Is Americas standard of living falling?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by rightwinger, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I'm 53 years old and have seen the living standard of Americans noticably fall within my lifetime.
    My dad graduated HS in 1950 and went to work for Bell Telephone. It was a good job at the time, but he basically climbed poles and repaired line breaks. On his salary alone (my mom raised the kids), he was able to raise four kids, send all four to college, buy a 3 BR house on an acre of land, get healthcare through his union at no cost to him, keep two cars and retire at 60.
    I went to college and got a degree in Engineering. It cost me a total of $10,000 which includes room and board and all expenses. I graduated with no college debt and moved out of the house and was self supporting at 21. I have been working for over 30 years and raised two kids, my wife worked and I live in a house approximately the same size as my father. With an advanced degree and only two kids, my standard of living should have been much higher than my dads.
    My kids are now in their early 20's. My oldest is 25, has a degree in architecture and still lives at home. Because of massive college debt and the astronomical costs of housing, there is no way for him to live on his own right now. I'd complain but most kids he graduated with still haven't moved out on their own. They just can't afford it.

    I look at people who have the education and job level of my dad and see there is no way they could afford the lifestyle of my dad. The American dream we once knew is slowly slipping away. Workers need to get more education, have spouses work and reduce the size of their families to maintain the same lifestyle their parents had
     
  2. nodoginnafight
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    nodoginnafight No Party Affiliation

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    How many laptops, cell phones, flat screen TVs, Microwave ovens, video gaming systems, DVD players, food choices, restaurant choices, did your dad have?

    Life expectancy has increased over the last two generations.

    There are a lot of things that contribute to "standard of living" that we have now that weren't around back then.

    You might not put much value in a lot of these things but a lot of people do.
     
  3. VaYank5150
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    VaYank5150 Gold Member

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    Let's not forget all of the jobs that have been outsouorced to cheap labor countries since 1950....
     
  4. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    :rofl:

    yea.. it's a laptop and xbox that normalizes this generational lowering of our SOL!

    :lol:

    as if gramps DIDNT have disposable income too!

    :thup:
     
  5. nodoginnafight
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    nodoginnafight No Party Affiliation

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    I like air conditioning and icemakers. Heck I like computers and cell phones too.

    I feel very blessed to have been born when and where I was.
     
  6. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    No question there are more toys now and more progress.
    But what about the essentials?
    Healthcare has skyrocketed, college costs have shyrocketed, housing costs have skyrocketed. If you can afford more it is probably because you have two incomes and fewer children. Individual salaries have not kept pace with the rising cost of living
     
  7. MarcATL
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    MarcATL Gold Member

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    What you have just described my friend, is the realization that the American Dream is, and has been for a long, long time now, a MYTH. Guess what, its only going to get worse. So buckle up and get ready for a fun and wild ride.
     
  8. nodoginnafight
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    nodoginnafight No Party Affiliation

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    I know some may interpret this as anti-woman, but when so many women opted to stay in the workforce after WW II, it drove up the supply of workers while the demand for workers didn't increase by that much.

    IMHO We also have to consider that now, more than ever, American workers are having to compete with workers from around the world. And again, my opinion is that protectionism isn't the answer because that would just dry up demand for American goods and services.

    But I know I personally have a much higher standard of living than my grandfather did. And I don't have to work nearly as many hours to sustain it. I don't ever remember him taking vacations. He might take time off to go visit family in another city, but hop on a plane to go experience some different places and cultures? NEVER.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  9. VaYank5150
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    Which in turn, could start a conversation about unions, and you don't want to get me started on those!
     
  10. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Women entering the workforce was a good thing. It provided them with a degree of independence and and self worth. The problem is that it has not significantly raised our standard of living like you would think it would. The market has just adjusted to eat up the additional income
     

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