What exactly do we mean by “progress”? I’m moved to ask the question because of the following recent article:
Price of progress hurts Kiwis
The rampant cost of living means two-income families are increasingly worse off than single-income families were a generation ago – and it is threatening to put them under. …
In 1970, 16.63 cents in every dollar earned went towards housing and utilities. By 2011 that had jumped to 23.55 cents in every dollar. The fixed monthly outgoings of the modern middle-class family are now 2 1/2 times those of their 1970s single-income counterparts.
What has buried so many families is the level of household debt. In 1980, it accounted for 47 per cent of a family’s disposable income. Today, the debt mountain is equivalent to 143 per cent of disposable income.
Many of us now have bigger houses and flat screen TVs. But when “two-income families are increasingly worse off than single-income families were a generation ago” that isn’t progress. It’s madness.