Then and now

Page 7 of 8  
On Sun, 26 Dec 2010 20:34:28 -0600, The Daring Dufas

Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are learning that people vote with their feet. That goes double for Ohio and New York.

I've been known to drive across the border (to New Hampshire) to save sales tax. No need anymore, there's always the Internet and UPS. ;-)
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Mr. Mark J. Perry should take off his idiot cap and compare how many hours we have to work to buy the same EXACT things we use today with the same EXACT things we used then. You can no longer buy the same exact appliance you used then; in fact I wish you could because it lasted ten times longer. Here are some examples of some things that he REALLY should have compared instead: A five pound bag of Potatoes A pound of 20% fat Ground beef A pound of plain rice Seeing a doctor Seeing a dentist Seeing a lawyer Trash pick-up service (once a week) A kilowatt of electricity used A cubic foot of water used A cubic foot of natural gas used All these have stayed exactly the same.
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So you'd really rather have a 19" B & W TV instead of a flat screen HD with a 47" screen? My family lives better with more air conditioning, computers, bigger and better refrigerators.
Here are some examples of some things that he

But since we can more easily afford appliances, we can more easily afford that bag of potatoes. The $5 doctor visit is now $150+ though.
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wrote

The ole Philco still is running well at my mom's house.

Perhaps he doesn't need this stuff to have a good life. My 19 inch TV died and I bought the 20 inch. I don't like the large ones where you can see the pores on the peoples' faces.

The guys would walk up to the house and open the garage door. Drag out your trash can at the street. Come back and return the can and close the door.

I remember the doctor making house calls.
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Your room is too small.

I can manage one can, owned by the city, on wheels.

So do I, shudder.
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And sucking down enough power to buy a new and bigger refrigerator every four years or so with the savings. I replace an old unit and save $10 a month. It paid for itself in under four years and that was 6 or 7 years ago so I'm well ahead.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:
So you'd really rather have a 19" B & W TV instead of a flat screen HD with a 47" screen? My family lives better with more air conditioning, computers, bigger and better refrigerators.
The point that I was trying to make was that his evidence supporting his postulate that things are better now is faulty for the exact same reason that you stated of appliances being more, bigger, better In other words he is comparing apples with oranges. We did not have computers or color TVs then but we also didnt have to call the repair person or mechanic almost every day when those so called better appliances and cars crammed with more and more idiotic amenities or water and energy saver features break down. Did you include the cost of what you pay to the service technician or the parts supplier or store for renewing every two years that cheap made in China garbage when you said But since we can more easily afford appliances, we can more easily afford that bag of potatoes. The $5 doctor visit is now $150+ though? I think not. When I said I wish I could buy the same appliance I used then I wasnt referring to a TV set, computer or microwave oven but a range, dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer or the early self defrosting refrigerators which were substantially durable than what we have now. I can even make a point about color TVs, computers and text messaging cell phones which have killed social skills, conceptual thinking and the English language if you like. The last genius we had was Einstein with E=MC2. I dare you to name one Shakespeare, Beethoven or Da Vinci since then. You dont even see anymore polymaths like our founding fathers anymore. What we have are bored so called professionals who only want to go home and play SimCity or Call of Duty. Why do you think that is?
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I recall changing tubes in the old TVs frequently while the newer ones go for many years with no repair. I typically drive my cars over 150,000 miles and change spark plugs one time at 100k. Maintenance on newer cars is a bit more complex, but it is needed far less. I remember cleaning spark plugs every 5000 miles and replacing them at 10,000 miles, along with point and maybe wires. And resetting the timing along the way and adjusting points after a few thousand miles. No thanks, I'll keep my newer cars that are cheaper to operate than any of my older cars.
My other appliances are just as good as they were in the past. You can buy a decent basic gas or electric range for about $400 to $500. You can also get better quality for $4000 if that is your desire.
Did you include the cost

The last time I had an appliance serviced was about 20 years ago. Maybe you need to buy better brands. I did just replace my dryer that was 29 years old and a few years ago, we opted for a new gas range rather than fix the 25 year old one.

I'm not so sure. Other than your perception, do you have evidence? Seems to me that appliances did go through a stage about 5 to 10 years ago where they were less reliable, but they seem to have rebounded. That is my perception, not something I can prove.

While I agree with you there, it has nothing to do with reliability and quality of a refrigerator. Many do say that TV has destroyed the human species. That would be a different thread though.
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 09:18:05 -0500, "Ed Pawlowski"

Agree with most of what you said. But I don't think appliances like washers, dryers, fridges are as good. On a cost basis they might be, but from reading reviews the quality/longevity isn't there. I felt compelled to buy a warranty on the washer I bought after reading the reviews, and it wasn't cheap. Likewise the fridge I bought - again not cheap - broke a compressor suspension spring after 2 years and has banged ever since. The jury is out since both washer and fridge are still running, so maybe the reviews only highlight the unlucky. I've noticed that with many products. The squeaky wheels make noise.
--Vic
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 09:23:29 -0600, Vic Smith

It must be noted that these are self-selected surveys.

We didn't buy a front-loader because of these reviews. The agitatorless top-loaders didn't seem to have equivalent problems and the benefits are similar.

We didn't buy an LG fridge (French door + two drawers), because of reviews. Rather we went with the Electrolux French door model. We did buy the extended warranty because of the electronics. Manufacturers often get electronics wrong. I never would have bought the warranty otherwise.

Yes, as with any self-selected survey, the negatives tend to outweigh the positives.
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 14:37:05 -0600, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

I'm at the point where I automatically discount most of the product failures and mainly look at positives about useful features and such. Came to that pass about a year ago when I built a new PC. On Newegg the ASUS motherboard I wanted had an unusual amount of bad reviews. So I moved on to look at others, Gigabyte,etc. They also all had way too many bad reviews. Well then, I can't build the new computer I need? So I just bought the ASUS and have had no issues. My brother bought the same board and has also been happy with it. There were maybe a couple hundred reviews for the board. They probably sold tens of thousands.
Another problem is model changes. I just went back to leave a good review for the board, since I've had it for a year. Model is gone from Newegg. The washing machine I bought at Sears a couple years is gone from their site too. I did a so far so good review on that at 14 months. I'm no different than others. I sometimes don't get around to doing a positive review. But if I get screwed somehow you can bet your bippy I'll write that up.
--Vic
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 09:18:05 -0500, "Ed Pawlowski"

Sadly, the new drier will, in all likelihood, not last 29 years, and nor will the new range last another 25.

Depends entirely what you buy, I guess. They (appliances in general) are better than 5-10 years ago, likely - but in many cases not as good as 25 or 35 years ago - but they use a lot less power

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On 12/27/2010 9:18 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I had a 70 MGB. You'd get to work on that almost any day, particularly if you needed to get home!
Everything last so much longer on a car today. Certainly internal engine parts. Cars really are a lot better. So are TVs, what you had to go through when color first came out. Now some of those old products were substantially built, and money was spent on appearance (chrome bumpers, furniture cabinets for TVs), but technology has made them a lot more reliable and less of a pain to own and operate.
Jeff
No thanks, I'll keep my

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Oh, the MG, Healy, and a few others wee nice care if you could keep them running. I didn't mention it, but care from the early 50's would often need a ring job (and maybe bearings) at 50,000 miles. Today, 200,000 is nothing.
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You're probably getting by fairly cheaply on food compared to in the past. A couple tables here from the United States Department of Agriculture if you're interested: http://tinyurl.com/25c6tbe http://tinyurl.com/29d89lh One more here using 1988 as the baseline: http://tinyurl.com/2c22yl7
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True.
The two major items whose prices have outpaced inflation are health care and education.
When I went to Columbia U. in the mid 1970s, a year of tuition cost me $6,800. Today, even allowing for inflation, that's only about 3 months' worth of tuition.
In the last 50 years, the inflation-adjusted cost of health care has risen several hundred percent. Of course, health care today is better than it was 50 years ago. Diseases that were death sentences back then are now treatable.
-- Steven L.
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Probably the two things the Government has its fingers the furthest into. Coincidence? I think not.

Until it became too interesting, they used to cut healthcare inflation into three pieces: the underlying inflation (CPI), the case mix inflation (sicker people as you noted, more people) and the excess. Most of what many people were calling excess (anything above CPI) was taken up by the case mix inflation. Still a bunch of excess inflation, but not nearly the same headline.
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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On 12/26/2010 13:38, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Manufactured goods are cheaper now due to production automation and manufacture in countries with cheaper labor. Taxes and other threats to liberty by government, along with a litigious society, have lowered the standard of living -- but it's safer now.
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On 12/26/2010 4:38 PM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Ah technology. They really have figured out how to make things cheaper. Those TVs were all handwired and had lots of large components and little plastic. Look at all the woodworking!
No doubt that the oven was built tougher too.
But that is the way it is, they figure out how to minimize materials and costs and the price falls due to competition. It's rather dramatic. When you first make a new product you want it to work (and it is overbuilt), later you want to beat/match your competitors on pricing. There is always a premium on new.
Now for things where the amount of US labor has remained relatively constant, it's a different story. Bread, eggs and coffee shop coffee being often cited.
Jeff

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You think bread and eggs are made the same way as they were 40 years ago? Coffee shops are serving more than just coffee, and yes, that has changed substantially, too.
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