Don't you think "value is subjective," though? I truly wonder how much happier some 25 year old working a construction job in West Virginia is today vs his counterpart in 1965 (assuming not drafted). Even if we abandon the subjectivity argument for a while and try to be more "objective" about value, yes some things are better, but other things are worse or similar. Ipads and air conditioning are no replacement for meaningful human interaction, quasi-autonomous work, outdoor time, and economic flexibility. If somebody handcuffed me to a treadmill and held a gun to my head forcing me to run but put any entertainment on a screen in front of me that I could request, I think I would tire of that pretty quick, and while it's a harsh exaggeration to prove a point, I think to a degree that's how a lot of low-wage working class folks feel today.pugchief wrote: ↑Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:31 pmI would disagree with that. The standard of living of 'poor' people in this country is really good. They still get decent health care and food, have cell phones, TVs, air conditioning, etc, and most basic needs met. Way better life than the middle class 100 years ago.moda0306 wrote: ↑Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:03 pm
Well the answer is kind of obvious in some ways... the "prosperity" of the working class of our economy is utterly and completely resting on continued and growing conspicuous consumption. When people talk about how "wealthy" we are, they're certainly not taking about the balance sheets of the working class and the ability of those balance sheets to functionally feed their current lifestyle for any decent period. This is why I can't stand talking about "wealth" as flat screen TV's, great TV shows, and the internet. All are great from a consumption fun standpoint, but owning goods produced is NOT owning the means of production.
Even a lot of the structural base support that might be keeping them from abject poverty is resting on a myriad of federal and state "welfare" programs that may be difficult to get or phase out as soon as they make a bit more income. So this whole "everyone's got it great" attitude, while I'll defend in some ways without apology (some things truly are amazing today), there are other aspects that appear to be withering away that I think are stupid to ignore just because people have a handful of little luxuries to enjoy while they truly want a bit more financial security and human connection.