Monday, August 20, 2007

Overwhelming Evidence II: Good Old Days Are Now

On a previous post, I presented historical data to show that we live longer, start to work later in life and work much less annually, spend 30% less time working around the home vs. 100 years ago, retire earlier, have an increasing number of years in retirement, experience 3X as much waking leisure now compared to our ancestors in the 1800s, etc.

In this post, I present more data from economist W. Michael Cox (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), showing the significant improvements in living standards that took place during a single 20-year period, from 1970 to 1990 (see chart above, click to enlarge). Certainly, many improvements have taken place since 1990, and a comparison of 2000 to 1970 would be even more remarkable (see post below on microprocessor speed). But I think the evidence is clear and overwhelming: Americans today are better off than at any other time in history, and living standards for the average person just keep getting better, and better and better.


At 8/20/2007 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The increase in the percent of payroll going to benefits is not good, it is bad.

It shows that government is using tax policy to drive overconsumption of certain goods such as health insurance.

At 8/22/2007 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the indicators used are a little questionable.
The growth and success of the technology sector to reduce cost is why we have more colour TV's and more cars.
Having more women in the workforce is also an indicator that both members of a household have to work compared to how things were in the 50's.
The only serious indicator to prove your point would be the number of hours worked and the number of days holidays.
However, good news never sold a newspaper!

At 8/23/2007 5:32 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, is socialism rearing its ugly head here in these comments?

Why is the increase in the % of payroll going to benefits a bad thing?

Why should companies have to foot the total bill of health care insurance of its employees? Is there some sort of Constitution mandate that says so?

This is an especially important question considering the cost of health insurance which might in part be driven by nonsense mal-practice law suits? Can you say, " John Edwards "?

Both members of the household DO NOT have to work and why that particular myth is pushed is at best bizzare...

Are televisions, cable service, VCRs, two cars, and homes larger than 1500 square feet absolutely necessary or just a real nice convience?



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