Friday, April 19, 2013

Richard Russell on the Long Term Decline in the Standard of Living: He remembers when wives didn't have to work.

The dean of newsletter writers, Richard Russell writes:
I can see it already. When I was a kid of 16 years of age, my father brought home all the money we needed to live a good life in Manhattan. My mom stayed home with the kids. We had a maid and a cook, and we went out to a restaurant every Sunday. In contrast, today it takes a man and his mate both working full time to live the same way. A typical family can't send their younger child to a private school, and they can't afford to send their older child to a private university. A family can't afford to have a maid to do the housework, and a cook certainly isn't in the budget. Believe me, the American standard of living has declined since I was 16. Furthermore, in "the old days," families usually were able to save. Today, few families have much in the way of savings, if, indeed, they have any savings at all. Finally, when I was 16 our family didn't have any debt. Everything we possessed was paid for in cash. We had a small summer vacation home in Connecticut paid for in cash – no mortgage. Today everybody with a home has a mortgage. In the old days, when somebody paid off his mortgage, they would have mortgage parties to celebrate that rare event. During the 1930s and 40s, debt was a dirty word.

Well there's no sense going on forever with this exercise. My point is that living standards have declined since I was a boy of 16. And my prediction is that living standards will accelerate to the downside in coming years.
Indeed, they will. There's a long chain of government regulations and other government interferences that have caused the decline in the standard of living. The amount of regulations and other government interferences have intensified in recent years and will make things even worse for most.

Obamacare is going to be a real living standard destroyer for many. The regulations in that Act have not been thought out and are going to suffocate many firms and employees. Couple Obamacare with the general propensity for Congress to regulate and only the very clever will live well. For the rest it will be a slow movement toward life like it is in that left wing regulated bastion, San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

No comments:

Post a Comment