OT. Middle Class Living

The Wall Street Journal talks about the cost of living middle class. <https://www.wsj.com/articles/families-go-deep-in-debt-to-stay-in-the-middle-class-11564673734#comments_sector
The vehicles we're driving nowadays are super fancy compared to what existed in the 1970s. People had cars, not SUVs and pickups.
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On Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 6:34:42 AM UTC-4, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Cars don't actually cost that much more (adjusted for inflation) than in the 1970s and you get a lot more safety, reliability, and features:
<https://blog.chron.com/carsandtrucks/2016/04/cost-of-a-car-in-the-year-you-were-born/
Although I take exception to the article title, since it doesn't list anything for the year I was born, nor I expect for many of us here.
Cindy Hamilton
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On Sat, 3 Aug 2019 03:56:13 -0700 (PDT), Cindy Hamilton

In my experience the 1970's was the era of the worst North American cars .. I owned a Vega to use just one example. John T.
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On 8/3/19 7:39 AM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

True! Detroit's Big 3 were in a competition with each other to see who could build the worst POS.
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On 8/3/19 8:37 AM, Joe 30330 wrote:

Add the Ford Pinto. A lot of things we have now are better than back then. Computers, microwave ovens, phones, the internet. Some of those didn't exist for people for practical terms. Very few had them even if they did exist. Farm equipment is another example. Farmers of my dad's generations sat in the open. Guys sit in environmentally controlled lazy chairs now.
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On Sat, 3 Aug 2019 09:24:34 -0500, Dean Hoffman

I am not sure about microwaves. My 1972-3 Monkey Ward is still running.
http://gfretwell.com/ftp/microwave.jpg
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On 8/3/2019 11:51 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Obviously well made, but what did you pay for it in present day dollars? Amazing the features you can get now for less than $100.
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It was $169 in the early 70s it would be almost a grand now. The thing that saved it is no clock. We used to see lots of "bad" microwaves because people assumed we could fix anything and virtually all of them had a bad clock (something on that card). Without the clock, they won't run. The part costs more than a new one. I took one really nice Amana, drilled a hole through the center of the key pad and installed a spring wound timer in there. (all the interlocks were still there). We used it until they closed the office.
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In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 03 Aug 2019 14:11:36 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I had an Amana Radarrange Model 2. Looked just like the classic picture.
First time, sparking inside the cage or maybe near the diodes. Used GE Silicone Sealant and put a thick layer of the stuff over the sparking area, and that worked fine.
At one point I wanted the wiring diagram, and the woman on the phone was plainly afraid to give it to me for fear I'd radiate myself. I convinced her I wouldn't, that I would reassemble the cage correctly, and she sent it for free. In some ways I shouldn't have needed it but it made me feel comfortable.
Eventually the transformer broke and I called Amana and they wanted maybe $450. I pointed out that this was more than almost the best new one cost, but he was unmoved. I didn't want to give up on it (with two spring timers (one for one minute and one for 40 minutes iirc) So I wrote the HQ in Amana Iowa and said keep a couple so you can fix your museum models, and sell me one for much less because you have a lot of them and you'll never sell them for $450, and I got back a letter to call a different parts place, in Pa. instead of Baltimore. So I did, and it was the same thing, $450. I had to throw it away.
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On 8/5/19 1:45 AM, micky wrote:

All manufacturers are forced by law to give free appliance parts to illegals and welfare democrats. (You don't want some poor kid to have to eat cold meals, do you?)
Anyway, when some cash customer comes along, the manufacturer has to charge more to make up for the losses caused by welfare people.
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On Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 1:09:19 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

s the  era   of the  worst

? Vega  to use just

see who

ns

I replaced a 10-year-old microwave (about $300) with one that was about $100. If it lasts 3 years, I break even compared with buying another 10-year, $300 microwave. If it lasts longer than 3 years, I'm money ahead.
Admittedly, the $300 microwave was nicer, the door closed more smoothly and quietly. But the $100 microwave cooks my oatmeal and heats up my leftovers just fine.
Cindy Hamilton
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wrote:

Mine too. but mine is a National. No sign of reduced power either, still does the frozen peas and corn mix in the same time etc.
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On Sat, 03 Aug 2019 11:51:24 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

AN early adopter, I see!!!! That thing cost roughly the equivalent to $5000 in today's dollars - - - We bought our first one in about 1987 for $600. It had an antenna failure under warranty and we got rid of it about 4 or 5 years ago because my wife was convinced it was GOING to fail soon. I've had latch switch problems on the new one - bet the old one would still be working if we had kept it.
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wrote:

Actually using the inflation calculator on the interweb it was more like $1000 but I was certainly an early adopter. I had a 1975 Betamax I was into 8 tracks just about the time they stopped being 4 track (1966-7), I had a projection TV in the late 70s, a digital watch with a red LED display and you had to push the button to see the time. I paid $100 for mine, a year or two later Shell would give you one with a fill up. I also had a "4 banger" calculator when they were $100+
Now I am the opposite guy. I still have PCs running XP, I drive a 20 year old Honda and I won't buy anything until they have worked out the bugs and dropped the price. I learned.
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On 08/03/2019 06:02 PM, Clare Snyder wrote:

I worked for a company in the early '70s whose principal product line was RF preheaters for the plastics industry. They ran about 100 mHz. However the company had built some microwaves and placed them in a couple of area restaurants. The idea was the restaurant could prepare a batch of marinara sauce or whatever, freeze it, and thaw it out on demand.
The mikes were very large industrial quality units. Unfortunately the company completely missed the consumer market. We kept one of the smaller 100 mhz units in the lab. It did wonders for day old doughnuts. workers in the molding shops also figured out if it could heat phenolic plastic preforms it could heat up dinner too. They also figured out metal utensils weren't a good idea.
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On 08/03/2019 08:24 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

Nothing like taking a ride to nowhere on a Minneapolis-Moline. This one had the advantage of a leaky gas tank so you got a buzz to go with your tan.
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On 8/3/2019 12:33 PM, rbowman wrote:

What you mean...you went to town after finished the day's work!
<https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2017/03/15/the-swiss-army-knife-of-farm-implements-1938-minneapolis-moline-udlx-comfortractor/
--


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On 08/03/2019 12:57 PM, dpb wrote:

https://www.machinerypete.com/details/under-40-hp/1948/minneapolis- moline/rtu/19440096
That's a little closer to my reality...
Then there was the day I pinched a tire turning too tight. That might not have been too bad except the tires were ballasted with calcium chloride for traction. The tire guy wasn't about to go out in the field so I drove it back to the barn, getting a chloride wash down every revolution. As I recollect, I took a long shower and went to bed early. Town was thirty miles away, unless you call the post office in back of the store at Huson town.
There's rich man farming and then there's cowboy farming trying to keep the mules fed.
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On 8/3/2019 2:55 PM, rbowman wrote:

The only of the MM heritage we had was an early 12-20 and 20-35...I only vaguely recall the 12-20; the 20-35 had been converted to rubber and was still used for wheat ground and pulling the old Gleaner combine until the mid-50s with rare use even into early 60s....
<http://twincitytractors.tripod.com/2035.htm
My first experience was on Farmall M altho traded them up to 400's very early on in my actual field experience time frame. Then grandfather bought a little Allis-Chalmers WD45 because he got to where couldn't really handle the 400s and wanted to keep doing field work. It had a full set of toolbar equipment -- lister, cultivator, chisel, knife sled, ... In early 60s traded it up to a D17 and I did a _ton_ of row crop on that puppy...
Eventually, the first JD 4020 arrived and it wasn't long before was all green...by then I was off to school and then gone for 30+ years.
--


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That ComfortCab was quite an experiment!! In road gear it would do over 30MPH (so would a 44 Massey Harris)
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