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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Are We Better Off Today Than In The Fifties?

After a downright gorgeous day yesterday, we got some grey skies, some wind and some rain today. But that didn’t deter us from inviting friends for coffee and having a few fast passing hours with lively conversations. I had made a peach roll and they brought a chocolate cake. I love chocolate cake! But my roll turned out pretty good as well. In fact, here I am sitting and the clock is almost 8pm and I could imagine to have a 2. taste of it.

I have always wondered whether most people were better off financially in the Fifties than today. And I asked that question to our American neighbours this afternoon. I hadn’t to wait very long for the answer. They confirmed what I had thought all along. Back in the Fifties most families had only one person earning the income and it was enough to make a decent living. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all income levels but the average  income seemed to be sufficient. Where I grew up, in Germany, it was the same. One income was enough. Daycare wasn’t invented yet because there was no need and kids were taught by their parents not anyone being hired to take care of them. Socially, there were less problems than today.

Today in many cases, not even 2 incomes of an average family are enough to make ends meet.

What happened? 

Generally, wages and salaries have been pretty much at a stand-still for 20 years, in reality going down as costs of living has gone up tremendously. Bea had a wage of $15 in 2002 when working at a travel agency. Today, 14 years later wages are still the same. In some parts of Canada they are even less now for the same job.  This is the fast track to creating an increasing  degree of poverty. And it is all aided by government and multinational companies. A nearby very fashionable hotel owned by Marriot is paying a mere $10.65 for most of their employees, except management. Consequently, very little income taxes are paid resulting in a very poor public economy.
A stay at that hotel is in the range of $250-400/night. You do the math!

Something has to change, and if one wants to avoid serious consequences, it has to change fast.

Just my little Saturday rant!


  1. Good post! U are so right on the changes and differences. I live on Canada's west coast and even a family of 2 without children can't afford anything larger than an 850 sqft Condo. My parents bought their house in the 60's on a "rent to own" basis but they paid it off before they bought anything else new. No new cars, no trips and no credit cards. Our neighbor when I was growing up was the same. He drove nothing until he could afford to pay for it with cash.
    The mentality of saving just isn't the same anymore due to the higher costs of living and wages remaining so low.
    Sad really.

  2. Good way to make the point. I completely agree.

  3. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing and useful too. I'm sure in another 25 or 35 years, folks now in their 20's and 30's will look back at today wistfully and think times were better then.

    Personally, I feel better off and more comfortable today with all the wonderful communication tools we have as well as having universal health care and few other necessities of life that just weren't around in the 1950's. I still recall iceboxes, coal furnaces etc.


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