I hadn’t anticipated yesterday’s Are We Living Larger or Living Differently? turning into a two-parter, but there were some interesting comments including:
- “Question is whether the living larger requires dual income “” or dual income forces the living larger.” – MossySF
- “With dual income families I might offer that a lot of these situations are out of necessity. Even for the ones that don’t start out of necessity, the lifestyles choices often cement dual incomes as necessity. It could be argued that dual incomes are needed because we are living bigger.” – The Happy Rock
Both of these hit the same point. Is it a question of what came first, the chicken or the egg? I believe that the dual incomes came first. Women had been progressing towards equality throughout the 20th century and with that comes equal career opportunities. I don’t think it was a situation where America gave a collective “oh snap! We spent too much money, let’s get another income in here.” I don’t have any data to back this up, just my opinion.
- “To answer the title of your post exactly, just this morning I heard on NPR that 1 in 5 homes now have 4 bedrooms versus 1 in 6 in 1990. (I could find census data to confirm the 1990 number, but couldn’t find the more recent number) So, yeah, it appears we are living larger (at least our homes are).” – KMC
I had dodged the question of larger homes from the original MSN article. KMC called me on it and now that I’ve thought about it a little more, I’ve come up with the answer. Homes may be like McDonalds’ french fries. They started off at a normal size and price, but eventually big business realized something. If they make it bigger, their costs may go by a little, but their profits would go up more. Does it really cost that much to make each room another couple of feet bigger?
- “This is actually one the bigger questions with regards to inflation. How do we measure it? Alot of people feel that the CPI is a poor measure of “True” inflation because it measures really just commodity cost. The oft cited example is that we have 100% more channels for cable and we pay 100% more for it, it costs the same because we have 100% more service. It’s not clear to me if that’s really a true measure. But at the same time is inflation suppose to measure standard of living improvements?” – Ask Dong
I think this could be the point that I had tried to make when I said that we are traveling more. Since it’s more affordable to fly we are getting more for our money. Our standard of living might be three times as good, but we are paying twice for it. And finally,
- “All I can say is thank you productivity – I love my quality of life.” – Rate Ladder
I couldn’t have said it better myself…