December 29, 2005


Better living ... as measured by PCs, VCRs (Mark Trumbull , 12/30/05, The Christian Science Monitor

In case there was any doubt, a study has confirmed that Americans have a lot of what economists know, technically, as stuff. The computer has surpassed the dishwasher as a standard household appliance. The poorest Americans have posted a sharp rise in access to air conditioning. [...]

It's only one piece of the overall picture of economic progress and doesn't resolve the question about future generations. But it confirms that what the Census Bureau calls "material well-being" abounds for regular folks today in ways that Louis XIV - for all his palaces, silk stockings, and ruffled finery - could barely have imagined.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 29, 2005 9:03 PM

Materialist, are ye?

Posted by: ghostcat at December 29, 2005 9:36 PM

In comparison the average European has neither a dishwasher, a washing machine, a home computer, nor a car.

Posted by: Gideon at December 29, 2005 9:45 PM

This is worth pairing with Victor Davis Hanson's latest, over at NRO.

"What explains this paradox of public disappointment over things that turn out better than anticipated (the war, terror security)? Why are we like children who damn their parents for not providing yet another new toy when the present one is neither paid for nor yet out of the wrapper?

One cause is the demise of history. The past is either not taught enough, or presented wrongly as a therapeutic exercise to excise our purported sins.

Either way the result is the same: a historically ignorant populace who knows nothing about past American wars and their disappointments and has absolutely no frame of reference to make sense of the present other than its own mercurial emotional state in any given news cycle."


Victor, as always, is da Man. We live like potentates of old, and can do no better than whine like children about it.

We don't deserve it. (Well, a great many of us. I do, of course... ;-)

Posted by: Andrew X at December 29, 2005 9:53 PM

people have been pulling equity out like crazy and putting it back into their homes, in the form of remodeling and upgrading. thus improving the quality of the existing housing stock. this must be what it feels like to have an empire...

Posted by: emp. toe at December 29, 2005 10:44 PM