E Warren lecture+interview on middle class changes since '70

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gbs
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E Warren lecture+interview on middle class changes since '70

Post by gbs »

If you want to know how your family compares with families from the '70 it is an insightful view.

The lecture - starts at 4:45.
http://economistsview.typepad.com/econo ... -coll.html

Interview:
http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people ... -con0.html

gbs
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zzcooper123
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Lecture

Post by zzcooper123 »

Very interesting lecture by an attorney, saw it originally on satellite TV. Why are two earner families not making any financial headway? Reason: big mortgages from big houses and cost of healthcare. Fascinating lecture.....a walk through the Economics of the last 30 years in America.
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Clutch Cargo
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Post by Clutch Cargo »

Elizabeth Warren, the law professor at Harvard University, was also featured in the movie "Maxed Out" (which was available on DVD at my local video rental store), and which I highly recommend. She's one of the most authoritative and outspoken experts on debt & bankruptcy and the consequences of both.

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Sphinx
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Thank you for posting this.

Post by Sphinx »

gbs wrote:If you want to know how your family compares with families from the '70 it is an insightful view.

The lecture - starts at 4:45.
http://economistsview.typepad.com/econo ... -coll.html

Interview:
http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people ... -con0.html

gbs
Thank you for posting this. Good stuff. I see Elizabeth Warren co-authored a book called All Your Worth -- I'll have to check that one out from the library.
satori
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Post by satori »

Thank you for the link. I listened to the entire talk. I was interested to learn that middle-class families today are paying proportionately less for clothes, food, appliances and other "flexible" spending items today compared to 1970, and yet are faring much worse due to high housing and healthcare expenses -- even when there are two earners. And that there are more couples with children declaring bankruptcy than divorce these days.

Very thought provoking video.
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Post by tfb »

I thought this kind of non-actionable general economic stuff is no longer allowed on this forum. From Alex,
1) Does it relate to finance or consumer/recreation issues (but it's not an investing question)? - Maybe

2) Is it personal? In other words, is it about you or does it directly affect you. - No

3) Is it actionable? Can you do something with the replies that will make a difference in your financial life or the products or services you buy. - No
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.
plex
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Post by plex »

Tfb, I disagree...

1) Of course it does, it is directly about consumer issues, it is about their spending habits/costs. After looking at it, it provoked a number of ideas on future pitfalls I will need to do my best to avoid.

2) Sort of, same explanation as above, it explains the major expenses everyone has to deal with in their lives. Regardless of whether that was the main topic in it or not, there was a lot of data in there (some of it skewed towards the main point, but not the slides).

3) Same as above
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Re: Lecture

Post by daryll40 »

zzcooper123 wrote:Very interesting lecture by an attorney, saw it originally on satellite TV. Why are two earner families not making any financial headway? Reason: big mortgages from big houses and cost of healthcare. Fascinating lecture.....a walk through the Economics of the last 30 years in America.
I did not watch the video but it sounds like it's proving my theory. That most people (NOT DIEHARDS!) and most governments whizz away all or most of their money. So sending the second spouse to work doesn't really improve their situation, just allows them to accumulate more things. Which I guess is, in itself, somewhat of an improvement if you started with an outhouse and are hungry. But for most that was NOT the starting point. The point is that happiness is only temporary, relative to what the Jones have, unless you learn to understand and fight this. The hedonic treadmill.

As to rising healthcare costs I agree that our system is a mess and terribly wasteful. But the truth is that healthcare of 2008 is certainly many times better than the healthcare of 1970, so you are almost comparing apples to oranges. My "large frame" paternal grandfather died in 1958 of his second heart attack at age 48, because there was no real treatment after the first one. 2 of his 3 brothers were also dead before age 50 from heart disease. My similarly-built father, however, had bypass 12 years ago and is now a fairly healthy/active age 73 and is making good on his promise to livelong enough to make me crazy :D
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Re: Lecture

Post by Valuethinker »

daryll40 wrote:
zzcooper123 wrote:Very interesting lecture by an attorney, saw it originally on satellite TV. Why are two earner families not making any financial headway? Reason: big mortgages from big houses and cost of healthcare. Fascinating lecture.....a walk through the Economics of the last 30 years in America.
I did not watch the video but it sounds like it's proving my theory. That most people (NOT DIEHARDS!) and most governments whizz away all or most of their money. So sending the second spouse to work doesn't really improve their situation, just allows them to accumulate more things.
'more things' translates in this case as the rise in the cost of middle class homes in decent neighbourhoods, and in the cost of health care and health insurance.

That is what the video is saying (since you didn't watch it).

On the cost of middle class homes, what has been driving that (particularly in the coastal cities) is ever tighter zoning. You couldn't build Levittown or its equivalents now (affordable decent housing for former GIs and their family).

As to rising healthcare costs I agree that our system is a mess and terribly wasteful. But the truth is that healthcare of 2008 is certainly many times better than the healthcare of 1970, so you are almost comparing apples to oranges. My "large frame" paternal grandfather died in 1958 of his second heart attack at age 48, because there was no real treatment after the first one. 2 of his 3 brothers were also dead before age 50 from heart disease. My similarly-built father, however, had bypass 12 years ago and is now a fairly healthy/active age 73 and is making good on his promise to livelong enough to make me crazy :D
I agree healthcare is undoubtedly better.

'many times?' -- depends on what condition you have. Cancer or heart probably yes, others perhaps no (depends on type of cancer).

However it has also risen to 15% of US GDP from c. 5%, which does imply the real cost has risen.
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