Friday, December 19, 2014

Thoughts on "Comparing Living Standards Over Time"

I saw a link over on Mike the Mad Biologist's link review (something he puts up almost every day), and followed it to an article "Comparing Living Standards Over Time."  (Take a quick look, and also look at the comments, too, if you want.)

So, the basic question is: would it be better to live on an income of $100K in 1964 or 2014.

The article notes that an income of $100K in 1964 was a whole lot, but that you wouldn't have access to some technologies we're all really dependent on now.

And then it talks about how if you were asked the same question but the amount was $20K in either year, you'd be way better off in 1964 on $20K, the point it's trying to make being that the technological stuff is mostly available to people who have lots more disposable income, and so the extra income would be better for someone with the $20K then.

And then the commenters start to talk.

1964.  No thanks.  And it's not the technologies I'd miss.  It's basic civil rights for African Americans, for women, for GLBTQ folks.  I mean, we're not at all perfect now, but thank dog it's not 1964.  Let's think about the Voting Rights Act (1965), Title IX (1972), the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (2011), and so forth.  Maybe we should also think about Vietnam?  (Yes, we're also in deep military crappola now.)

I didn't see anything, not a single thing, in the article about how race or gender or sexuality might affect one's thinking about 1964 vs 2014, and I looked but didn't see a single comment talk about it either.   (Okay, I looked down towards the bottom, and there's one comment, from "Honkie Please.")  In response, someone comments that of course they're all white men commenting, and that women had it better then than now.

And that, that is one of the big things wrong with the internet: it's totally dominated by patriarchal, straight, white, male jerks.


  1. Anonymous4:35 AM

    Whyyyy did I wade into the comments?

    And their response is just so bizarre! One guy actually says bringing segregation back would be a good thing. How can it be so hard to admit that this thought exercise only makes sense for white men?

  2. Wow, the comments in that thread are...priceless. Entitled male asshats. (But I repeat myself!) And they believe every single MRA myth that has ever floated past their eyes, too, apparently.

  3. They also apparently think it is still 1970 in the cities -- cities are crime-ridden hell-holes, except for Salt Lake City, of course. Because white people there.


  4. Anonymous12:23 PM

    I'm not going to read the comments--but I'm going to share this with you in case you haven't seen it yet: