I’ve been thinking about this off and on lately, and what I concluded is that wages back in the 50s (let’s just go with that decade for now) and the cost of living complemented each other, very well, in fact. The cost of fuel complemented the cost of living and wages as well as did groceries. Simpler times if you will. And to add to the thought of simpler times, there weren’t as many bills to pay as there are now.
Turn the hands of time to present day and we have wages, fuel costs, and the cost of living that do not complement each as they did decades ago. But it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to technology, for example, we have more bills each month. The internet costs money each month, and anyone who’s anyone these days has access at home and needs it in order to find work, as pounding the pavement has become a thing of the past for most; having cable or satellite TV costs money each month, and nobody wants to miss their shows; let’s not forget about Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Redbox, and the countless other ways to spend money for entertainment purposes, including outside of the home – the much higher cost of going to see a movie in the theater these days.
With all of these taken into consideration, this means that your power bill will be higher too, right?
What about all of the different types of insurance that we must have now, i.e., car insurance, homeowners insurance, medical, dental, and vision coverage, renters insurance, pet deposits, and even pet rent? How many of these that I just mentioned were mandatory back in the 1950s? How many are mandatory now? I don’t think that pet rent was even conceived of back then.
My point is that what we now consider normal, every day necessities are luxuries that our grandfathers & grandmothers never had. Technology, greed, and luxury items are the reasons we can’t make it on just one income anymore.
If you’re in a low-income household, you’re expected to live without the luxury of television, internet, and going to the movies, however, when you enter the workforce, you are expected to dwell in harmony with your peers and managers, relating to them on their level, even when you cannot because you can’t afford the same luxuries they can.
Children of low-income households suffer in the same ways, not able to relate to their peers because they don’t watch the same shows, have a cell phone, nice designer clothes, or the latest cool game everybody’s playing. Hence the bullying, being made to feel inferior to those around them.
In conclusion, we either need to take away all of these luxury items, which I don’t see happening, or we need to do the right thing by those who suffer in the lower class. For instance, maybe we can raise the minimum wage without boosting costs on everything else, that way a lower-class citizen (adult or child) is not seen as such while being ostracized or bullied for being inferior to others, but instead can live in harmony with those around them.
Wouldn’t that be a nice world to live in, or are the upper classes so greedy and self-serving that they want to keep it this way so they may have people to look down on in order to make them feel better about themselves?