machinist, in 1958, he was making $5.75hr
I doubt the average factory worker in 1958 was a master machinist. Your pop made $11k-$12k per year, about triple the average wages in 1958. Source = National Average Wage Index

Are you seriously going to claim your father was representative of income and factory workers from that era? Come on.

Quote:
the cost of a 3br track house was around $7000, and a new car was around $2000.
Average home was about $30k in 1958, so again your are grabbing outlying numbers to use as a baseline. Taking high wage examples for income and low cost examples for expenses.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
66,989 posts, read 62,645,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
But what do they do in offices? People in offices used to sit at high desks with rubber bands around their sleeves, writing things with pens dipped into inkwells. What takes all their "highly skilled" time now? Machine shops? Every part of every machine used to be made by hand, in America. How many people now work in machine shops? What do licensed residential services do? Cut grass? It takes ten minutes now to cut a lawn with a 6-foot wide mower with an airplane engine running it. Did you ever mow a lawn with a push mower with a cylindrical blade? "Highly skilled"?
It depends upon the industry you are in, obviously. I work in an office, and I know what I do, but it's not the same things that other people who work for my employer do. However, I do know we produce a lot more with fewer people than we did in the days when documents were typed on a typewriter and then sent through the interoffice mail system for comments vs. emailing them to a distribution list.

Right now I'm on vacation, though, so I'm going to the beach.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:55 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 11,155,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackjaw View Post
Average home was about $30k in 1958, so again your are grabbing outlying numbers to use as a baseline.
The average cost of a single-family home in 1958 was a little less than $13k.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
66,989 posts, read 62,645,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrackly View Post
Hate to disappoint you but as a result of the recession and accompanying inflation there are lots of people like me and my spouse: pay-as-you go phones, two respective aging vehicles(because there is no public transportation where we live), cable and internet(without it there is no reception and limited access to banking, billing , etc.), no kids, no meals out, movies, etc. hand-me-down computers.
It simply takes more effort to afford even the basics today. The days of two living on one income are gone. Creditors expect you to have internet connections for bill-paying and customer service. Even job searching is all geared to online services. My house is a winterized cottage in the northeast...don't get much smaller!
I've got smaller--I live in a 942 s.f. condo!

But I have one TV, no dishwasher (don't need one) and I also drive a ten-year-old car precisely because I DO take public transportation--I'm not making car payments on a vehicle that sits in a train station parking lot all day, and the train costs me $300 a month. I have basic cable, a basic phone (I'm apparently the last person on the planet who does not text).
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:00 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,364 posts, read 4,076,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
You are speaking as if the standard of living is the same today as it was 50 years ago, but its not. People made due with much less 50 years ago than they do today.

Today a single income family can have a better standard of living than they would 50 years ago, so it doesn't "take" two incomes instead people decide they want more. They want a bigger home, they want two cars, they want more toys for their kids, they want more expensive vacations, etc.
Bingo! The excuse that you cannot make it with one income is a fallacy that is widespread. My family made it with one job before I enlisted in the Army, in the Army, and now after the Army. We simply followed a very basic principle, live within your means. It has helped us a lot and as time goes by and I have had a better income our standard of living does go up but still stays within our means, take care.
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