"When people tell me that they would have liked to live in the Renaissance, I ask them how they'd like having their teeth pulled without anesthetic." - Bill James
We're not going that far back, of course, just to 1949, thanks to Patty Wetterling (assist to King Banaian) who maintained in last Monday's 6th Congressional District debate that things haven't gotten any better for the middle class since 1949. King does a decent job of demolishing that argument, using an extended quote from liberalzine The American Prospect to show that the middle class isn't shrinking, it's getting bigger and richer. People can see this, in spite of all the ink thrown out by the MSM, and it makes the socialist arguments of most DFL candidates do a dull thud.
Now, over in this corner Jane Galt cocks a critical snook at Brad Delong's comments on CPI bias and how it doesn't matter because the system just isn't FAIR! Jane asks the pertinent question,
But let's say we could find someone who makes $29,931 today, and remembers the 1970's. Do you think that if you offered to send him back to 1973, with 4% more than the 1973 median income, he'd take you up on the deal? What if you doubled that, to 8%? What if you sent him back to 1973 making 15 or 20% more than the median wage, so that he could keep the wife at home and still enjoy a modern level of household income?
Speaking for myself, I sure as shit wouldn't take that deal. (For one thing, I'd be in junior high school, and my job wouldn't even exist yet.) Seriously, though - it's hard to explain to people these days just how damn expensive and difficult things were back in the day when you couldn't buy Acuras and Infinitis for love nor money, and only truly rich people could afford even a Baby Benz.
So much of what we take for granted these days simply didn't exist or was available only in hideously expensive, primitive form. This is one of the areas where the schools fail our youth: they make history dull and uninteresting, and so fail to demonstrate just how much progress we've made in the country - not just since 1783 when we ratified the Constitution and went from confederation to republic, but in the relatively short span from 1976 to now. I daresay most of you treading this weren't even born yet, and are barely aware (in terms of your personal experience) of a world where Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter were fumbling their way through their single terms. It wasn't a very pretty world, and it was a hell of a lot less comfortable than the one you're living in now.
Billy Joel once sang "The good old days were not always good/Tomorrow's not as bad as it seems." He had the right of it, I think. I am not one of those who moans about the good old days, and barring some global catastrophe that's liable to kill me anyway, I dare say I won't become one any time soon.
So much to do today. I'd better quit lounging around in front of the computer and get to it.