Read a post on early extreme retirement on ecological capitalism, I am not going to get into it but it did make think about the problems we have today. It is its interesting, more like sad, that we enjoy a technologically rich society, yet rather than make our lives better, or goods more durable, it simply produces cheaper stuff.
Take a look at some products that were made 40 years ago and you will notice a definite difference in quality. Yes it is a bit bigger, roughre, and less refined looking, but these things last for ever. It wasn't that cheap garbage wasn't made back then, it was, but considering our cultural mindset, and our funds at the time, individuals bought the best item they could afford, and used them until it could no longer be repaired anymore.
It is strange to think that it takes two people to fund a 'middle cass' lifestyle when it only took one not to long ago. When we realize that real incomes for families have been dropping, and are now at their lowest level since 1995, it's downright disconcerting, but it is also self inflicted. Our concept of middle class, which is vastly different from our grandparents, is responsible for this self implosion we see today.
I've seen families, with two working parents, have a car for each member of the household and an additional one that is never driven. I have seen an abudenance of needless flat screes. Yearly buying of new laptops. Rooms full of cloths. And the question is, what does it get us? What we expect for middle class is vastly more than what we used to expect, and we aren't really happier for it.
On the otherside you go Mr. Money Mustache a dude who has family and lives off of $27,000 grand a year, is sort of retired in the sense that he works when he wants and only then, and has a pretty damn nice house. It has become increasingly apparent to me that much of what passes in modern societal as normal or sound is quite the opposite in almost every aspect of our society.
It is really telling on how dysfunctional our society is, where if you earn a median income your are among the top 3% richest in the world and if you earn above the poverty line you are in the top 20%, cannot make 'ends meet' and demand that the government give us more. Perhaps if we adopted our grandparents outlook towards possessions, buy what you need, the best you can afford and use it until you can't use it anymore, we would be in a whole lot better place than we are now.