Friday, November 13, 2015

Living high

I just got back from a bike ride to the Baskin-Robbins store where I bought a hot fudge sundae. At the table next to me was a young man and his 3-year old daughter. He told me that he had picked up his daughter from day-care and they both decided to get an ice cream treat.

I mentioned how much more complicated life is now than when I was a 3-year old back in 1940. Our house then was a 2-bedroom, 1-bath with a one car garage. We had only one car. My father worked and my mom stayed home taking care of her home and children. None of the mothers of my friends had a working type job back then.

This man told me that both he and his wife work, and that they are barely making out financially. We both have to work he confessed. We can't make-out any other way.

I wondered to myself how it came to pass that families decided that they needed two cars, a big house and a lot of credit card debt?


  1. Yesterday I randomly watched this horse video. I realized the houses looked awfully familiar. I live in SLC, UT and the valley is chock full of these mansions. A couple of times I had to go through places like this to get from one type of public transportation to another. Block after block after block of these HUGE houses. The garages are bigger than where I live. Unlike in this video, the area around these places during the day are eerily empty. No cars, no kids, no visible people except landcapers. Everybody is working like crazy to afford to live there. I don't get it.

  2. My hairdresser has lived in a trailer for years. We had a discussion about it once. She said she would like to have a house, but no way was she willing to trade her life for a house. That is exactly what so many people are doing. We have the same thing here in the DFW area. Huge mansions that are empty much of the time because the "owners" are paying for them with their lives. Makes no sense.

  3. It seems everyone wants more and more. If people could separate their needs from their wants maybe parents could spend more time with their children.

  4. Yep, the power of advertising. Have you noticed they are not called credit cards any longer? These banks are clever

  5. We have a homebase (2 bedroom/1 bath) with a covered RV port & an enclosed car garage. When you live in an RV 6 to 8 mos a year you learn about STUFF & how it can rule your life. We downsized after years in a larger house & love the smaller version of us and our stuff. This younger generation is seduced by ads & a need for MORE. They are like hamsters on an exercise wheel. Forever running to nowhere. Sad.

  6. I don't think reckless consumption is to blame. There are too many who work full-time and can barely afford food and rent let alone a car. Back in the 50s and 60s union membership was high and that kept wages high enough that mostly anyone working a full-time job could afford a decent life. The middle-class used to get about most of the national income, but as union membership declined most income has gone instead to the top 1%. Since 2008 fully 95% of income gains have gone to the top 1% and middle class income has stagnated. More on that here: