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U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline

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U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline

http://money.cnn.com/2007/05/25/pf/mobility_study/index.htm

The study is among the first to confirm empirically what we've already known for some time anecdotally: American workers now are paid less, in real purchasing power, than they were paid in the Seventies. The study documents a 12% loss in wages between 1974 and 2004.

I figure this is germane to credit because one of the first things a person or group of people does when faced with declining income is to supplement that reduced income with credit cards...
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in a credit-scoring postnuclear Stone Age...
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Senior Contributor

Re: U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline

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New Contributor

Re: U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline

Meh. The contemporary US citizen is among the most privileged, pampered, minuscule percentage of humans that ever walked the planet in all of history.
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Senior Contributor

Re: U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline



taz wrote:
Meh. The contemporary US citizen is among the most privileged, pampered, minuscule percentage of humans that ever walked the planet in all of history.


At least up until 1974.
 
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Valued Contributor

Re: U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline



@taz wrote:
Meh. The contemporary US citizen is among the most privileged, pampered, minuscule percentage of humans that ever walked the planet in all of history.




Privileged? Perhaps. The average American certainly has more opportunity to excel than most people in the world.

Pampered? I would say not. Americans work very hard for the standard of living this nation has achieved. Somehow most of western Europe has close to our standard of living, yet gets six weeks of vacation a year.

Minuscule? The population of America today is around 300 million people--I'd hardly call that minuscule. A minority perhaps, but then again any nation--even China--contains less than 50% of the world's population, and is thus a minority.

What is more instructive is to consider why America became the world's most powerful and prosperous society. The popular answer in some circles is divine ordination or sheer luck, to which I say, "Hogwash!" America is what is it because of:

1) Limited government, with a Constitution and Bill of Rights, using a republican form of government with a strong democratic underpinning;

2) Private ownership of property and at least most means of production;

3) A spiritual code that emphasizes the value of labor, fair play, and personal and corporate morality;

4) A world-class educational system accessible to all citizens; and

5) A currency backed by metal, and thus resistant to prolonged periods of inflation and devaluation through fiat money, speculation, and deficit spending.

Note that we don't have all of these in America anymore: #5 is gone, and the rest are getting pretty shaky in places. And as they go, so goes America.
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in a credit-scoring postnuclear Stone Age...
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Senior Contributor

Re: U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline

6) Our military can kick the a** of any other military today, and I suspect our military could easily take the next two most powerful militaries--China and Russia--at the same time if they ever decided to show up on our shores.
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New Contributor

Re: U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline

I agree with much of what you say, Noah. I meant "minuscule" as measured against the vast history of time, populations and cultures on Earth. In our own little snapshot of time and place, we are still doing pretty well.
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Senior Contributor

Re: U.S. Standard of Living Officially in Decline



taz wrote:
In our own little snapshot of time and place, we are still doing pretty well.


I agree, but I also agree with the story posted and see that we're on a downward spiral despite all the "good news" about how well "the economy" is doing.
 
I hear the carping tantamount to "Things are going so well that if they ain't good for you then you're just lazy, need to pay your bills, and you need to work harder." In fact people are working harder, they're getting paid less, the price of many fixed costs (like housing and healthcare) are way up (inflation adjusted) even though incomes are down (inflation adjusted), they have less financial security as pensions and other rewards for employee loyalty give way to offshoring and layoffs as a way to boost a company's financials to Wall Street pinheads, and consumer spending has been flat over the last 20 odd years (not up like the DaveRamseyites and others might have us believe).
 
To economists expressing surprise that people are increasingly dependent on CCs I say, "Well duh."
 
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