Is your quality of life (due to economics) higher or lower than it was 30 years ago?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Seattle, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Thirty years ago I was a student at Purdue. Had toy money, beer money, food. Life was good. Today I have an upholstered cave and toys. Life is still good.
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    My quality of life at any time in my past was notably better than what I see as the normal quality of life for people of that age and that economic status now.

    And if nothing changes in this setup, I see no prospect of significant numbers of them achieving greater prosperity via moderate habits and prudent decisions over time, as I did. So as they age, most of them, they will remain worse off than I was and am on average - unless current trends are reversed, and government improved.

    Meanwhile: Nothing on the internet is "free" - the cost of obtaining and maintaining a serviceable internet connection varies by person (education, etc) and by need, but is almost always higher than the 4.95 @month I paid for phone and library services back in the day. (Complete services - including maintenance and repair of the phone. The local library in my high school town - population 17,000 - had entire shelves of books detailing home repair, car repair, skill acquisition, etc. Not only that, they would order books to lend you. The price was a few pennies on the local property tax bill. I learned how to swim well from a library book). Worse, Americans pay significantly more than other nationalities (two and three times as much) for any given level of internet service - and often cannot obtain what is standard in other places at any price.

    Low prices at big box stores often require a working car. That's a high cost (the burden of parking tickets alone, in the inner city, is a significant economic factor.) And it's almost impossible to get a job without a cell phone - again, a significant cost.

    The small hardware and durable goods stores of my past city neighborhoods carried what the local community actually needed - such as plumbing supplies exactly matched to what was actually installed in the aging housing stock in the immediate vicinity, sold with specific instructions on how to handle whatever problem had come up. The big box stores do not carry such things even today, and as far as getting good advice one is lucky to find someone who can point to the right shelf of stuff that doesn't fit. (I recently found what may be the last remaining source in my region for a really good snow shovel - long handle, wide steel blade, push style, triangle brace. It's a small feed store catering to hobby farms, people with pet horses and goats, etc. Compared with the situation if such stores vanished completely, my quality of life after a snowstorm is much improved. That makes it better, in that specific way, than anyone's who has to deal with snow using the shovels found at big box stores.

    Also,
    1) the low prices are a consequence of cost savings via centralized manufacture and shipping innovations - those cost savings would be available to the small stores of today, rather than bound up in vertical integration and other forms of monopsomy and monopoly, under better government.
    2) anyone who regards lower prices for airplane tickets as a significant improvement in the lifestyle of the low and middle class American is not in contact with economic reality in this country.
    3) no estimate of quality of life that omits debt is worth a minute's attention.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    There is also a factor we rarely consider: what are the hidden costs of the things we buy? Who lost their job? Which hillside was bereft of trees and is waiting for a landslide? What roads and bridges were not repaired because the big box store insisted on a traffic light for their parking lot, or a property tax deferment? How many Mom&Pop stores were forced out of business?
    All of those costs affect the quality of our lives through the affect they have on our community.
    One of the marked difference I've noticed over time is the mood of people in public places. Everybody talks faster and louder, takes offense more readily, guards their rights and prerogatives more jealously, eyes their neighbours more suspiciously: people are anxious and tense.
     
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  7. LaurieAG Registered Senior Member

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    But as a child in the 60's did you want your parents to rush out and buy the latest box of Tide Laundry/Rice a roni or a top 10 record to listen to?
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    No, do they do that today? The kids programs were sponsored by Mattel and yes I did want and got a Mattel Vacuform and and Johnny Seven OMA (one man army) gun.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    We did get my mother to buy the Rica-a-roni once and it was pretty good. Turns out, you can make a better version with orzo pasta - which I still do sometimes. We did buy lots of Kraft dinners. My father drove out once a month or so a market where they had very good prices on multiples of things and get 5 giant boxes of corn flakes (We hated corn flakes - especially with the powdered milk he had contracted to buy with the 'free' electric mixer), a crate of apples, a case of Kraft dinners. It was the first thing we cooked without adult supervision.
    Can't say's we were at all interested in detergent - the only free thing they put in the box was a washcloth or hand-towel.
     
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I remember when Jiffy Pop popcorn first came out they hired people to hang a free sample on everyone's front door.
     
  11. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

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    I'm currently living in poverty so my current quality of life is almost nonexistent.

    I live in Israel and Israel is relatively poor in terms of quality of life compared to say countries like Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Denmark for example.

    There is a lot of corruption in Israel compared to say Switzerland or Denmark for example so I can say that in terms of quality of life Israel is not such a good country.
     
  12. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

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