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View Diary: It's Now or Never: Run Against Corporate America's GOP (154 comments)

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  •  Excellent point (24+ / 0-)

    I was at a recent high school rededication in the area.  The school was originally opened in 1968.

    They offered a comparison list of items from 1968, e.g. price of a house, bread, milk, gas,minimum wage.

    As I recall,

    In 1968 houses averaged around 14K.
    Today it is about 300K

    In 1968 gas was 34 cents a gallon.
    Today it is about 3.00

    In 1968 the original school was about 2 Million.
    Today it costs over 40 Million.

    Similar raises in pricing were seen across the board for household items.  Basically, the numbers were all about 10 to 20 fold larger.  Except for wages, it was only about 4 fold greater.

    In 1968 the average wage was about $7500
    Today it is about 30K

    Mything the Point ©:
    "Examining unexamined beliefs America accepts on faith value"

    by 8ackgr0und N015e on Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 04:56:44 AM PDT

    •  You need to add (3+ / 0-)

      cost of technologies that were not in existance in 1968 but are common household goods today.  Multiple televisions, cable service, wireless phones, broadband internet, computers, coffee makers, etc. etc.  Now add in the cost of college, the cost of sports equipment, multiple cars, not to mention medicines (some of which were not available in 1968), etc. The cost of living today is much more expensive because of these things.

      •  IF those are the thing that make living (11+ / 0-)

        much more expensive, Americans need to get off the "stuff" tit.  I can only see, in your list, four things that may be necessary added expenses; college, 1 computer, medicine and a car for each person who has to work in the househould (if, and only if, there is no reliable public transportation and no access to carpooling).  Sports equipment, more than one television, computer, multiple wireless phone and various gagets are things people would do well to live without. All of these things are "wants" not "needs".  

        A year's internship or non profit volunteer work in a third world nation would do our citizens more good than all these "wants" combined.

        •  Sure, you can tighten your belt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And, by a rigid program of austere self-denial, get by on your 30k a year. But just because somebody can live without all but the most basic necessities doesn't mean they should have to.

          What the diarist is saying is that less of that $7500 went just to keep you alive in those days. You could actually do crazy shit like go on vacation once a year, or maybe buy a boat to screw around in on the weekends.

          Is it really so morally reprehensible for someone who works for a living to occasionally want to treat him- or herself to a few little luxuries?  

          Being a member of the working class shouldn't mean you have to do without a freaking football to toss around with your kids, or, God forbid, a cell phone to make your social life a little more pleasant.

          But no, let's just tell some poor bastard who works at a call center to "get off the stuff tit" and adopt a monastic lifestyle more in keeping with his inferior social status-- where does he get off wanting the trappings of a middle-class life, anyway?

          Forget the username; it's the sig line that they'll remember you by.

          by Blank Frank on Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 09:48:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  that is an interesting double edged sword (0+ / 0-)

          On the one hand, is just another example of conspicuous consumption.  Instead of "bling" we got "megabytes".  Instead of ostentatious cars we have fancy multimedia centers.

          On the other hand...and the first time I heard this it floored me... labor saving devices (cars, washing machines, refrigeration, microwaves) take the place of slaves. As in SLAVES....

          Here's the point that was made which I had never previously considered: In the old days, SOMEONE had to go to market and pick up the produce.  SOMEONE had to carry the firewood to cook the produce.  SOMEONE had to prepare the produce.  SOMEONE had to haul away the refuse.  etc.  A lot of the time that SOMEONE was a slave.  In the 18th century, something like 20% of families owned slaves.  Benjamin Franklin had 4.  Bet you didn't know that.  

          If you cost adjusted for inflation, the value of a healthy mature male slave was roughly equivalent to an automobile.  You could range from a Toyota to a Mercedes.

          With industrialization and mechanization, slavery became less of an issue.  Certainly less necessary.  Hence, you saw it disappear in the industrialized areas first.  That is true even today.  Where is slavery practiced now? Places like Sudan, and rural areas of Pakistan, China and Thailand.

          Having said that, I agree that travel broadens the mind.  Even 40 years later, my attitudes about water management are a direct result of my experience in third world countries where fresh water was available only once a week. I can't bear to watch a tap run unattended.

          Mything the Point ©:
          "Examining unexamined beliefs America accepts on faith value"

          by 8ackgr0und N015e on Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 12:06:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not so much slaves (0+ / 0-)

            as servants, which a lot more people had.  Of course, servants were treated only marginally better than slaves in many cases. It was only after WWII that there were enough labor-saving devices in homes that servants became a rare luxury limited to the upper, upper class.  Others who needed household help mostly had 'cleaning ladies' who were more like independent contractors instead of servants who were attached to the household.

            "Help us to save free conscience from the paw -- Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw." --John Milton

            by ohiolibrarian on Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 02:00:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  You did not say what the comparable (10+ / 0-)

      projection of a teacher salary would be: +/- $130,000. Compare that to the $30,000 actual.

      17. Ne5

      In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

      by Spud1 on Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 05:32:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  some more numbers... (7+ / 0-)

      ...from The Democratic Party:

      Family Incomes Down Steadily, with Stagnant Wages and Debt Up. Real household income has fallen steadily during the Bush Administration, for a drop of $1,669 since 2001. The median wage has been flat or fallen for three years in a row. A new report by the Federal Reserve Board shows that median household debt climbed 34 percent to $55,300, so that families were spending nearly 15 percent of their incomes on paying interest on their debt. Workers' buying power continues to erode as average weekly earnings have dropped in the last year in real terms. [Office of the House Democratic Leader, 4/17/06]

      ...and from the FDIC--Household Debt as a Percentage of GDP in 1968 was about 43.5%, which was up drastically since the 50's (it was 23.4% and rising starting at the beginning of 1952), but about on par with 1963. By the end of 2000, it was at 69.9%. By the end of 2005, it was at 90.1%. As far as the American consumer is concerned, the GDP might as well just be another measure of debt--and that's what we have now, a debt-driven economy.

    •  Not to mention (0+ / 0-)

      that the number of hours of work has gone up since about 1972 (for the lucky folks with jobs). We work longer and commute more than we did a generation ago.

      American capitalism works great. If you're rich.

      Given a choice between a real Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, Americans will choose the real Republican every time - Harry Truman

      by tiggers thotful spot on Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 08:48:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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