Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Growing Poorer

No change there.

Far from our having grown richer since 1979, we have in fact grown vastly poorer: only a generation ago, a single manual wage provided the wage-earner, his wife and their several children with a quality of life unimaginable even on two professional salaries today.

This impoverishment has been so rapid and so extreme that most people, including almost all politicians and commentators, simply refuse to acknowledge that it has happened. But it has indeed happened.

And it is still going on.

1 comment:

John said...

Great post. I imagine that personal debt and technology have also helped to mask this trend, at least up until now. I always cringe when people say that the poor are not really poor because they can afford iPhones.

Yes, many fun consumer goods are now relatively affordable, however the basics of life, such as housing and medical care (at least in the U.S.), are now much more expensive.

Also, as you point out, households have to send more people to work (the wife and sometimes the kids too) and work more hours just to stay afloat.

So when one looks at the big picture, yes, people are definitely worse off, and this is reflected in things like more family breakdown, lower marriage rates, more kids doing drugs, more mental and physical health problems because of extreme stress, etc.