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We're Still Better Off Than The 1970S


doahh
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I know this is the wail and I should stop reading it but:

despite the recent slump, average incomes allowing for inflation are still almost double those seen in 1977, suggesting the so-called squeezed middle are still better off than 35 years ago.

Using this inflation calculator to input £100,000 in today's money would have been worth £7,710. My dad bought a large 4 bedroom home with a front and back garden on a single university lecture's salary in 1968 for £8,100. That house was resold in 2012 for £310,000. So £100,000 in 1968's money could buy almost that entire house, but today can only buy 1/3rd of it. RightMove has a single 2 bedroom flat in that area for £100,000 So they seem to be saying that a 2 bedroom flat is that same as a large 4 bedroom house. I know housing has gone up by more than the rate of inflation, but the sheeple are getting feed garbage like this to keep them controllable and that significantly depresses my standard of living.

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I know this is the wail and I should stop reading it but:

Using this inflation calculator to input £100,000 in today's money would have been worth £7,710. My dad bought a large 4 bedroom home with a front and back garden on a single university lecture's salary in 1968 for £8,100. That house was resold in 2012 for £310,000. So £100,000 in 1968's money could buy almost that entire house, but today can only buy 1/3rd of it. RightMove has a single 2 bedroom flat in that area for £100,000 So they seem to be saying that a 2 bedroom flat is that same as a large 4 bedroom house. I know housing has gone up by more than the rate of inflation, but the sheeple are getting feed garbage like this to keep them controllable and that significantly depresses my standard of living.

Yes but we didn't have to buy the consumer sh1t that 2013 man sees as essential.

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I ignored the consumer sh1te part of the argument as I don't think it makes us better off, and that was the title of the Wail article. Hence I concentrated on housing as I think that is one of the main factors that can make people better or worse off.

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I barely remember the 70's, but they were pretty bad. Some features for those who weren't there :

i) Cars were crap and rusted to bits. Many people couldn't afford one per family, let alone two.

ii) Going out to dinner was looked on as a luxury. Probably not a bad thing either, as the variety of food on offer was pretty limited and was of appalling quality. Culniary standards have improved hugely and the variety of food on offer has increased massively.

iii) TVs were small. Often black and white. One per house. And you couldn't record anything either.

iv) Foreign holidays to somewhere like spain were a huge luxury afforded only by the middle class and rich.

v) There were no portable gadgets. You could probably get hold of an early edition walkman that would fit in a rucksack and play with awful sound quality.

vi) Going to a football match could be life threatening.

vii) Houses fitted with showers were quite unusual. Often there was only a bath. En suite bathrooms were almost non existent.

I know in an era of declining living standards it's easy to believe modern life is rubbish and everything in the past was better. And indeed some things were. But in general the standard of living today is much higher than it was back in the 70's, even if dewy eyed old grannies insist otherwise.

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They were plying this propaganda in the times motoring section yesterday too, saying petrol may be expensive by historical terms, but because of the MPGs you now get in cars (the comparison was 27mpg in a 70s Cortina, 45mpg in a current 2.0 mondeo) motoring costs havent risen at all.

I'll bet it was a lot easier to get 27mpg in a cortina than 45mpg in a mondeo...

Furthermore, they only measure quantity, not quality. Chinese tat is so badly engineered it needs replacing far more frequently than home made goods (50s,60s,70s, or Japanese goods 80s,90s) Its a false economy.

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I remember the 70s well. Companies used to post new price lists to their customers every month, sometimes even more frequently.

I dont think we are denying certain things have changed (my parents were typically socialist in the 70s, but have been tory since the 80s as they still remember strikes, 3 day weeks and rubbish piling up in the streets in the 70s) but with things like inflation, wage inflation was high too. Savings rates kept up.

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vii) Houses fitted with showers were quite unusual. Often there was only a bath. En suite bathrooms were almost non existent.

I know in an era of declining living standards it's easy to believe modern life is rubbish and everything in the past was better. And indeed some things were. But in general the standard of living today is much higher than it was back in the 70's, even if dewy eyed old grannies insist otherwise.

Yes, but old bathrooms were large, often with a seperate toilet. Today you need to be a contortionist to navigate your way around most new build en-suites. Id rather have one decent sized bathroom than 2 or 3 standing room only 'en suites'

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I barely remember the 70's, but they were pretty bad. Some features for those who weren't there :

iv) Foreign holidays to somewhere like spain were a huge luxury afforded only by the middle class and rich.

Sorry, but that's not right. I was working for an airline in the early 70s and we did loads of cheap charter flights - BAC 1-1 500 - to Spain, Ibiza, Majorca, you name it. These were emphatically not full of rich or middle class people - many flights were full of the rum and coke brigade and people who'd ask if we had any duty free Channel number five.

Where you would find the richer types and middle class was on the VC 10s we took to the likes of Kenya and the Seychelles. You'd hardly ever get asked for rum and coke on one of those (G&T brigade) - that sort of holiday was much more exclusive then.

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I barely remember the 70's, but they were pretty bad. Some features for those who weren't there :

i) Cars were crap and rusted to bits. Many people couldn't afford one per family, let alone two.

ii) Going out to dinner was looked on as a luxury. Probably not a bad thing either, as the variety of food on offer was pretty limited and was of appalling quality. Culniary standards have improved hugely and the variety of food on offer has increased massively.

iii) TVs were small. Often black and white. One per house. And you couldn't record anything either.

iv) Foreign holidays to somewhere like spain were a huge luxury afforded only by the middle class and rich.

v) There were no portable gadgets. You could probably get hold of an early edition walkman that would fit in a rucksack and play with awful sound quality.

vi) Going to a football match could be life threatening.

vii) Houses fitted with showers were quite unusual. Often there was only a bath. En suite bathrooms were almost non existent.

I know in an era of declining living standards it's easy to believe modern life is rubbish and everything in the past was better. And indeed some things were. But in general the standard of living today is much higher than it was back in the 70's, even if dewy eyed old grannies insist otherwise.

The above is right and I would include that a good half of homes did not have central heating, lots with outside loos. HOWEVER, where this is woefully wrong is when it comes to our ability to buy the same size of home with the same position in life. YOU CAN'T. Homes are about 3 times as much compared to incomes than they were in 1970. Some areas are 60 x as much as then. I will give you an example. Brighton BN1 - House I know of, bought 1970 - £10k. Today - £600k or more. People in Brighton for example, may think living in a fishermans cottage for £400k near a train station is a good idea. Same houses - even in 1992 were £38-45k. Incomes have gone up 28 x since 1970.

The govts policy is to steal from the savers and give to the borrowers. It is nothing short of the same policy, applied to all bank deposits, as you see now emerging in Cyprus, but in slow motion. Inflation is higher than deposit saving rates! who ever heard of that? It is distortion of the savings and borrowings markets and will have terrible long term consequences.

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I remember my stepdad working in the 70s for Boulton and Paul Joinery as a carpenter with 500 other people making doors, window frames and staircases and exporting the products all over the place and being able to afford a 3 bed semi with garage, central heating, double glazing (albeit aluminium!) and run a Ford Cortina on one wage.

Yeah, the 70s were awful.

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I ignored the consumer sh1te part of the argument as I don't think it makes us better off, and that was the title of the Wail article. Hence I concentrated on housing as I think that is one of the main factors that can make people better or worse off.

I was in sarf yorkshire till I was 17.

Sneaking into working mens clubs/pubs etc

Nearly all pensioners could afford 2 or 3 nights out a week having a larf at the weekly comedy/band etc beers and chat. They could all heat and light their houses (when the leccy was on)

Most could afford at least two two week holidays (even more when low cost flights started to Yugoslavia/Spain it was 6 month holidays or all winter.

This was when the Govt / Big Business was still forced to share the wealth around by the Unionists (and the buying power of the pound was still something - now inflated away to tenths of a penny of pound value in 1920 (which is a hidden wealth transfer by the UK elites in charge)

- look where we all are now USA style winner takes all corrupt troughers who rub their wealth in the faces of majority, those with far less who are lured/brainwashed into a life of debt using credit to try to achieve a semblance of their non-reality X-factorism

A scottish Factor is a debt+interest collector <> lured into debt as above

Edited by erranta
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I was in sarf yorkshire till I was 17.

Sneaking into working mens clubs/pubs etc

Nearly all pensioners could afford 2 or 3 nights out a week having a larf at the weekly comedy/band etc beers and chat. They could all heat and light their houses (when the leccy was on)

Most could afford at least two two week holidays (even more when low cost flights started to Yugoslavia/Spain it was 6 month holidays or all winter.

This was when the Govt / Big Business was still forced to share the wealth around by the Unionists (and the buying power of the pound was still something - now inflated away to tenths of a penny of pound value in 1920 (which is a hidden wealth transfer by the UK elites in charge)

- look where we all are now USA style winner takes all corrupt troughers who rub their wealth in the faces of majority, those with far less who are lured/brainwashed into a life of debt using credit to try to achieve a semblance of their non-reality X-factorism

A scottish Factor is a debt+interest collector <> lured into debt as above

I find myself in full agreement with every single word of an 'erranta' post.

Wow...!!!

:)

XYY

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...

iv) Foreign holidays to somewhere like spain were a huge luxury afforded only by the middle class and rich.

...

Based on my personal experience, I have to disagree... Relatives who would be labelled 'working class' were going to Spain on holiday at that time. Probably to rent a villa as a large family group, or else going camping - to cut down costs. But they were doing it.

My reading of that bit of history is that foreign holidays became big when they were no longer foreign holidays - i.e. when the Spanish coast became "Blackpool-on-the-Med", complete with chippies, Boddies in the offy, and recent copies of the Sun in the newsagent. Oh, and everyone spoke English rather than that Dago rubbish.

Edited by DeepLurker
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One thing missing so far is that I'm guessing the OP's article is referring to mean wages, not median wages. The top few percent have got disproportionately richer dragging up the mean by more than the median.

I remember salads used to consist of lettuce tomato and cucumber. You might get to add one or two of spring onion, raddish, beetroot or cress if you were middle class., Salad cream was optional and mayonnaise hadn't been invented. Vinaigrette was for chips and olive oil was to loosen ear wax.

Food and clothes were expensive. TVs were rented as were washing machines. 3 generation households were not the exclusive preserve of ethnic minorities.

An 82/83 ad but bloody expensive and that was their good offers..

Edited by LeeT
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iv) Foreign holidays to somewhere like spain were a huge luxury afforded only by the middle class and rich.

I came from a working class family, and, while our family holidays were in the UK, my brothers and sisters had been to various places in Europe and the Middle East before 1980.

v) There were no portable gadgets. You could probably get hold of an early edition walkman that would fit in a rucksack and play with awful sound quality.

Pretty sure we had portable cassette players by then, and a portable TV (OK, it needed a car battery to power it).

I know in an era of declining living standards it's easy to believe modern life is rubbish and everything in the past was better. And indeed some things were. But in general the standard of living today is much higher than it was back in the 70's, even if dewy eyed old grannies insist otherwise.

So long as your 'standard of living' is based around iPods and flat-screen TVs, not minor things like being able to buy a house and raise a family on a single income (or, at most, one full-time and one part-time).

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I was in sarf yorkshire till I was 17.

Sneaking into working mens clubs/pubs etc

Nearly all pensioners could afford 2 or 3 nights out a week having a larf at the weekly comedy/band etc beers and chat. They could all heat and light their houses (when the leccy was on)

Most could afford at least two two week holidays (even more when low cost flights started to Yugoslavia/Spain it was 6 month holidays or all winter.

This was when the Govt / Big Business was still forced to share the wealth around by the Unionists (and the buying power of the pound was still something - now inflated away to tenths of a penny of pound value in 1920 (which is a hidden wealth transfer by the UK elites in charge)

- look where we all are now USA style winner takes all corrupt troughers who rub their wealth in the faces of majority, those with far less who are lured/brainwashed into a life of debt using credit to try to achieve a semblance of their non-reality X-factorism

A scottish Factor is a debt+interest collector <> lured into debt as above

I agree. All this nonsense about how our standard of living has increased is neoliberal propaganda. We still had a welfare state in the 1970s and yet it was still worth actually getting a job and working, so welfare didn't become an automatic lifestyle choice. I might be able to buy an ipad or a "smart" phone now but in 1975 people could afford to buy and improve a detached house on a teacher's salary.

Edited by Pindar
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They were plying this propaganda in the times motoring section yesterday too, saying petrol may be expensive by historical terms, but because of the MPGs you now get in cars (the comparison was 27mpg in a 70s Cortina, 45mpg in a current 2.0 mondeo) motoring costs havent risen at all.

I'll bet it was a lot easier to get 27mpg in a cortina than 45mpg in a mondeo...

Furthermore, they only measure quantity, not quality. Chinese tat is so badly engineered it needs replacing far more frequently than home made goods (50s,60s,70s, or Japanese goods 80s,90s) Its a false economy.

Once did a very accurate fuel consumption test with my Ford Cortina Mk 1 1500. It achieved 35 mpg and it was an automatic (bench front seat, column change the lot). Also it cost me £90. Yes it was a rot box.

Our 70's house was devoid of gadgetry, and by 71 "the tech" amounted a 20" Ferguson colourstar TV, and a Marconi stereogram, of 1960's vintage, oh and my mum had a Kenwood. We got a phone in 71 too.

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