Saturday, June 15, 2013
"Whether Someone Would Really Want to Return to a Particular Time Depends on Socioeconomic Class, Age, Sex, Race and Health"
"In 1950, a young man, with or without a high school degree, would have found it much easier than it is today to get and keep a job in the auto industry. And in that year, according to Colin Gordon, a historian at the University of Iowa, the average autoworker could meet monthly mortgage payments on a median-priced home with just 13.4 percent of his take-home pay. Today a similar mortgage would claim more than twice that share of his monthly earnings.
"Other members of the autoworker’s family, however, might be less inclined to trade the present for the past. His retired parents would certainly have had less economic security back then. Throughout much of the 1960s, more than a quarter of men and women age 65 and older lived below the poverty level, compared to less than 10 percent in 2010."
Stephanie Coontz in The New York Times warns against nostalgia.