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Life continues. It was very good to whinge about being an… - Sally's Journal
May 31st, 2005
11:17 pm

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From:beckyc
Date:June 1st, 2005 11:37 am (UTC)
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I guess it seems to me that it's a bit shit to live in a world where heroic (or sacrificial) effort is required, but I'm sure that the acts of heroism (or sacrifice) within that context are good.

At the risk of being a bit "oooh, when I were a lass" here, I think that even twenty-thirty years ago, sacrifice was a bit more the norm, and that now we (the population as a whole) are a bit, well, selfish and wanting it all, and wanting it now. Debt, for instance, has lost its taboo, and is now just another tool for getting the shinies that you'd like (or an education!). It seems that now it's more the norm for both parents to work, unlike in previous generations. Part of me suspects that a family living on one salary now would feel much worse off than 30 years ago (but I wasn't born then, so I'm just guessing)
From:kaet
Date:June 1st, 2005 01:48 pm (UTC)
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I think that definitely seems to be true for me. There was a survey recently, I forget by whom, but some reasonable weighty organisation, the ILO, or someone, not the Institute of Spurious Statistics, or anything, which found that people felt the wealthiest (in some terms more psychological than ecconomic) and happiest in the UK in 1973. There was a deal of comment at the time about how silly it was, but I think this rings true for me. People have talked about why there's a big blip of depression in people born in the 1970s, and it seems to me that it might be because, in terms that really matter, like security and food supply, and support, and stuff, we're the first generation for perhaps three hundred years who've been getting poorer.

Part of it is a tragedy of the commons, I think. Things like clothes and food and childcare and tenure of shelter are coming drawn into the economy, and there's some kind of self-reinforcing mechanism going on in that it becomes more marginal to do those things for yourself, the opportunities to do different are taken away because of lack of demand, and because you just can't mend many things any more, and because of what people who don't mend think of people who do.

I think I was probably about as well off as you when I was growing up (give or take), but, and I've recently talked about it to my parents, I think we all felt quite well off.
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From:beckyc
Date:June 1st, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
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As regards housing: I can't imagine being able to buy a house any time soon. And I'm never going to qualify for any existing housing scheme (except for maybe this new part-buy one). It makes me sad, but not sad enough that I want to compromise my current lifestyle by sharing a house for a few years (which would drive me up the wall)

I think I was probably about as well off as you when I was growing up (give or take), but, and I've recently talked about it to my parents, I think we all felt quite well off.

I think that when I was very little, I was far too easily manipulated by the media and my peers as regards materialistic wealth and other frivolous expenditure. But, hey, I was a child ;-) I was mostly exposed to two groups of people when I was growing up: rich kids and council estate kids. The parents of both of these groups spent rather a lot of money on, well, overpriced materialistic tat, albeit for rather different reasons. So my perception of our relative wealth was rather a little bit confused.

One of the things that came as a complete shock to me in the last couple of years was that, for my current salary, I couldn't begin to hope to buy my parents house. It's in the "rough" bit of town in pretty much the same way* that I live in the "rough" bit of town now, but to a child, that sort of thing can seem quite important.

*i.e. not in any real sense, but in a perceived sense if you knew the name of the area.
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From:robert_jones
Date:June 1st, 2005 10:29 pm (UTC)
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I can't imagine being able to buy a house any time soon ... It makes me sad

Why does it make you sad? Why is everyone so keen to invest in property? If a fund manager wanted to invest all his funds in a single asset with 90% gearing, he would be sacked on the spot.
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From:atreic
Date:June 2nd, 2005 07:26 am (UTC)
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Do you really want the "arrgh, I can't buy a house" rant? It's not because it's an "investment", or because renting is just "tipping money down the drain" (although I would much rather be 60 with no mortgage than 60 and still having to pay rent every month). It's having somewhere that belongs to you, where you can do the things you want to do, without having to creep to the landlady first, who will probably say no. Chop down the trees. Paint the walls. Screw safety gates into the walls for the children. Stick a nail in the wall! It's the whole not-being-dependent-on-someone reason again. Especially when you're on 12 month contracts, and you spend every year uncertain about whether your landlady will want her house back.
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From:beckyc
Date:June 2nd, 2005 08:58 am (UTC)
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I'll second what atreic said. I don't like the feeling that I'm trapped shelling out so much wasted money, and won't have anything to show for it. It's not like the situation in much of Europe where most people rent from the state/housing associations, and rents are low, people are secure where they live and so on. In this country, a few people grow rich at the expense of the rest of us, and *shrug*, I don't care for that sort of system.
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