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We're Still Better Off Than The 1970S


doahh
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I call shenanigans on that one, if only because Carry On Abroad came out in '72...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carry_On_Abroad

Coaches, the poor man's aircraft.

A lot of my friends went to Spain and Greece in the 70s for holidays. They had to sit on a coach for anything between 36 and 72 hours, but they went. When I beetled off to the South of France for a year, I got there by Magicbus.

Holiday accommodation was generally a tent put up ready for you on a 1,000+ pitch site. It was still a holiday somewhere with sun and, if you were so inclined, different food and a bit of culture and history.

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Hi Fi was all the rage.

Sinclair had some stuff out claiming to be great...it wasnt...

What surprised me was how early these were 1968

presenting the system 2000......29 guineas

http://www.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/audio/system2000.htm

As for portable, yes we had solid state radios and cassette players....there was one around 1973, it was stereo, loud and sounded good...cant remember the brand but it was a leap ahead and some guy brought his into the common room....panasonic?

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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.

But how much did your Dad pay for his 4 bedroom home with a front and back garden? Interest rates are at a record low and will remain that way for the forseeable. Get yourself a long term fix at sub 3% and I bet you won't pay much differently to what your Dad paid for his house, even if interest rates do 'rocket' to 7%

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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.

Good points there.

There was also a major improvement in people's living conditions during the 70s. Many houses were converted to North Sea gas, and the opportunity was taken to install central-heating. More and more people were able to buy washing-machines and have an inside toilet inside instead of walking down the garden to the outside loo. I remember never living in a house with a telephone installed until I was nearly 20 years old. People forget just how much progress was made at that time.

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But how much did your Dad pay for his 4 bedroom home with a front and back garden? Interest rates are at a record low and will remain that way for the forseeable. Get yourself a long term fix at sub 3% and I bet you won't pay much differently to what your Dad paid for his house, even if interest rates do 'rocket' to 7%

and then?

financialisation is at its endgame.....

Deflation is the natural state of a developing technology.

cheap cars ARE cheaper now in real terms.

The problem is, that instead of using the advantage of more buying power on stuff made here, they exported the manufacturing and spent the excess on debt....to buy houses.

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But how much did your Dad pay for his 4 bedroom home with a front and back garden? Interest rates are at a record low and will remain that way for the forseeable. Get yourself a long term fix at sub 3% and I bet you won't pay much differently to what your Dad paid for his house, even if interest rates do 'rocket' to 7%

Only if you ignore the true cost/value of money. High interest rates were matchedd by rapid (inflation link or better in many cases) compounding wages. That bit makes all the difference.

Without wage increases all we have now is the inflation in costs - that low rate fix could become unpayable under those circumstances.

Try getting a fix for 30 years, what is commonly known as a fixed rate mortgage in this country at least is no more than a short period of grace.

Edited by OnlyMe
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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.

Good summary. I would never say that the last generation had it better than us in anything apart from house prices and crime.

The problem is that house prices are quite a large part of the equation. I have a reasonable income that allows me to indulge in good holidays & entertainment and take advantage of the modern tech that is available whilst still saving a significant proportion.

That is all well and good, but the current house price levels mean that I can have all of that OR buy a house. I'd be happy to cut most of it out and live a bit more frugally but really deep cuts would be required and I'd still only be living in the type of small terraced house that my parents bypassed on their first move onto the housing ladder 40 years ago.

There are lots of stories from the previous generation about how they had to sit on deckchairs in their living rooms for a year after buying their first home because they couldn't afford the furniture, but this is typically when they were in their early 20s and earning a small wage. Now there are people who are 15 years older and earning several times the average wage who cannot even afford the house to put the deckchairs in!

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not quite the 70's, but my Missus dad bought a 3 bed, semi detached Victorian house with a Massive Garden for £20,000 in 1980. he was a ground worker basically, building all the "new" estates round Southampton/Hampshire.

He bought that on a single wage, 2 kids 1 Car (Cortina) etc

Next door was sold in 2007 for £280,000.

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But how much did your Dad pay for his 4 bedroom home with a front and back garden?

Even at 0% interest, a £300k house (pretty average in London/SE) bought over 25 years is £12k a year. That's over half of the take-home pay of somebody on £31k (again, pretty average in London/SE).

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Even at 0% interest, a £300k house (pretty average in London/SE) bought over 25 years is £12k a year. That's over half of the take-home pay of somebody on £31k (again, pretty average in London/SE).

North/South divide again.

My mams house was 6k in 1973 when she moved in. 3 bed semi with a garage and a massive cellar.

Wages have gone up 15 fold.

So the house should be worth 90k.

It would actually go for about 110-120k.

So more but not outrageously more.

The only reason we could afford it then was my dad dying. Even then we ended up out in the sticks because my mam couldnt afford to buy in Newcastle because of mental house price rises.

Histlry doesn't repeat itself but it does rhymn.

Edited by ItsColdUpHere
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Even at 0% interest, a £300k house (pretty average in London/SE) bought over 25 years is £12k a year. That's over half of the take-home pay of somebody on £31k (again, pretty average in London/SE).

cheaper on IO terms.

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Have wages in the northeast of England grown at the same rate as the rest of the UK since 1973?

I dont Know.

But the 1.3 increase in price to earnings ratio talies with the nationwide figure for the north.

House prices where i am simply arent as mad as down south.

Edited by ItsColdUpHere
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But how much did your Dad pay for his 4 bedroom home with a front and back garden? Interest rates are at a record low and will remain that way for the forseeable. Get yourself a long term fix at sub 3% and I bet you won't pay much differently to what your Dad paid for his house, even if interest rates do 'rocket' to 7%

I think you are missing the point. If I took £100,000 and adjusted it to 1970's cash and went back to the 1970's I would not need a mortgage. You are suggesting that I use that £100,000 as a deposit rather than an outright purchase and borrow an additional £210,000 (costing ~£420,000 with interest?). I am therefore far worse off than my dad as he could have used that same cash for an outright purchase.

Edited by doahh
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But how much did your Dad pay for his 4 bedroom home with a front and back garden? Interest rates are at a record low and will remain that way for the forseeable. Get yourself a long term fix at sub 3% and I bet you won't pay much differently to what your Dad paid for his house, even if interest rates do 'rocket' to 7%

The reasonably well orf (offered a mortgage cos they were rationed + waiting lists at the time - so I have skimmed) got 30% + Miras bribes from the govt to buy.

The working poor got to pay rent all their lives, thru each generation, until today when the Govt kicks them around and tell outright lies to put them down in the eyes of the public.

Fruits of Thatcherism?

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Guest eight

Have wages in the northeast of England grown at the same rate as the rest of the UK since 1973?

Wages in the north east are lower now, in actual (never mind real) terms, than they were twenty years ago. So probably not.

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Wages in the north east are lower now, in actual (never mind real) terms, than they were twenty years ago. So probably not.

I find that hard to believe.

In some sectors, yes, but remember that the north east has the largest percentage of GDP dependent on government largesse of any mainland area, so with the increase of public sector wages and wealth transfers (tax credits), i'd be stunned if household incomes haven't held up well.

Edited by ItsColdUpHere
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Guest eight

I find that hard to believe.

In some sectors, yes, but remember that the north east has the largest percentage of GDP dependent on government largesse of any mainland area, so with the increase of public sector wages and wealth transfers (tax credits), i'd be stunned if household incomes haven't held up well.

Maybe.

But well paid factory/manual work, which was the bread and butter of employment here, has almost completely gone, so it's impossible to make a direct comparison.

The place I worked at, shop floor "line leader" type jobs paid £25-£30K (plus overtime, plus bonuses) as long ago as the early nineties. Today? I would imagine the only comparable place is Nissan; any idea what shop floor staff there earn?

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I find that hard to believe.

In some sectors, yes, but remember that the north east has the largest percentage of GDP dependent on government largesse of any mainland area, so with the increase of public sector wages and wealth transfers (tax credits), i'd be stunned if household incomes haven't held up well.

Ive found some data.

See www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn89.org

The north east hasn't done bad since 1996 apparently, im looking now for 1990 to 1996.

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Guest eight

Ive found some data.

See www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn89.org

The north east hasn't done bad since 1996 apparently, im looking now for 1990 to 1996.

I'll have a browse. Thanks.

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Maybe.

But well paid factory/manual work, which was the bread and butter of employment here, has almost completely gone, so it's impossible to make a direct comparison.

The place I worked at, shop floor "line leader" type jobs paid £25-£30K (plus overtime, plus bonuses) as long ago as the early nineties. Today? I would imagine the only comparable place is Nissan; any idea what shop floor staff there earn?

The bread and butter has changed. An average wage is an average wage, no matter how its earned. Thats the only direct comparison that is needed.

I was one of those shop floor workers on a decent wage, i became an office worker on a ludicrously good wage.

I am atypical of course, which is why we need hard data.

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