Jack asked in Social ScienceEconomics · 1 decade ago

Was This Type of Economic Model Unsustainable?

I often hear people talking about the economic conditions of the 1950-early 1980's, where anyone with a high school degree and a job at a factory could live a comfortable middle class life, with enough money to buy a house and provide for a family by your mid-20's. However, for the most part, that isn't possible these days and people always ask why we lost that ability.

Is the reason why because that isn't a sustainable economic model? Isn't there a reason why that was only possible to do for about 30 years before many of these factories shut down and few low skill workers are able to receive high pay and full benefits?

I guess what i am asking is, are these people that look fondly on those times where someone with an assembly line job could be considered middle class, looking at a time where that economic model not sustainable and was going to eventually crash and burn?

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is not possible b/c there are a lot more people in the US (and same amount of land for houses), and the demands for quality of life is a lot higher. I.e. back in the 50's TV's and clothes-washers were considered luxuries, music came from radio or vinyl records, and there was one phone per household. Not to mention that everybody was wearing same clothes and listening to the same music.

    Today, the complexity of electronic goods, and variety of music and clothes requires much more specialized skills from each worker.

    Another way to look at it is that in 1850's, farming with a single horse was enough to maintain what was then considered middle-class lifestyle.

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