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Posted: 4/24/2011 10:05:20 PM EDT
I'm 34 to give you an idea of the generation. Anyway, how were they able to raise 6 or more kids on just the man working, own property, and retire with a nice stash of money in the bank? My Great Grandpa had more than my Grandpa, but they both did well.

Now, in my family, it seems as if ones my parents age (50's), couldn't raise 2 kids properly, have little in the bank, etc, BUT, they also live way better than the Great and regular Grandparents. Sometimes it seems as if they may eventually drag their own kids (me, cousins, etc) down with them when they realize they can't retire like the Grandpa's did.

I'm not much for putting thoughts to words, so sorry if I don't make sense. I guess this is a blame the people in their 50's for ruining the US post.



Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:18:28 PM EDT
Their money was worth more, they bought less shit, less taxes.... more employment opportunities that did not require the initial investment/indebtedness of college...Government was smaller... different time and place, a better one in many ways. for some of the time the rest of the world was in ruin and we had one hell of an advantage. America has been eroded
 
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:23:07 PM EDT
Quoted:
Their money was worth more, they bought less shit, less taxes.... more employment opportunities that did not require the initial investment/indebtedness of college...Government was smaller... different time and place, a better one in many ways. for some of the time the rest of the world was in ruin and we had one hell of an advantage. America has been eroded

 


Pretty much sums it up. Women's lib did not help anything either. That era all but killed the "homemaker" wife. American kids for at least one maybe two generations now have grown up in broken homes. Our moral decline has also lead us down the path of destruction.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:25:17 PM EDT
My grandparents had a hard hard life, despite my grandpa having an MS in chemical engineering.  He had the bad luck of rearing a family in the middle of the Great Depression.
His sons did quite well though.  My dad has told me his money's all in gold, and that was a few years back.  He is ok.





I am pessimistic and fatalistic and don't have any children because what lies ahead is quite bleak indeed.  I just kind of work and hope for the best but I feel quite doomed.





 
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:25:55 PM EDT
Quoted:
Their money was worth more, they bought less shit, less taxes.... more employment opportunities that did not require the initial investment/indebtedness of college...Government was smaller... different time and place, a better one in many ways. for some of the time the rest of the world was in ruin and we had one hell of an advantage. America has been eroded

 


Globalization.  In that era, they were only competing in the labor market with other people in that region.  Now, American workers are competing against the labor supply of every single person in the world, because companies can and will ship work out due to the advances of realtime communication and the practice of 3rd-world countries sending thousands of their people to our universities and then yanking them back home.

Also, the ratio of housing cost to the median income was EXTRAORDINARILY lower.  A 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom rambler like the ones built in the post WWII housing boom was under $30,000 easily.  That was also close to the average yearly salary for either a moderately skilled tradesman or a professional employee that had advanced past entry level.

These days, the median income isn't vastly higher, but housing prices have more than quadrupled.  In some cases, you just start multiplying by 10.


Quoted:

Pretty much sums it up. Women's lib did not help anything either. That era all but killed the "homemaker" wife. American kids for at least one maybe two generations now have grown up in broken homes. Our moral decline has also lead us down the path of destruction.


Congratulations, you've won the Idiotic Misogynistic Drivel Award of the day, with a secondary honor of Baseless Moral Indignation Rambling.  The prize?  A spot on my ignore list.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:27:49 PM EDT
Inflation.  Dollar devaluation.  You really should look into it.



To get started, figure out how many (silver) dollars your grandfather earned per year.



Then multiply by $47 (or whatever the going rate is in the morning- (you are going to need to check)



$47 X (grandfathers annual income) =  ??????                     Thats how much you need to be making to maintain parity.  Are you?





Do the same with Oil, Gold, or other commodities.   It's fun, educational, and terrifying.  
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:35:07 PM EDT
Been said here before but inflation and global competition as well as more consumer spending and less capital investment (which leads to more production, jobs, wages long term) We also went off the gold standard under Nixon and that greatly devalued our currency. Plus these days we think we HAVE to have a one bedroom per kid and SUVs and on and on. My mom and my dad both just put us in whatever car they had and if we had to share a room we did. That's what bunk beds were made for. Food and Gas prices and medical costs don't help either.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:36:08 PM EDT
Inflation and lagging wage increases, and historically-high energy and food prices.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:37:34 PM EDT
they didn't do wtupid things like buy too big or expensive of a house that ate up all their income every month.  They saved up enough money to get a cheap mortgage allowing them to afford their children and their retirement plans.





They also didn't do stupid shit like spend all of their income on shit they didn't need. Kids wore hand me downs even if they could afford new clothes.  You didn't have a tv for every room and you didn't pay 150 a month for a family smart phone plan because your land line worked just fine(and cell phones didn't exist)





They didn't spend outrageous amounts of money for clothing just so they could point out what brand they were wearing.  Mom had a couple of nice dresses and dad had a couple of nice suits but day to day clothing wasn't a priority.





They cooked at home to keep costs down.  





They didn't pay other people to do things they can easily do themselves with a little bit of work.





They didn't think health insurance is supposed to cover every god damned thing on the planet and had higher deductibles and only serious injury was covered saving thousands of dollar a year (government is attempting to make this type of health plan illegal so that wont be an option if obamacare stands)





They didn't buy a brand new car until their cars stopped running and were no longer worth fixing because the resale value was lower than the repair costs.





They didn't borrow against their house. They payed off their houses leaving several decades of wages without high living costs allowing them to bucckle down and save  or invest to make their retirement even more comfortable.
stuff like that.  
Some of us still live that way and will be able to retire and raise our kids pretty comfortable on an average or below average income.



Inflation is only a small part of the problem  . The problem is people have forgotten the difference between a want and a need in life and no longer look into the future and what they want out of it when making day to day decisions with their money.

Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:38:18 PM EDT
Cause they didn't buy a bunch of shit. And the kids (my parents) had to pay for their own clothes even though they were a 14.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:38:47 PM EDT
What happened that has caused the people in their 50's to be the way they are? The ones in my family seem to want what Grandpa had, what they have, and what their own kids have also.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:42:08 PM EDT
Quoted:
What happened that has caused the people in their 50's to be the way they are? The ones in my family seem to want what Grandpa had, what they have, and what their own kids have also.


Depending on who you ask, the boomers are either selfishly trying to get as much wealth and government handouts as they can while sticking the younger generation with the bill because that's the way they were raised, or it's due to the "do whatever feels good man" '60s hippy ideals, or they're just trying to get what was promised to them by crooked politicians who promised them the world in exchange for their vote.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:43:18 PM EDT
Quoted:

Congratulations, you've won the Idiotic Misogynistic Drivel Award of the day, with a secondary honor of Baseless Moral Indignation Rambling.  The prize?  A spot on my ignore list.


My pleasure

The dude starts out with a such a fine sophisticated rant and then finishes it off with such a grabasstically juvenile remark. Nanner nanner, boo -boo. You're ignoring me!
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:46:45 PM EDT
You know how?  Back in the 1940s, my grandpa grew corn, cotton and sorghum.  Raised cattle and hogs.  Grandma had her chickens which were fed with the corn, sorghum and cotton seed meal.  They didn't have electricity until after the War.  They only bought flour, sugar and the necessary items.  Potatoes, tomatoes, squash, corn (field yellow dent is sweeter but only for a few days in the milk stage) were all raised.  Even grew poppy for the poppy seeds.  Garlic, onions and the like too.  Canned EVERY vegetable on wood stove.  Windmill would fill the cistern which provided all the running water for the house.  Ice was purchased once a week, hauled in the Model A Ford.  They had two cars, a tractor, plow, planter and a 4 row corn picker.  After the War, grandpa got a COMBINE that did both corn and sorghum.




Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:48:11 PM EDT



Quoted:
Quoted:



Pretty much sums it up. Women's lib did not help anything either. That era all but killed the "homemaker" wife. American kids for at least one maybe two generations now have grown up in broken homes. Our moral decline has also lead us down the path of destruction.




Congratulations, you've won the Idiotic Misogynistic Drivel Award of the day, with a secondary honor of Baseless Moral Indignation Rambling.  The prize?  A spot on my ignore list.






Well, I must say, you did a stunning job of defeating his argument.....  
-K



 
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:56:38 PM EDT
Another thing about my grandpa.  He knew how to fix things.  And his eldest son, my uncle who recently passed away, could fix ANYTHING.  I have learned this ethic or it might be in my genes.  We have specialized our way into extinction.  



Aldus Huxley was right in his dystopic novel Brave New World.  Shucking child rearing to mass production via day care, pre-kinder, free meals at school, after school care and mostly, the destruction of the family has ruined our society.



Sure, such activities increase the velocity of the money supply but at what cost?  The Duggars feed their family for less than $4 a day per person.  THAT is how they are able to have 20 children.  20 well-adjusted, proper children who will not drag society down.  But the idiots here like to ridicule this family.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 10:59:16 PM EDT
Quoted:
Their money was worth more, they bought less shit, less taxes.... more employment opportunities that did not require the initial investment/indebtedness of college...Government was smaller... different time and place, a better one in many ways. for some of the time the rest of the world was in ruin and we had one hell of an advantage. America has been eroded

 


Just this morning, I spent a few hours talking with my aunt born during the "Silent Generation" (1925–1945). When I asked her to compare the current economic Recession against the Great Depression, she echoed exactly what you wrote. Basically, there wasn't as much stuff available to buy. You made due with whatever was available. The local grocery only sold the basics, gas stations only sold gas, department stores did not exist, clothes/shoes were often home-made or hand-me-downs, you ate what was put in front of you, Church was a community gathering point, etc. A wise old bird in her advancing years, the thermostat is always a few degrees below what most consider comfortable.



And her tea bag always gets used twice  


Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:03:06 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Their money was worth more, they bought less shit, less taxes.... more employment opportunities that did not require the initial investment/indebtedness of college...Government was smaller... different time and place, a better one in many ways. for some of the time the rest of the world was in ruin and we had one hell of an advantage. America has been eroded

 


Just this morning, I spent a few hours talking with my aunt born during the "Silent Generation" (1925–1945). When I asked her to compare the current economic Recession against the Great Depression, she echoed exactly what you wrote. Basically, there wasn't as much stuff available to buy. You made due with whatever was available. The local grocery only sold the basics, gas stations only sold gas, department stores did not exist, clothes/shoes were often home-made or hand-me-downs, you ate what was put in front of you, Church was a community gathering point, etc. A wise old bird in her advancing years, the thermostat is always a few degrees below what most consider comfortable.



And her tea bag always gets used twice  




Sounds a lot like both of my Grandmas
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:05:13 PM EDT
Quoted:
Also, the ratio of housing cost to the median income was EXTRAORDINARILY lower.  A 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom rambler like the ones built in the post WWII housing boom was under $30,000 easily.  That was also close to the average yearly salary for either a moderately skilled tradesman or a professional employee that had advanced past entry level.


What post-war years are you talking about? In the early 60s a 10K a year job was considered doing well, according to my dad. That would put that 30K house at about three years worth of salary, a price standard thats still easily obtainable in my area.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:09:21 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Their money was worth more, they bought less shit, less taxes.... more employment opportunities that did not require the initial investment/indebtedness of college...Government was smaller... different time and place, a better one in many ways. for some of the time the rest of the world was in ruin and we had one hell of an advantage. America has been eroded

 


Pretty much sums it up. Women's lib did not help anything either. That era all but killed the "homemaker" wife. American kids for at least one maybe two generations now have grown up in broken homes. Our moral decline has also lead us down the path of destruction.


I agree.

Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:13:09 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Their money was worth more, they bought less shit, less taxes.... more employment opportunities that did not require the initial investment/indebtedness of college...Government was smaller... different time and place, a better one in many ways. for some of the time the rest of the world was in ruin and we had one hell of an advantage. America has been eroded

 


Globalization.  In that era, they were only competing in the labor market with other people in that region.  Now, American workers are competing against the labor supply of every single person in the world, because companies can and will ship work out due to the advances of realtime communication and the practice of 3rd-world countries sending thousands of their people to our universities and then yanking them back home.

Also, the ratio of housing cost to the median income was EXTRAORDINARILY lower.  A 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom rambler like the ones built in the post WWII housing boom was under $30,000 easily.  That was also close to the average yearly salary for either a moderately skilled tradesman or a professional employee that had advanced past entry level.

These days, the median income isn't vastly higher, but housing prices have more than quadrupled.  In some cases, you just start multiplying by 10.


Quoted:

Pretty much sums it up. Women's lib did not help anything either. That era all but killed the "homemaker" wife. American kids for at least one maybe two generations now have grown up in broken homes. Our moral decline has also lead us down the path of destruction.


Congratulations, you've won the Idiotic Misogynistic Drivel Award of the day, with a secondary honor of Baseless Moral Indignation Rambling.  The prize?  A spot on my ignore list.


 

Shouldn't you be in bed by now?  Don't want to miss the short bus tomorrow.

The average income wasn't anywhere near $30k  It was more along the lines of $1,300
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:13:12 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Also, the ratio of housing cost to the median income was EXTRAORDINARILY lower.  A 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom rambler like the ones built in the post WWII housing boom was under $30,000 easily.  That was also close to the average yearly salary for either a moderately skilled tradesman or a professional employee that had advanced past entry level.


What post-war years are you talking about? In the early 60s a 10K a year job was considered doing well, according to my dad. That would put that 30K house at about three years worth of salary, a price thats still easily obtainable in my area.


You can get a house in NY for $30,000 today? Holy shit, that's insane. In my area, the average house price is over one million dollars, and that's the average (and I don't live in some fancy area either where every house is three levels and nine thousand square feet). My parents paid $150,000 for our house in 1993, and they could sell it today for $950,000 easily.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:19:57 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Also, the ratio of housing cost to the median income was EXTRAORDINARILY lower.  A 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom rambler like the ones built in the post WWII housing boom was under $30,000 easily.  That was also close to the average yearly salary for either a moderately skilled tradesman or a professional employee that had advanced past entry level.


What post-war years are you talking about? In the early 60s a 10K a year job was considered doing well, according to my dad. That would put that 30K house at about three years worth of salary, a price thats still easily obtainable in my area.


You can get a house in NY for $30,000 today? Holy shit, that's insane. In my area, the average house price is over one million dollars, and that's the average (and I don't live in some fancy area either where every house is three levels and nine thousand square feet). My parents paid $150,000 for our house in 1993, and they could sell it today for $950,000 easily.


He wasn't saying $30k he was saying 3 years salary.

Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:21:47 PM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Also, the ratio of housing cost to the median income was EXTRAORDINARILY lower.  A 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom rambler like the ones built in the post WWII housing boom was under $30,000 easily.  That was also close to the average yearly salary for either a moderately skilled tradesman or a professional employee that had advanced past entry level.


What post-war years are you talking about? In the early 60s a 10K a year job was considered doing well, according to my dad. That would put that 30K house at about three years worth of salary, a price thats still easily obtainable in my area.


You can get a house in NY for $30,000 today? Holy shit, that's insane. In my area, the average house price is over one million dollars, and that's the average (and I don't live in some fancy area either where every house is three levels and nine thousand square feet). My parents paid $150,000 for our house in 1993, and they could sell it today for $950,000 easily.


He wasn't saying $30k he was saying 3 years salary.



Ah, pardon my sleep-deprivation-induced idiocy. That's still nowhere near close to my area - average wage is around $60,000, average house is $1,000,000.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:22:24 PM EDT
Quoted:
You can get a house in NY for $30,000 today? Holy shit, that's insane. In my area, the average house price is over one million dollars, and that's the average (and I don't live in some fancy area either where every house is three levels and nine thousand square feet). My parents paid $150,000 for our house in 1993, and they could sell it today for $950,000 easily.


I meant that the ratio of 3 years salary for a starter home is still obtainable. Not Downstate, and not a great home by any means, but its still in the range for parts of upstate.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:25:05 PM EDT
I firmly believe that the difference isn't so much in the amount of money made, but how the money is/was spent.  Compare your grandparents spending habits with those of modern society, and the difference is astonishing.  Take my grandfather for instance.  He never bought anything he couldn't pay for outright.  Period.  If he couldn't afford it, he made do without it.  Its a concept completely lost on our current generation, who pay for virtually everything on credit.  Food, gas, TV's, its all bought on credit.  No one seems to have the discipline anymore to control their spending.  Debt, just a couple of generations ago, had a negative stigma attached to it to the point that it would bring shame to a family.  Now, its accepted as the norm.  You have credit card debts.  School debts.  Car loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, etc, etc, etc.  No one seems to care that they struggle at the brink of bankruptcy month to month, just as long as they have their flat screen TV's and 200 channels.  

Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:32:53 PM EDT
Lots of good answers here.

Back in the early 90s I was babbling to my dad about how good it was in the early 50s.  He didn't think so, like he said, back then people worked very hard for very little.  

People have a lot more today than they did back then.  If families stayed together today, like they did back then, people would be doing far better today than they are.  But still, people are doing extremely well today, this in spite of the existence of democrat culture, which turns to shit everything it touches.



Imagine a democrat free world.  



Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:39:02 PM EDT
Quoted:
Another thing about my grandpa.  He knew how to fix things.  And his eldest son, my uncle who recently passed away, could fix ANYTHING.  I have learned this ethic or it might be in my genes.  We have specialized our way into extinction.  

Aldus Huxley was right in his dystopic novel Brave New World.  Shucking child rearing to mass production via day care, pre-kinder, free meals at school, after school care and mostly, the destruction of the family has ruined our society.

Sure, such activities increase the velocity of the money supply but at what cost?  The Duggars feed their family for less than $4 a day per person.  THAT is how they are able to have 20 children.  20 well-adjusted, proper children who will not drag society down.  But the idiots here like to ridicule this family.


I am 48 years old.
My wife hasn't worked since the first kid was born, 20 years next Friday and five children ago.

The house is paid for.  The cars are paid for.
We cook all our meals from scratch.  I do most of the cooking, and I'm pretty darned good at it.

We home-school our kids.  I teach them to be comfortable in the woods, the fields, the garden.
We kill our own meat (some of it) and raise our own chickens and eggs.

We make our own bread and pizza.

Cast our own bullets, and load our own ammo.

Heinlein would be proud, I think.
Except that I am a ruling elder in a conservative Presbyterian church.  No "free sex" or incest here.

Just thought I would share.

ETA:  I make less than 50K and I am basically crippled.  I keep working, and won't accept a handicapped parking placard, much less the disability the doctor offered.  We also have more than 2 years pay in the bank/401K.

Yeah, doing OK compared to most.
Link Posted: 4/24/2011 11:50:20 PM EDT
Quoted:
I firmly believe that the difference isn't so much in the amount of money made, but how the money is/was spent.  Compare your grandparents spending habits with those of modern society, and the difference is astonishing.  Take my grandfather for instance.  He never bought anything he couldn't pay for outright.  Period.  If he couldn't afford it, he made do without it.  Its a concept completely lost on our current generation, who pay for virtually everything on credit.  Food, gas, TV's, its all bought on credit.  No one seems to have the discipline anymore to control their spending.  Debt, just a couple of generations ago, had a negative stigma attached to it to the point that it would bring shame to a family.  Now, its accepted as the norm.  You have credit card debts.  School debts.  Car loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, etc, etc, etc.  No one seems to care that they struggle at the brink of bankruptcy month to month, just as long as they have their flat screen TV's and 200 channels.  



THIS!!!

Rampant consumerism.  This keeping up with the Jones' crap.

Just an off hand question.  How many people do you know, that had a perfectly functional TV that was stereo and had sat/cable capabilities that just "had" to go out and buy a flat screen TV...or HDTV, ad nauseum.

We don't use something until it is not working or repairable anymore.  If it is broke, we buy another one....even if the first one wasn't paid for yet (increase in personal debt even farther).
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 12:06:58 AM EDT
Yeah, so?
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 12:09:23 AM EDT



Quoted:



Quoted:

I firmly believe that the difference isn't so much in the amount of money made, but how the money is/was spent.  Compare your grandparents spending habits with those of modern society, and the difference is astonishing.  Take my grandfather for instance.  He never bought anything he couldn't pay for outright.  Period.  If he couldn't afford it, he made do without it.  Its a concept completely lost on our current generation, who pay for virtually everything on credit.  Food, gas, TV's, its all bought on credit.  No one seems to have the discipline anymore to control their spending.  Debt, just a couple of generations ago, had a negative stigma attached to it to the point that it would bring shame to a family.  Now, its accepted as the norm.  You have credit card debts.  School debts.  Car loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, etc, etc, etc.  No one seems to care that they struggle at the brink of bankruptcy month to month, just as long as they have their flat screen TV's and 200 channels.  







THIS!!!



Rampant consumerism.  This keeping up with the Jones' crap.



Just an off hand question.  How many people do you know, that had a perfectly functional TV that was stereo and had sat/cable capabilities that just "had" to go out and buy a flat screen TV...or HDTV, ad nauseum.



We don't use something until it is not working or repairable anymore.  If it is broke, we buy another one....even if the first one wasn't paid for yet (increase in personal debt even farther).


Exactly.  We don't see our standard of living increasing.  Yet it is.  50 years ago, if your penis failed to get hard when you were 55, you just dealt with that loss.  80 years ago, we didn't have antibiotics.  Infections were lethal.  My great grandfather survived a snake bite.  But he died from an infected cut a few years later.
 
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 12:09:58 AM EDT
Quoted:
Quoted:
I firmly believe that the difference isn't so much in the amount of money made, but how the money is/was spent.  Compare your grandparents spending habits with those of modern society, and the difference is astonishing.  Take my grandfather for instance.  He never bought anything he couldn't pay for outright.  Period.  If he couldn't afford it, he made do without it.  Its a concept completely lost on our current generation, who pay for virtually everything on credit.  Food, gas, TV's, its all bought on credit.  No one seems to have the discipline anymore to control their spending.  Debt, just a couple of generations ago, had a negative stigma attached to it to the point that it would bring shame to a family.  Now, its accepted as the norm.  You have credit card debts.  School debts.  Car loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, etc, etc, etc.  No one seems to care that they struggle at the brink of bankruptcy month to month, just as long as they have their flat screen TV's and 200 channels.  



THIS!!!

Rampant consumerism.  This keeping up with the Jones' crap.

Just an off hand question.  How many people do you know, that had a perfectly functional TV that was stereo and had sat/cable capabilities that just "had" to go out and buy a flat screen TV...or HDTV, ad nauseum.

We don't use something until it is not working or repairable anymore.  If it is broke, we buy another one....even if the first one wasn't paid for yet (increase in personal debt even farther).


Agreed. We live in a "disposable" world now. Everything from microwaves to marriages are disposable. Everything is a want rather than a need. They even make appliances to be purposely non-user serviceable these days. (a lot of it is of course because of the semi-conducter micro chip) I'm just old enough to remember the tube testers that used to sit in the corner of every hardware and grocery store. If the TV set quit working, pops would just take the tubes into the store, test them and replace the burnt out ones.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 12:10:18 AM EDT
As much as I hate consumerism, I wouldn't want to live my father's childhood, let alone my grandfather's. My dad had a lot of hopes and dreams which were never realized, something as seemingly simple as joining the Boy Scouts was completely out of his reach because his family couldn't afford the uniform, and not for a lack of my grandfather's trying. When you take off the rose colored glasses, the past is often not as great as one likes to think of it, although there certainly were some good aspects.



There's a balance to be found between the (literally) dirt poor generation of our grandparents and the keeping up with the Jonses generation of our parents.

Link Posted: 4/25/2011 12:18:05 AM EDT



Quoted:


Smoke a joint and quit worrying.



The giant spaghetti monster will take care of your child support payments.


Fascinating hypothesis.  It does seem odd the fall in the family has chronological order with the rise in the consumption of recreational pharmaceuticals.



You know what else has this pattern?  Paranoid conspiracy kooks.  One of the first is the JFK crap.  



 
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 12:26:07 AM EDT
When you take off the rose colored glasses, the past is often not as great as one likes to think of it, although there certainly were some good aspects.


This is certainly true.  We are afforded a standard of living that wasn't even dreamed of 60 years ago.  We have more leisure time than would have been imagined after the war, and we have more opportunities than any generation prior.  So, what do we do with all our newfound benefits?  We sqaunder away in debt over silly and materialistic wants.  

Link Posted: 4/25/2011 12:36:12 AM EDT
You could easily now if you want to. People make more now.



The median household income in 1950 was $3319. In 2010 dollars that is $29,725.



The median household income in 2009 was $49,777. But I know the naysayers will say that is 2 earner. So we will use the median for a single full time earner, which was

$36,837 in 2009. $36,800 is higher than $29,700. And the 1950 income has the 2 earner (which there were some of) included in it.



In 1950 the average house size was 1100 sq ft. With 4-8 people living in it.
They had one car.



They had one telephone.



They had maybe one TV.



They had 1, maybe 2, radios.
They did NOT have...



A dryer



An air conditioner



A microwave



A dishwasher



A computer



Internet



Cable TV



DVD player



MP3 player



A cell phone, and most definately not one for each person
If you want to live 1950s style it would be EASY to support a family of 4-6 on $36,000.





But we want the greater luxury avaliable to us now, which was not avaliable to our parents and grandparents.





Move to an 1100 sq ft house. Dump the cell phone, cable, any other monthly expenses other than basic phone, sell your extra car, all your electronics, dryer, and microwave and don't run your air conditioner or dishwasher at all.



See how much money you will have extra every month.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 1:27:40 AM EDT
This has been a very interesting thread.

I can't add much because I believe a lot of the problems have been hit on. Some of us just rank or prioritize those points differently.

The clues are in going back and taking a look at America back then and listening to the people (as many have) who have lived a simpler life with all the bells and whistles that today, we are pressured to acquire.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 1:38:58 AM EDT
I know I save a boat load every month by not having a cell phone.



I can't believe the money people spend upgrading to the latest smart phone every year, monthly data plans etc.



Most of the conversations I hear occuring on cell phones is just mindless drivel anyways.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 1:44:41 AM EDT

World War II saw women take over jobs as "Rosie the Riveter" while the men were off fighting. When they came back, couples decided "Hey! Wait a minute! If she keeps working we have almost twice as much income" and fortunately the post-war boom supported it.

Unfortunately, like nature, Madison Avenue abhors a vacuum. It didn't take long for prices and merchandise availability to figure out how to separate these two income households from their surplus cash. Eventually, that cash transitioned from being used for luxuries.

Now it has almost become a necessity to just obtain the basics.

Of course, we all have a lot more "stuff" than our parents and grandparents did as well.

Link Posted: 4/25/2011 1:45:57 AM EDT
I will just flat out dispute that old people retired with plenty of money "back in the day."  The majority of people worked until ill-health forced them to stop, and then they were taken care of by their children.  Retirement was probably rocking on your kids front porch yelling at your grand kids.  The end of extended family living, largely as a result of Social Security,  has probably been one of the root causes for children growing up with no connection to traditional mores.

That being said, I'm pretty glad I don't have any old people living in my house.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 1:52:35 AM EDT
It's still very possible to be a one income family.  If my wife and I are ever able to have kids, she would like to stay home and be a SAHM.  And we could afford to do it.  We could also afford for her to work at her current job with me staying home, but that would seem weird for both of us.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 2:32:31 AM EDT
My grandparents as well as my parents are/will be dependent on ss/those around them.  Sucks for my parents, I won't be living up to their "expectations".

I still don't understand the fascination with the post ww2 era.  It wasn't the people who made things "good", it was the circumstances.  The older people of the post war era brought us FDR.  The young ones raised the baby boomers.  Awesome job, fellas.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 2:36:55 AM EDT
Buying power has somewhat diminished, but there's a lot more shit that we suddenly "need."

When I was growing up, there were no

1) Cell Phones (~$80/month)
2) Internet (~$40/month)
3) Cable TV (~$40/month)

That's $160 per month in subscriptions. And I know for a fact that I get off easy on these three compared to the rest of the country...
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 2:56:30 AM EDT
Simple - inflation. Try US Fed inflation calculator and check - from 1950 to 2011 inflation equals 827.2%. Going back to 1913 when Fed was chartered inflation equals 2157.2%. These are the Fed's numbers, in reality it's even worse.





There hasn't been a real rise in wages against inflation for roughly 20 years - if anything we've lost a lot of ground when factoring in - starting with they did not pay $1k month for Medical Insurance. Earlier generations got the benefit of watching homes purchased for 20K in the 50's appreciate to nearly 200K, Want to believe that the same 200K home purchased in 2011 will appreciate to about 1.6 million come retirement time? That's a huge chunk of equity, no way will that happen. Well it might, but bread / milk will run about $100 per loaf / per gallon. We are lucky enough to be alive at the end of the line, wonderful.
 
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 3:10:34 AM EDT




Quoted:

they didn't do wtupid things like buy too big or expensive of a house that ate up all their income every month. They saved up enough money to get a cheap mortgage allowing them to afford their children and their retirement plans.



They also didn't do stupid shit like spend all of their income on shit they didn't need. Kids wore hand me downs even if they could afford new clothes. You didn't have a tv for every room and you didn't pay 150 a month for a family smart phone plan because your land line worked just fine(and cell phones didn't exist)



They didn't spend outrageous amounts of money for clothing just so they could point out what brand they were wearing. Mom had a couple of nice dresses and dad had a couple of nice suits but day to day clothing wasn't a priority.



They cooked at home to keep costs down.



They didn't pay other people to do things they can easily do themselves with a little bit of work.



They didn't think health insurance is supposed to cover every god damned thing on the planet and had higher deductibles and only serious injury was covered saving thousands of dollar a year (government is attempting to make this type of health plan illegal so that wont be an option if obamacare stands)



They didn't buy a brand new car until their cars stopped running and were no longer worth fixing because the resale value was lower than the repair costs.



They didn't borrow against their house. They payed off their houses leaving several decades of wages without high living costs allowing them to bucckle down and save or invest to make their retirement even more comfortable.





stuff like that.





Some of us still live that way and will be able to retire and raise our kids pretty comfortable on an average or below average income.



Inflation is only a small part of the problem . The problem is people have forgotten the difference between a want and a need in life and no longer look into the future and what they want out of it when making day to day decisions with their money.









  All of this. Also, they believed in paying cash for most of the things they bought. They saved their money. Nowadays, people hardly hear of such a thing but it was common practice for a long time that if you couldn't save your money and buy it, then you

just couldn't afford it. Except for maybe a home, but that was mostly it. In the cashless society we live in now, everything goes on the credit card and people get consumed by overbearing interest rates, swallowing them in anendless cycle of debt.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 3:11:33 AM EDT
Personal responsibily has been socially engineered out of American culture.






Link Posted: 4/25/2011 3:13:42 AM EDT
I was born in the early '50s. My Dad worked, but my mother really never did,and they did all right raising three kids, but you have to understand a bit more about life back then. We had one (used) car. One B&W TV. I think maybe two radios. Not much in the way of appliances in the kitchen-no dishwasher or garbage disposal,for sure. No cable TV,no internet,no video games-we played outside. The clothes dryer was a line outside. you changed out of your 'school clothes' when you got home from school. Our house was small, with just one bathroom for all of us.
  As far as food,we NEVER ate fast food. I probably had pizza maybe two times before I was in college. Going to McDonalds was a rare treat. We never had pop around the house-usually we got a bit to drink around the holidays when family came to visit. we ate home-cooked meals, and carried our tin lunchboxes with baloney sandwiches to school every day.
  Since everyone else in the neighborhood lived the same way, we were not poor or deprived-this was life in America in the '50s. Our cities and towns were filled with factories,and a man could make a decent living. Our neighbors worked for places like bendix and Wheel Horse, and my Dad worked as an Architect, specializing in designing the schools that were popping up everywhere as a result of the baby boom. Times were indeed very good.
 Could you live this way now? My wife came from another country, and we lived a slightly better version of the above for many,many years to save a comfortable amount,but both of us working have only amassed what my Dad had accumulated in the years he was the only one working (my mother is re-doing her will, and told me what they have in the way of money and stocks-I was more than a little shocked at how much it was). We paid cash for everything, never went on vacations,and have very little in the way of electronics in our house. I got laughed at when I happened to mention that I was still taping stuff with a VCR. We were lucky to get a house before prices took a big swing up,and we paid it off in 10 years. By then, house prices had climbed so high that we paid off our second home with the proceed from selling the first. I don't pay anyone to do something I can do,and since I was a Skilled Tradesman, there isn't much I can't do.  You would find that living a '50s lifestyle today would be a very,very difficult thing to do.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 3:16:25 AM EDT
Work ethic.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 3:18:24 AM EDT
Victorgonzales has it right.

You CAN still make it: all about choices.

You don't NEED all the crap everyone WANTS, or more to the point, think they DESERVE!

It is harder these days, but it is doable.
Again, all about choices.
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 3:22:51 AM EDT
Quoted:
You could easily now if you want to. People make more now.

The median household income in 1950 was $3319. In 2010 dollars that is $29,725.

The median household income in 2009 was $49,777. But I know the naysayers will say that is 2 earner. So we will use the median for a single full time earner, which was
$36,837 in 2009. $36,800 is higher than $29,700. And the 1950 income has the 2 earner (which there were some of) included in it.

In 1950 the average house size was 1100 sq ft. With 4-8 people living in it.



They had one car.

They had one telephone.

They had maybe one TV.

They had 1, maybe 2, radios.






They did NOT have...

A dryer

An air conditioner

A microwave

A dishwasher

A computer

Internet

Cable TV

DVD player

MP3 player

A cell phone, and most definately not one for each person




If you want to live 1950s style it would be EASY to support a family of 4-6 on $36,000.


But we want the greater luxury avaliable to us now, which was not avaliable to our parents and grandparents.


Move to an 1100 sq ft house. Dump the cell phone, cable, any other monthly expenses other than basic phone, sell your extra car, all your electronics, dryer, and microwave and don't run your air conditioner or dishwasher at all.

See how much money you will have extra every month.


Exactly . The luxury items alone that we get to keep up with the Jonses are ridiculous . Add in the landscaper's fees , gym memberships , sat radio subscription , homeowners association fees , security monitoring at home , On Star subscription , hair and nail salons , etc, etc
Link Posted: 4/25/2011 3:23:39 AM EDT
My late father wasted one hell of a lot of money in his life due to slowly creeping senile dementia that everyone just dismissed as him being his usual eccentric self.  Fortunately he was also a product of the Depression and did more positive things that offset most of the wastage.  



At the end he had over 90 magazine subscriptions.  Every time a card fell out of a magazine he was reading or he received some offer in the mail he sent off a check.  Some magazines were prepaid for the next 10 years or so, longer than he would live.



After he passed, my sister took on the task of identifying each subscription and getting it cancelled and a refund for the balance if possible.  Only a few magazines refused to refund the unused balance but she still managed to recover about $950 from them.



There were many other bizarre wastage episodes.  One day sister and BIL were helping him clean out a shed and found 14 big bags of Kingsford charcoal briquets.  They knew he grilled a lot but only used electric grills for decades.  Why so much charcoal?  "WalMart had it on sale cheap".  It wasn't survivalist preps at all but simply a Depression poor boy stocking up on supplies that he could get cheap.



They would save every bread wrapper and plastic food container but would spend thousands on things they didn't need or couldn't even use.  He had 2 cars, 2 pickups, and an RV.  Each had a designated purpose and usage and was limited to that defined usage.  They donated thousands of their SS and pension dollars to every single charity and Republican fund raiser that stuck their hands out.  Getting all that mailing list crap turned off was a major ordeal and there are still occasional calls and mailings 8 years after he passed.



In short, my parents did a lot more right than they did foolishly, and the foolish stuff was a byproduct of both long term creeping senile dementia and being Depression kids who didn't have jack shit until WW2 opened up doors of economic opportunity.



My grandparents never got off the sharecropper type farms, and died on them.


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