Thursday, January 29, 2015

The good old days weren't that good

Megan McArdle reminds us that modern Americans have so much more in the house and pantry than our ancestors - even 50 years ago.
The average working-class family of 1901 had a few changes of clothes and a diet heavy on beans and grain, light on meat and fresh produce -- which simply wasn't available for much of the year, even if they'd had the money to afford it. Even growing up in the 1950s, in a comfortably middle-class home, my mother's wardrobe consisted of a week's worth of school clothes, a church dress and a couple of play outfits. Her counterparts today can barely fit all their clothes in their closets, even though today's houses are much bigger than they used to be; putting a family of five in a 900-square-foot house with a single bathroom was an aspirational goal for the generation that settled Levittown, but in an era when new homes average more than 2,500 square feet, it sounds like poverty.

1 comment:

edutcher said...

Don't know where she lived, but we had it pretty good.

And a lot of people didn't grow up in Levittown.