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The Dream

peko

TRIBE Member
After surviving the disco era, the punk, the new wave, I figured I'd be dead by 35 so I have far exceeded the dream (a low benchmark makes it easy!).

But seriously though, I have been living the dream ever since I started TRIBE in 93. My dream never included having kids and it is amazing how much you can afford when you don't have kids. On the other hand, when I see all these TRIBErs with their ultra cute new families....

Men can reproduce until they die. So you can still have it all!

Lots of people can only afford to have one or two children (fiscally & physically) now a days. We're a debt based society, so unless that changes - pleasentville will never be "the norm".

Not to mention, the Boomers were so "keeping up with the Jones" that it will be interesting to see how the backlash unfolds despite the student loans and credit debt racked up.
 
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

Snuffy

TRIBE Member
Hmm. Graph didn't seem to post correctly. Here it is again:

lastrealestaterecesssio.jpg
 

wayne kenoff

TRIBE Member
Three or four kids, two cars, and a house that's paid off in ten years - all done on one income. In my hometown, 25 years ago, this was the norm.

How would you say things have changed?

The rich have got richer, the poor have got poorer. And somehow the rich have convinced the poor that socialism is the problem, not the answer.
 
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Spinsah

TRIBE Member
There are interesting ties to this thread and the one on garbage privatization.

There is no debating that the rich have gotten richer and poor have gotten poorer, but putting it in those terms is an over simplification. Since the mid-80's or so, there has been a significant divergence between productivity growth and real wages in tandem with neo-liberal policy and attacks on unions. Of-course, such redistributions created tensions for the capitalist system. If the output per unit of labour input (labour productivity) is rising so strongly yet the capacity to purchase (the real wage) is lagging badly behind – how does economic growth which relies on growth in spending sustain itself? Household debt of course!

It is interesting that many of you are citing mortgage rates amortization periods, because finance engineering is the root of the problem. It is what caused the sub-prime crisis to the south and it is strongly implicated in the probing questions of this thread.

So while you may hear in the news that household debt is a problem in Canada and that we are stretched to our limits, ask yourself if wage suppression might be the real problem. Ask yourself why GDP and corporate profits have soared and why family wages have not. Then ask yourself what is going to happen if this trend is not reversed.
 

Spinsah

TRIBE Member
How about those that refer to "the bourgeoisie" and "the proletariat"? Does that have more of an old world charm to it?
 
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Snuffy

TRIBE Member
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There's an example that she uses that I identify with. She talks about a single mother who has a respectable income, but she can't compete with couples. She's locked out of housing.

I'm a single guy making decent cash, but yet I'm completely locked out of the real estate market (except for the crumbling old condos at Jane and Finch with $600 in maintenance fees). On top of that, I'm at the low end of the rental market!

This is me at the top of my game! WTF?!!
 

wayne kenoff

TRIBE Member
Of course rich vs poor is an oversimplification. It's not necessarily done with evil intent.

If you look at large organizations in the past few generations, they have gained efficiencies through technology that have enabled flatter corporate structures. Middle management has been greatly reduced. The net result is a few upper managment jobs and oodles of McJobs that pay <$20/hour. I suspect this is the single biggest reason for the dwindling middle class.

The net result is plain to see. There IS a much greater separation of rich and poor which is not up for debate.
 

Snuffy

TRIBE Member
The net result is a few upper managment jobs and oodles of McJobs that pay <$20/hour. I suspect this is the single biggest reason for the dwindling middle class..

Even at $20 to $25 an hour, which is a decent salary range, condo ownership is unaffordable. Heck, in this city, you need two incomes and a rental in the basement to buy a house!
 
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