Were people a few decades ago really able to afford a house, a car and two kids on a single income?

  1. I would say in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and early 70s, yes it was really common. In the late 70s it started to change and has been getting tougher ever since to do it that way. It is mostly out of reach for the average wage earner to accomplish this (but not in all areas of the country - just most of them).

  2. My grandfather operated a motograter building roads and highways for the state in the 40s thru 80s. He couldn't read. He could barely write. He could do numbers, add and subtract.

  3. This messed up my parents bad, who had their first kid in 1977 and the second in 1980. They tried doing the house and car and family on a single income and it blew up badly.. ended up with a bankruptcy by 1982. After that both parents were working.

  4. The major change happened in the 80s with Reagan and trickle down economics..meaning " huge tax cuts for the rich then expecting working class to make up for it while simultaneously outsourcing good paying manufacturing jobs overseas". What could go wrong?. It blows my mind these rich Republicans can't be rich without the working class but are doing everything to eliminate us.

  5. Funny how this relates to the end of the gold standard circa 1971. We allowed mony to move from rich to poor by printing more and only lending it to those who already had lots.

  6. Yep, my Dad raised 4 kids and had a wife, 4 bedroom house, two cars -One was a company car and my mom drove us around in a old beater- 1970's. It all fell apart in the 1980's everyone started to need two incomes to survive. We had all the toys (camper, boat, etc) but nothing was new actually pretty beat up. Also the schools had music classes that included all the instruments, field trips, and a science class with all the critters P.E. with all the equipment, pools, etc. This was NOT a rich area and it was very diverse. We didn't know it was as good as it was going to get. Northern California in the 1970's.

  7. Just one comment, new cars are almost always cheaper now than in the past. Accounting for inflation most new cars are cheaper then their comparative past counterpart. On top of that the life cycle cost is way down when considering decreased repair cost and longer life

  8. Don't forget that at the time, it was also uncommon for women to be working (though it was quickly changing). So now your average family has two income earners instead of one... so now the acceptable price starts going up.

  9. I’d also add several things to your list. Cellphones and internet/cable are almost if not completely necessary in todays modern world. Those two expenses alone cost me personally almost $300 per month. These expenses are still relatively new in todays society but are often overlooked. Not nearly as bad as some other examples you point out but figured I’d at this piece as I feel it is very important in this type of conversation.

  10. You touched on a housing issue there. A reason many new houses are so large and expensive is the incentive to build. If contractors can make x percent more over small houses then that's what they'll build.

  11. Dang. This sounds a lot like what my great grandpa was telling me when he was complaining about all his boomer kids.

  12. America was an accidental superpower after WWII because every major industrial center outside of the was bombed flat.

  13. God's not a capitalist, we are. And the rich people we allow to be in charge. All this shit, and by that I mean the economy we just... make up. But otherwise yeah, spot on.

  14. What I surmised from that is: America is like a big mean cheerleader who picks on the fat girl trying out for the squad. Then the fat girl loses weight and becomes a team captain through hard work but the big mean cheerleader spreads lies (propaganda) that the fat girl has stds because she's bitter and jealous.

  15. Okay but those smaller houses are still around and they’re still overpriced. My parents bought a starter home 30 years ago and the value of that home has still outpaced wages significantly.

  16. Even buying a home built in the 1920s today, that is small and even falling apart still hardly makes it affordable. Used car is an option, hell, I could skip running water and electricity and wouldn't be all that much closer to the goal.

  17. Also medical care wasn't expensive because a lot of it didn't really exist. If your problem couldn't be fixed with penicillin or laying in a hospital bed for awhile then you pretty much just died.

  18. It's a really interesting conversation, I think there are two sides to this. First of all you're right, our lives now are more convenient/luxurious than any human alive like 200 years ago and even compared to 50 years ago there's a big difference.

  19. Must depend on where you live. I grew up in a house bigger than most others I have lived in, mortgaged and maintained on a single income of a lorry driver. Three kids to boot. They ran two cars, a motorbike and a boat. Went on holidays, nights out, had hobbies.

  20. To your first point about the size of houses. My house is 150 years old. I bought it 8 years ago. I paid $200,000 for it. My next door neighbour whose house is an equivalent size just sold her house for $600,000.

  21. Excellent points. When I was kid in late 70s, we didn't have nice cars or a big house or nice TVs. We got cable TV for a short time in 1981 when MTV first started. We played outside with neighborhood kids to pass the time. Very, very simple life with zero traveling or vacations. My family was the norm, then.

  22. Nah. I was young in the 70s and 80s, and nearly every family could buy a house and a decent car, all on one blue collar salary. There's no way in the world my daughter can do that, even in a two in one household. Housing prices are so high, it's impossible unless both spouses are doctors or other high paying jobs. Even a little two bedroom house is out of reach for most.

  23. My new car just took a shit on me and it was easier, cheaper and faster to get my old Jeep running - that hasn’t been started in two years- than it was to even try and diagnose my new car. These new cars are like fucking space ships, insane safety features, everything’s got a relay, module and sensor… so of course they’re more expensive. It’s a bummer though. I moved to a low cost of living area 4 years ago and have never been happier.

  24. This is the best answer. Was talking to my dad about this the other day who’s been in the industry all his life, he said that times have changed and people aren’t willing to buy a small starter home that needs fixing up, people today prefer move-in ready, four bedrooms, and garage since people don’t just have one car per family anymore. This is just one part of the problem though, another part of the problem is developers have to build bigger on small plots just to get a return investment since plots are getting so expensive. Again just one take here.

  25. Growing up I only knew one family where the parents had a walk-in closet. Now, every home has a walk-in closet the size of a bedroom. They were also the only family I knew with a master bathroom. Everyone else had one that the whole family shared. (Maybe a half-bath somewhere else in the house, but that was usually an afterthought.)

  26. Sure. But a lot of people were homeless and lived on the trains, and minorities lived in oppressive slums where they were exploited for dirt-cheap labor, and housewives had to work almost 24/7, and there were tariffs keeping most manufacturing in the country where the products were sold, and there were a lot fewer people. Oh, and businesses paid more because they had to support a person's whole family with one income because that was the social norm.

  27. So most the advancements, improvements and achievements of our current come at the cost of a lowered purchasing power? I don't see the neccessary correlation there.

  28. Right. The average standard of living was much worse. The standard of living for many white men with families was ok but nothing like a present day “upper middle class” couple like people seem to think.

  29. "A few decades ago" is the 80s and 90s bub. Living in the 90s, my mom worked as an office clerk for 23k a year, supporting my deadbeat father and two kids. We lived in a house and had two cars, one of which was brand new at the time.

  30. One car, insurance was cheaper, there was no cable TV, only 3 or 4 channels. Eating out was a treat, and housing was drastically cheaper relative to a family's income. Student loans weren't really a thing because college tuition could actually be earned with a summer job.

  31. I mean I repurpose clothing, have only one $5/mo subscription, never eat out, repair things and only buy new items from thrift stores, cook everything from scratch, dont upgrade until something is completely unusable, and I still could not afford a small one bedroom one bath house

  32. This is so absurd. Even if I never purchased another appliance, repaired everything, never bought clothes again, made all food from scratch, never had kids to begin with, shut off the power and water, did public transit (no car), no phone, the small house would still be wildly unaffordable by most people I know. I'm at a threshold where if I lived like I was Amish I might barely pull it off. But even these people back then had running water.

  33. A caveat on the fixing appliances, not to mention newer cars and heavier machinery, is that they used to be done by those knowledgeable. Now, blenders and such break and aren't durable like their predecessors, and if you don't have the knowledge + resources on hand, its just easier to buy a new one. Cars these days have components that require going to the manufacturer or dealership for finite fixes. My car was made in 04 and I've done innumerable fixes myself on her, but some of my friends have newer cars that they have to take in. Also those houses with 2 bedrooms are still around, but inflation has raised their market value WAY past what they would translate to without. :/

  34. And would you say families with two average incomes nowaday can afford a house, car and two kids like one could before? Like, would the conditions of that two income family be comparable to that of the one income family or be different/better?

  35. This is why right to repair and planned obsolescence are such a big deal right now. Our consumer goods are designed to be replaced, not repaired. I would love to fix things but where are all the parts and schematics?

  36. You literally can't even repair a lot of the newer appliances nowadays. They're made to be thrown away. Companies want you to buy more new junk. Keeps the economy going I guess...

  37. There are some really great answers here, and it does beg the question: could you live on one income now - if you lived like I did growing up?

  38. You probably could...assuming that you would be able to function without internet or a cell phone. Most jobs require you to be available, or require you to have an email. Forget about job-hunting, you'd have to stop at the library and use their computer to apply for anything.

  39. Yes. After my oldest was born we lived for at least 2 years sustainably like that. I was making 13 an hour with half going to our apartment. The mom stayed home. We drove a 10 year old used car, had basic internet / cable. No cell phone plans or really any other bills.

  40. Yes, it’s possible. There are many households who do ‘spend one save one’ on dual paychecks. I don’t think it’s likely with children in the picture, especially if you also want to save for college and retirement. You definitely have to be ok with smaller houses, cheaper cars, and low key vacations. I think that lots of people don’t talk about it because it’s tone deaf when someone else is cashing out their 401k to pay for a new furnace because they have literally nothing in the bank… you don’t want to be all ‘I have so many incomes I can’t even spend them all LOL’

  41. This is such an absurd premise though - I had all of the above (or their 90s equivalent) living in a household with 1 FT working parent and one working less than 2 full days a week, both as high school dropouts in the 90s. They were absolutely not high paying jobs but we still had every amenity.

  42. In the Seattle suburbs an 800 sqft 3/1 house goes for 500k. So while it might be possible in some places it isn't possible everywhere.

  43. I am not sure you can really compare then and now. I was born in 1960. My father worked and my mother worked extremely part time, an odd day here and there. We had a small home and in the time I lived there, until I was 20, we had one new car. So people drove older cars. There was no cable bill because there was no cable and then when it came into being, we did not have it. There were no expensive cell phones with the obligatory bill. It was a different time and people thought differently.

  44. Yes. My first house [1994] cost $40k, sold it in 1998 for 80k. Bought house in the city, with a 24k gallon in ground pool, fire place and sauna for $125k. All on the salary of a paramedic and a teacher. Money was always tight because we are spenders. We had 2 sons, now ages 22 and 20. Since 1992 (when I really entered the work force) Its been a nearly constant squeeze ...slowly everything has gotten more expensive and difficult, while wages have stayed well behind cost of living.

  45. You really need to better define which decade you’re talking about. Although apparently the median age for a Reddit user is 13, there are still plenty of us ‘oldies’ (35+) who use it. So what’s ‘a few decades ago’ to me, may be several decades ago to an older user.

  46. Yes sorry, I should have specified that and the fact that I am talking about an average family with an average single income for the time. I wasn,t really sure when people were supposed to have been able to afford these things on that income, thtas why I didn't specify it. Although people in this thread have taken my question to mean people in the 70s so theres that. Like I said in another answerthis question arose when I saw a picture in another sub that depicted this topic.

  47. A few decades ago it was starting to get tight, but yes. Back in the 50s-70s, a household could generally afford a house and two cars on one white-collar worker salary. The late 80s and 90s is when real estate started going way up in cost. Also, if you look at wages the right way (the rate of inflation has outpaced the rate of wage increases), wages have actually declined in the last few decades.

  48. Yes! But they couldn't afford to eat out 3 times a day, they could not afford to waste money on "leasing" a car every few years, which is really "renting" a car FOREVER! They could not afford to replace their TVs every 5 years, they could not afford to replace their refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, every 5 years. Regular folk didn't buy $1200 cell phones. They paid more for the day to day stuff and saved. School (college) also didn't cost $40k, no one carried BA/BS school debt. Only ones who carried school debt were higher education, doctors, lawyers, etc.

  49. That's a very good point you make here. I don't have any money to put away some months but I'm sitting here with a $2k tv and a $800 phone and even myself I sometimes wonder where all my money goes lmao. Like I spent it on doing shit and owning shit. I really think the floor of expectations have risen. We're all paying for monthly subscriptions and AC. But really student loans and health insurance and the crazy skyrocking of housing costs are a very real thing.

  50. Except that people without homes are not buying large household appliances, right? Or lease cars? Or eat out everyday? And not everyone is getting the top-of-the-line phones, but having a phone/access to the internet is essentially a necessity at this point. Also, given the cost of rent/groceries/transit, someone who lives more frugally would still not be able to own a house, due to low wages.

  51. You can now in most of the US. Check Zillow for houses in Iowa or Ohio: you get a nice 2-bed 2-bath for under $150k. But you have to live in Iowa.

  52. Most people would buy a smaller house if they were available, but you can’t find them anymore. Then, people are forced to rent, and renting a place costs $800 a month.

  53. It really comes down to one idea. Back on the 50s they set wages on what would a man have to make to support a family. They set that wage and a man was able to support a family. When women started working they started to think like well if a husband and a wife are working they can support that same family if they each make half of what the man used to make to support the family.

  54. Wages in a free market are determined by a balance of demand and supply. If there is lots of demand for labor then wages go up. If there is lots of supply of labor, then wages go down.

  55. Yes, but you had much less expenses, and companies weren't hellbent on driving wages down, globalization wasn't a thing so employees in what we now call "high cost countries" did not have to compete against cheap offshore labor.

  56. I'm not saying things were great back then, I just saw a picture on another sub that depicted exactly what I'm asking and I just couldn't believe it was possible.

  57. Yes. My mother never worked anything other than volunteer positions when I was growing up, and I was one of three. Although my family never paid off the mortgage before selling the house, the family's credit and savings were sufficient to get a mortgage on a good-sized house as well as buy two cars.

  58. My parents had 6 kids, a house and a car on one income….. then the 80’s came in a f-Ed everything up

  59. Tis true. I remember whwn my parents bought our house for $65,000 in 1987. 3 floors. 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. It was horrendously overpriced and we could barely afford it and my dad said, "...I can't believe we paid it off in only 13 years..." stay at home mom and he sold auto parts. That was it for income.

  60. Look at how much richer the rich have gotten in the past decade. Hell Elon musk alone went from a net worth of 25billion to over 200billion dollars in a year! Thats why there isn't money in the system for the poor, people are hoarding wealth, and the system supports it.

  61. It’s possible. Just the standard of living maybe different. We are a single income family. My kids are homeschooled for health reasons so my wife can’t work. It’s been hard but it’s possible. For us it means we don’t take a bunch of vacations or even travel alot. We have a year pass to Busch gardens here so that helps us get out the house. My daughter plays soccer. It’s about $60 for a season. We have a single family home 3/2 bath. It’s our first home as a family. We closed just before 2020 when everything went crazy housing market wise.

  62. Maybe in the 69-70’s, my dad was a landscaper, we lived in a house he owned and we had several cars, so yes, back then it could be done, nowadays? No way in hell

  63. I'm a landscaper now and I support my family of 6 on my income alone. So, it can be done. It depends on where you live. You can buy decent houses around me for 60k or 500/month.

  64. Absolutely. Back then people lived within their means. Credit cards were nearly non existence. A trip to the doctor had a $5.00 copay. Most factory and skilled jobs were unionized. When I graduated high school in 1986 I had family members working at GM on the assembly line making $25 an hour. That's like earning $60 an hour in today's money.

  65. People are making a lot of great points on this thread. I just want to add that the decline of unions hads had a huge impact on the ability of lesser skilled workers to earn a decent living that included things like a pension (gasp!)

  66. yeah i feel like people are missing this! i see a lot of people saying that we're spending all our money on less important things (cable tv, iphones, air conditioning, whatever) but american employers just do not value their local labor as much as they used to. very few companies give a shit anymore if your wage is liveable and the aggressive union-busting (like amazon & starbucks) proves it. companies find it rewarding and somehow not morally inexcusable to exploit workers as much as possible. it's not necessarily that we're wasting money or that there's more things to spend money on, it's just very hard to find a job as a working class american that won't pay you as little as possible

  67. I visited the US 2 years ago and I was impresed by the culture of buying every shit you can see... Even uber drivers have cars that are considered luxury or high class in other countries.I think people need to realize they have a really high standar of life and that is expensive.

  68. My grandparents and all of their siblings built their houses. The women in my family made the clothes that everyone wore. My grandpa went to work and had a farm and they ate what they grew. They had chickens for eggs.

  69. Countries governmental laws do not favour couples or families, so it makes sense that more people are drawn to stay single.

  70. My family did, kinda. My father and my uncles pretty much built it themselves - I’ve got pictures of them doing it, including them digging the full basement by hand with shovels and wheelbarrows. Comparisons can be tricky, it was a different time.

  71. Yes income hasn't risen to reflect the cost of living but you can thank people who care more about money than people for that.

  72. In 1990 my parents bought a 4 bd, 3 full bath, ranch with living room separate family room, kitchen and separate dining room with attached 2.5 car garage for $65000.

  73. I've been able to my whole adult life and I'm 40. I did one enlistment in the military so I've never had student loan debt though.

  74. I was born in 1968. My father was a union pipefitter. My mother stayed home. We had a house in the suburbs. Two cars. I had two siblings. We were never without food, electricity, new clothes, Christmas presents. We went on vacation every year.

  75. That was in the depths of the Great Recession though. My wife and I were able buy a house back then too. We got lucky. Bought it for $125,000. It's worth $466,000 now with minimal upgrades. Without the Great Recession happening I truly believe we wouldn't have been able to every buy a house.

  76. Depends on your income back then my mom worked in offices as secretary. We always struggled. We lived in an apartment. Buying a house wasn't even a thought in our minds. She would sometimes pick up side jobs like care giver or house cleaning.

  77. Unfortunately the economy is a delicate beast. Too much inflation here and the value of money tanks. It costs 12 dollar to buy a gallon of milk and 1 bedroom houses are in the millions.

  78. Not to my memory, maybe in the 1970s but my parents both worked full time . I also don’t know anyone ( with kids) who can survive on one income since maybe tge 70s .

  79. Yes. The MAJOR difference that hasn't been brought up is that in the 1970s when women started working full-time en masse, families decided to spend more on housing because they had higher incomes.

  80. No. They also had several side jobs. For example, barring major issues, the husband was expected to do all the plumbing, electrical, and general repairs - including: Home, appliances, vehicles, furniture, etc. The wife did her own daycare, cooked every meal at home - including lunches to take to school, and did any tailoring or sewing that needed to be done. This was essentially the gig economy, but for yourself. So, while technically it was only one paycheck coming in, the expenditures were much, much lower compared to what most people do today because hiring someone was a Last Resort.

  81. My mother is 65. She is the 3rd of 6 siblings. My Grandmother raised 6 kids on her truck driver husband's pension. He passed away when my mother was 11. My grandmother never worked. She was a housewife. They owned a home, not rented, in Southern California.

  82. In addition to the other good points here, the top tax rate for highest earners was over 70% which the government used to generate jobs, politicians taking donations from the rich have slowly eroded higher tax brackets shifting the burden to lower earners and shrinking the middle class, these politicians have learned to use hot-button messaging (trickle-down economics, nationalism, religion, racism, etc.) to push the gullible into voting against their own self-interest (just imagine what the middle class experience might be like if political decisions favored the average family over the wealthy), evolving into the performance politics of blatant lies and manufactured outrage we suffer though today, it's maddening

  83. For sure. It was very different though - you do get that it wasn’t just like today, but you got paid twice as much, right?

  84. My parents did it and we were considered middle class. Bought their first house in 1961, mother did not work, dad made $5K per year. He did get a second job after a few years that he kept for a couple of years -- I think it was to build a garage onto the house since there was not one originally. One car. My mother would drive my father to the train station and drop him off and then pick him up on the days she needed the car.

  85. Since the Reagan era there has been a transfer of wealth to the wealthy. The first step was to reduce taxes. Then stock buybacks were allowed. Then hedge funds. Then unions were destroyed. SCOTUS began ruling in favor of corporations.

  86. I grew up in the 80s and 90s. My parents didn't get thier GEDs until thier mid 30s. My dad never worked a steady job, always freelance and under the table. My mom when she did work, worked minimum wage ($5.75 or less back then) needless to say they weren't what you would call successful. We were broke and went without most things that we wanted but we always had what we needed. My parents bought a house in 1988, and they both had a car. None of that is possible today. I don't get how boomers don't see the differences between then and now.

  87. I wanna answer the last bit. The reason income hasn't increased proportionally to the cost is because the wealth that people generated via work has gone in a tremendously disproportionate fashion to the top 2% of income earners. According to an LA times article I will link below(1) in 1985 the richest American on the Forbes 400 was worth 2.8 billion dollars, and the poorest was worth 150 million dollars. Compare that with today where Elon musk is worth 222 billion dollars as the wealthiest American. That's almost 100 times more than what the richest was making back in 1985. Meanwhile back in 1985 median household income was around 24K dollars (2) while in 2019 it was about 65 K (3). This means the median household income hasn't even tripled while the wealth of the worlds richest American went up by 10. And that's just the richest, not even the top ten richest. That's an obscene amount of wealth concentration at the top. In fact if we took 200 billion dollars from Elon musk and distributed it robin hood style we could give 200 million Americans a raise. Obviously that's not realistic and would probably yeild in diminishing returns since so much of his wealth is in stock prices for Tesla. But that serves as a useful Segway into why so much wealth was able to concentrate in the hands of so few. Elon musk is the CEO of several companies. Most famously Tesla. Back before 1982 it used to be that a company couldn't purchase its own stock back off the stock market. It was, prior to then, considered a market manipulation tactic. A company could, in theory, take their profit for a year and spend it all on their own stock and increase their stock price leaving them with more money If they resold the stock, but more importantly, yeilding higher returns for their shareholders, which would encourage more people to buy the stock sending the price even higher and so on. Instead when a company had a windfall of profit they could either distribute it out to their shareholders in a dividend, or reinvest the money back into the company by highering more people, building new facilities, or by giving current employees better pay and benefits to boost retention, ect. they would basically take their corporate profit and put it back into the economy. 1982 changed this because the SEC changed the interpretation of the rules to say individuals who are employed for companies (like CEOs) can purchase stock of their own companies and it not be a corporate by back. So companies took advantage of this rule by giving their CEOs and other executives massive bonuses when the company had windfall profits so they as individuals could purchase back as much company stock as possible. This wasn't ever explicitly stated by the company, it's just a natural progression when a CEO of a publicly traded company is viewed as a success based on the companies stock price. Of course when you give a CEO a huge windfall bonus they will naturally want to boost the stock price of the company they work for. It gives them job security, an a ton of new appreciating assets. This is what happened with Musk and Bezos until now Bezos has so much Amazon stock that when he was CEO he was only paid 50K in income with the rest in stock option. Elon musk did the same thing with his companies assuming massive amounts of wealth on Tesla stock. If we had the rule set prior to 1982 Musk would have had to reinvest money made by Tesla back into Tesla. Instead of 200 billion dollars going to 200 million Americans it would have been a more steady reinvestment of that 200 billion back into Tesla and it's 100K work force. Other factors contributed to this too, such as high Unionization rates back before the 1980s. Unions and collective bargaining on the part of workers helped force that wealth back into the company. Hence most large companies like Amazon and Starbucks are so opposed to unions. You also have broader geoeconomic factors like moving heavily unionized sectors like manufacturing overseas to cheaper countries with weaker unions. That by itself sort of forced the US into a service economy where you were either doing "high skilled high wage" services or "low wage low skill" services for those who did the other. It's why instead of making cars it seems like your only options are "become an engineer" or "become a barista" the ability to do something in the middle diminished. All of these things combined meant we built an economy in which all the profit and value of production goes straight to the ownership l, with no checks forcing the money back to everyone else. It's why companies can give out "performance based raises" that usually only amount to about half the cost of inflation. There is no incentive structure at the corporate level to funnel corporate money back to the work force or company, and their is no check in the form of unions by the work force to force that money back to the worker. Other counties addressed this by using heavy taxation to fund extensive public services. Essentially the state does the job of investing in it's people for the major corporations that make make money on their people. The US just won't do that. It's been 40 years of this being how business is conducted. Which is why even if the US changed the SEC ruling and made it so executives could be seen as market manipulators by buying stock back likely they'd find other ways to use the money other than invest it in their work force. Any attempt at changing that will be met with a horde of money being given to the political opposition. Which is why instead of issues an executive order forcing the SEC to change it's interpretation of the rule all Joe Biden can do is ask CEOs nicely to not buy their own stocks back.

  88. Yea. But that’s one car, not two. And most houses were 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, living room and eat in kitchen. No family room. So expectations were lower. People didn’t have matching furniture or a decor. There was a lot of casseroles eaten because plain meat was too expensive. You didn’t have a wardrobe full of clothes. But yeah you could pay your bills and lead a comfortable life.

  89. Yes. Houses in the early 2000s were around 150k. A 2 bedroom apartment was around 600 a month. I bought a brand new 2001 Monte Carlo fully loaded with a extended warrantyfor 25k. Today a house is around 300k a apartment is over 1k and a fully loaded similar car is about 40k.

  90. From my perspective, people a few decades ago were just more okay with having children while poor. Like when my parents started having kids they were dead broke. But that was sort of expected. You were supposed to get married and have kids and THEN figure out how to afford it

  91. Because the wealth gap wasn’t a canyon back then (and there was HIGH union membership so it was really tough to underpay labor)

  92. I am a child of the 80s and 90s and I had a chronically unemployed dad who still kept a roof over our heads. My mom took a job as a substitute teacher in the 90s, but for most of my childhood my dad was the only breadwinner. He was a very mediocre man with a very mediocre middle management job and we still lived comfortably.

  93. Well, I didn’t have two kids 2 decades ago, but my husband worked, bought us a house, both had a car (he had several), he paid for my last year of college and all the bills. I had a part time job and went to school full time, so technically 2 incomes, but my income was very small and just used to pay for college. When we did have kids, I was able to stay home for 2 years until the 2009 recession, when I had to go work.

  94. We didn’t have social media to gauge our life’s satisfaction against our peers. People were happy just to have things, not the next best thing. I swear my kids have 1000% more than I had growing up and are 1000% unhappier. I was so content with four channels on TV, sharing with every member of the household- they have three devices per person with unlimited streaming potential, yet are bored!

  95. Yes for many reasons. Incomes were proportionally better even accounting for inflation, and importantly housing costs were nearly 10 fold cheaper.

  96. My uncle said in the mid to late 70's he had a friend who did heating and air conditioning. Was in his mid 20's and was buying a house, had a decent work truck, a brand new truck for pther than work activities, a decent bass boat, and drove off the lot in a brand new corvette. He was only 25 for fucks sake. Here I am working a trade in my late 30's and barely getting by

  97. Yes, in the decades following WW2. Less greed, more civic minded people. Boomers pretty much destroyed that when they turned to greed in their 30s.

  98. Yep, people weren't swimming in money but it was doable. Wages basically kept pace with inflation/company profits for decades but then in 1980 that stopped happening. Wages started to lag behind inflation and profit so what a worker earned actually decreased against inflation. For several decades now with most families both adults need to work to make ends meet. Now we're at a point where even that isn't enough to survive on. See

  99. Corporate profits and employees wages increased at the same rate till the early 70s. Wages flattened as corporate profits increased. A single worker for a family became much harder to do at the same time family size dropped as average home size (cost) increased. A 900 sq ft home for a family of 6 is now considered too small for. A single couple who both work. Even worse it is out of the price range of a single couple who have average jobs! For the first time in 50 years labor has the upper hand and we haven’t seen that since the height of the unions and labor movement. If 2 people working can only afford one child then your losing 1/2 of your population in a generation! A lot of countries are in a very bad situation with population reduction. The US is lucky because people want to come here. The only way to turn this around is to make single worker families viable again and to incentivize child birth.

  100. Up to the mid to late 70's. Yes it was easy. The union jobs that workers had then paid more than that same non union job pays now. That's 50 years ago.

  101. Also college was basically free. When boomers tell you they worked their way through college, their tuition was less than your fees.

  102. I think it was almost an effect of women entering the workplace. A family could now afford more, and a mortgage was given as a multipler of a joint salary, rather than a single one. Couples with two working adults could afford better properties. Prices went up, until you need a good double income to afford a “standard” entry level property. Honestly can’t see how the current generation can think about buying now.

  103. Income has increased proportionally. Relative costs of say a car or house in the late 60s early 70s to median income was roughly the same percent of a car or house to median income today.

  104. No. SOME people were able to afford these things. But not Black or Hispanic… those folks salaries and assets were stolen and given to white folk. Consider an example: my Dad got GI funding to attend college, assistance with his first mortgage, and lots of other GI benefits. Black soldiers who risked their lives in the same exact way, got nothing at all. So they rent instead of accruing wealth by home ownership, get jobs that pay less, raise kids in bad neighborhoods, etc. And it compounds for generations, resulting in an white person owning 9x of the wealth of a minority today.

  105. My parents rented, had no car and each had a job. SOME people could buy a house and car on one income. This idea that every Boomer had it better off is ridiculous. There was a massive recession during the 1973 oil crisis and a housing crises in the late 80s. The 70s and 80s were a terrible time for working class Boomers. Please just google pictures of 1980s NYC or any industrial Midwest city.

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