- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Some newer cards in the deck.

Posted by: bill on November 07, 1999 at 22:02:53:

In Reply to: The New Deal posted by Dr. Cruel on November 04, 1999 at 19:02:09:

: You do bring up an interesting point. Pardon me, but I must refer to the '50s and '60s.

: During the immediate post-WW II era, a house might be had fairly cheaply ($5,000 I believe is the price mentioned). I believe the movie It's A Wonderful Life refers to a system whereby immigrants are actually realizing this goal. At the time, female wage earners, if they had a job of any sort, usually brought in a fairly minimal wage. This situation was true well into the early '70s (a decent house could then be had for less than $20,000, with a mortgage that charged less than 5-6% interest even for new borrowers).

: Now, one would be lucky to purchase a house for less than $80,000, and the prime rate is above 9%. Many families have two wage earners, and yet live no better (perhaps worse) than in the "pre-feminist" post-war era.

: My question to you would be, what might you think the cause of this to be? The valuation of female labor? Capitalist machinations? Population increases? The collapse of the 'colonial' relationship between Europeans and the rest of the world? I would be interested on your "take" in this matter.

: "Doc" Cruel

: P.S. Anyone else - please feel free to respond as well. This is a most interesting conundrum for me, and I'd like the broadest base of participation in resolving it.


Some possible factors:

1. Jeremy Rifkin's book "The End of Work" describes the decrease of the relatively high paying "production" sector (due largely to technological innovation) to a growing, less well paid "service" sector.

1a. Moving production facilities to areas (abroad or in the States) where tax breaks or labor costs can result in a better bottom line.

2. Gentrification and Land speculation, where "hot" industries like those found in Silicon Valley have lured developers to build for a highly paid "yuppy" population (ignoring less profitable low-income development). This has helped drive up real estate values within a hundred mile commuting radius. It has caused a housing crisis in San Francisco, where, though the demand for housing is high, few can afford the rent, let alone a house.

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