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  #561  
Old 12 March 2018, 10:54 PM
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Another example that comes to mind is student debt. When I was going to university back in the '80s it was possible to earn enough over the summer break to cover my tuition for the following year. Now a student would have to have a pretty amazing job to be able to accomplish that. "Kids today" are starting out with debt that their parents, for the most part, didn't have to face - or certainly not as big a debt.
  #562  
Old 12 March 2018, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Since inflation is more or less the change in the aggregated cost of everything, I'm not sure it is a good metric for how much more or less expensive things have gotten over the years.
Maybe using inflation as a metric doesn't work but just as one example my daughter, in a unionized position, hasn't had a pay raise in several years - I think at least 3, possibly 5. In that time prices have gone up, most dramatically here in Ottawa in terms of housing. However it gets defined she makes the same money now she was making 3 years ago but it's costing her more to live in Ottawa. That means less money going to the little extras because more money is going to the basics.
  #563  
Old 12 March 2018, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
And no one needs a line for everyone in the house
I didn't mean a line for everyone in the house, I meant a phone for everyone in the house.

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Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
And no one has to get a new TV at any point.
Actually, IMO nobody has to get a TV at all; not now, and not in 1960. But that's a minority opinion. And quite a lot of people do have to get a computer and/or smart phones, and then a new one because the old one won't upgrade any further, and then another new one, and so on: because they need it for work, for school, to be able to get the amount of news that in 1960 you could get in a print newspaper (the internet will drown you in news, of course, but that's a different sort of problem), and/or to be able to communicate with people who are no longer communicating any other way.

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In my lifetime, I have always bought good computers. They have always cost between $1500 and $2000 dollars. Not adjusted for inflation, just that cost. Computers today are massively more powerful than back in the '80s, and yet the real cost of them has plummeted. .
In the 80's, almost nobody needed personal computers. In the 50's and 60's, they weren't even an option. And nobody missed them, because we hadn't had them. And for a lot of people now, a cost every few years of between $1500 and $2000, that used to just plain not exist, is not minor at all.

Much of that massive power increase, by the way, is wasted on most of the users. There isn't actually anything I'm doing on the computer now that I couldn't do on my 2002 iMac. Pages load faster; but they don't load all that much faster, because they're now designed with much more info in them that has to load: the size of the page expands to fill the bandwith, and much of the advantage of going to dsl from dialup disappears along with it. The word processor's faster, but not enough faster for me to notice, with what I do with it. The computer starts up faster; but I don't shut it down all that often in the first place. Some people, of course, use all that power. A lot of people don't.

And we didn't, in 1960, feel like we were deprived, with no computers and our one phone that only made phone calls and was tethered to the wall. We were living in a bright new age on the cutting edge of technology. We had all kinds of things that nobody had ever had in the world before.


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Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
It's the wages not keeping up that are the problem.
Now that part I will agree with. That is indeed a lot of the problem.

And some of the rest is the costs of having all the adults in the household working. Not only do you need two or more sets of work clothes, and in many cases two or more cars and the gas and the insurance and the repairs for them: there's nobody whose primary job is the housekeeping. And proper housekeeping is a full scale job, especially if there are any children, and/or adults who need caretaking. It's a major problem to assign it by gender, of course. But it's also a problem to expect it to be done by people working full time in the scraps of time they have left between commuting to work and getting some sleep. Some of that is dealt with, by most families, by spending money on getting others to do large parts of it (I don't mean only hiring housekeeping services, but also such things as pre-cooked food, day care, et very cetera); but then, of course, they need to have that extra money available.
  #564  
Old 13 March 2018, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
Let's see - average cost of gas in 1960 - $0.31. Adjusted for inflation, that's $2.62. Average cost of gas yesterday was $2.53. Gasoline is cheaper today than in 1960.

Your fuel must have really been expensive back in 1960, at 31 cents per gallon. When I started driving in 1964, brand name gasoline was in the low twenties range and the off-brand was generally under 20 cents per gallon.


Another aspect regarding the price of gasoline is the percentage of my income spent on gasoline then compared to now. Both the price per gallon and my fuel consumption today are a smaller percentage of my income now, in 2018 than what I think I was spending in 1964.
  #565  
Old 13 March 2018, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
Let's see - average cost of gas in 1960 - $0.31. Adjusted for inflation, that's $2.62. Average cost of gas yesterday was $2.53. Gasoline is cheaper today than in 1960.
There is a big difference between gas prices in the US and gas prices in Canada. Not even comparing 1960 to the present I can assure you prices at the pump are taking a bigger bite out of most Canadians wallets than ever. It does fluctuate so some days are better than others. But not by much over time.
  #566  
Old 13 March 2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
There is a big difference between gas prices in the US and gas prices in Canada. Not even comparing 1960 to the present I can assure you prices at the pump are taking a bigger bite out of most Canadians wallets than ever. It does fluctuate so some days are better than others. But not by much over time.
To tag on, gas prices in Ottawa right now hover at 1.24 per liter. In gallons. you'd be looking at roughly 4.96/gallon, if my calculations are correct.
  #567  
Old 13 March 2018, 01:24 PM
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That's about twice what I pay here.
  #568  
Old 13 March 2018, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
For me it doesn't come down to what things cost now vs then it's what's considered essential now vs then. In the '60s a home phone was probably just beginning to be considered an absolute basic part of the home and not a luxury.

My mother told me that central AC was still considered a luxury item when she and my dad had their first one installed in the summer of 1963.
I remember talking with my father about home prices in the 1950s vs now. He paid $25k for his house, but told me that the average yearly salary was around $5k/year. I can still hear myself screaming THAT'S POVERTY LEVEL!!! He did note that the DC area has always been a bit pricey because () it's the nation's capital/close to it. FTR my parents bought their house in 1954. I pass the old homestead every time I go to the dog park. The new owners have really changed things.
  #569  
Old 13 March 2018, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
To tag on, gas prices in Ottawa right now hover at 1.24 per liter. In gallons. you'd be looking at roughly 4.96/gallon, if my calculations are correct.
Its' $4.70, but that's still quite a bit more than I'm paying.
  #570  
Old 13 March 2018, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
My mother told me that central AC was still considered a luxury item when she and my dad had their first one installed in the summer of 1963.
As far as my parents were concerned, it remained a luxury for several decades longer. Mom died in 2012, still considering it a luxury.

Quote:
I remember talking with my father about home prices in the 1950s vs now. He paid $25k for his house, but told me that the average yearly salary was around $5k/year.
My mom's standard response to people waxing nostalgic about prices Back in My Day was "And how much money did you make back then?"
  #571  
Old 13 March 2018, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
I'll give you mortgages are higher, but only because homes have gotten much larger.
No, it's not only that. The house I bought in 1993 (built in 1930) is 1,500 square feet. It cost--at that time--a little under 4 times my annual salary.

That same house, today, would cost almost 7 times my annual salary--and my income has kept up with the cost of living. That's not an increase solely due to inflation, or to increased size.

I'm not arguing with your point that the real problem is that salaries haven't kept up with costs. I'm saying certain costs are in real terms higher today, and that it is much harder to live on a single salary now than it was in the 60s, and the minimum wage is not the only problem.

FYI, I live in a city where the minimum wage is swiftly approaching $15 per hour. I don't think merely raising the minimum wage is the best way to make the city affordable. I think other measures need to be taken, like not only requiring developers to include affordable units in new buildings, but not letting them buy their way out of the requirement (that's currently possible and it really steams me). Giving people more money has limited effect if you don't also either keep the cost of living low, or lower the cost of the most important elements, like food and shelter.

Seaboe
  #572  
Old 13 March 2018, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
That's about twice what I pay here.
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
Its' $4.70, but that's still quite a bit more than I'm paying.
Canada: we have free healthcare, but gas prices and cell phone rates will get ya!


  #573  
Old 13 March 2018, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
FYI, I live in a city where the minimum wage is swiftly approaching $15 per hour. I don't think merely raising the minimum wage is the best way to make the city affordable. I think other measures need to be taken, like not only requiring developers to include affordable units in new buildings, but not letting them buy their way out of the requirement (that's currently possible and it really steams me). Giving people more money has limited effect if you don't also either keep the cost of living low, or lower the cost of the most important elements, like food and shelter.

Seaboe
I second all this. Lack of affordability is why my daughter moved back here. She's handling it well, but I know that leaving Seattle was a major disappointment.
  #574  
Old 13 March 2018, 05:48 PM
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It's partly an unintended downside of elevators.

When people had to climb stairs, cities crowded enough to build up had lots of cheaper housing, because people who had money didn't want to climb, but the builders wanted to get more use out of the building footprint. So the rich people lived on the lower floors, and the poor people in the same block and the same buildings, but up multiple flights of stairs. [ETA: hard, of course, on poor people who had trouble climbing stairs, or couldn't do so at all.]

Now the builders can get more money by building multiple stories of high-priced apartments; and they can price them all high, because elevators. And many of the rich people don't want to live near the poor people, so the apartments can be priced even higher if they're all high priced.

As far as central air conditioning: when that becomes a luxury depends a good bit on where you live. It's become considered essential in the USA South, AIUI; but a lot of people still don't have it up here, and some still don't have even window air conditioners. As the climate keeps heating, some people who didn't think they needed it before are changing their minds.
  #575  
Old 16 March 2018, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
What exactly does the emergency button do, I wonder? If it stops the elevator, including when it's between floors, then for some potential problems it might be worse than doing nothing. And if it doesn't, then for other potential problems it won't be doing what it ought to.
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I'm sure it notifies a human of trouble in that particular car, and human(s) respond.
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Eventually, I expect, Lainie.

I've heard varying stories on how fast; and expect that would vary from building to building, and very likely from case to case within the building.
Bumping this because a co-worker got stuck in one of the high-rise building dispatch elevators last week. He said they were stuck for about 10 minutes. Not bad, especially considering that a couple years ago someone got stuck in the (non-dispatch) elevator in my 5-story building, and he was there for 45 minutes. I don't think he ever took the elevator again.

ETA: Re-reading this, I can't remember why we thought the emergency button in a dispatch elevator would work differently than the emergency button in an old-style elevator.
  #576  
Old 16 March 2018, 02:17 PM
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I don't think the point was that the emergency button would work differently; but that the older elevator type could be stopped at any floor by someone inside the elevator pushing the button for that floor, which is apparently not possible with the dispatch elevator.

I always assumed that the emergency button both called for help and stopped the elevator wherever you were, even between floors; while if you needed to suddenly get out at the next floor you just pushed that button instead of the emergency one. But I never had to use the emergency button, so I might have been wrong (though I have changed my mind and pushed a different floor button after I got in.)
  #577  
Old 16 March 2018, 02:38 PM
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I'm guessing the expectation is that if you change your mind, you continue to the original destination, then take another elevator back to where you wanted to go.

Changing your mind, or pushing the wrong button, aren't emergencies, generally speaking, and going to the wrong floor isn't irreversible. In a high-rise building like some of my employer's, elevator wait times can be a real problem, especially at rush times. I can see my employer deciding that accommodating one person who changed their mind is not sufficient justification for potentially inconveniencing multiple other employees.

ETA: And I doubt anyone will be installing dispatch elevators in non-high-rise buildings. It wouldn't be worth the time and effort.
  #578  
Old 16 March 2018, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Changing your mind, or pushing the wrong button, aren't emergencies, generally speaking
No. But realizing you're sharing the elevator with someone wearing/eating/accompanied by something you're highly allergic to, or with someone who seems about to pose a danger to you, might well be an emergency.
  #579  
Old 16 March 2018, 05:18 PM
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I assumed you weren't supposed to use the emergency button unless you were already stuck between floors, at which point it would call for help. Otherwise you'd be better off just waiting for the next floor where it stopped, and dealing with the problem there - or going down to whichever floor was most accessible to emergency workers, if you could. Most buttons I've seen say something like "call for help", which to me just suggests an intercom or automated phone call. If the button automatically stopped a working lift immediately and made it stick in place, it would make most problems worse, surely, including thorny locust's examples.

I can think of situations in which you'd need to stop the lift immediately even if it was between floors, but a lot of separate things would have had to have already gone wrong for that. (I'm imagining the doors being open while the lift moved, and somebody half in the lift getting themselves trapped against the floor or ceiling - and in any lift except the most basic, there would be loads of fail-safes against that happening anyway).

(eta) Paternoster lifts do just have an emergency stop button, I think, but they have no doors and are pretty rare these days. You could potentially get bits of yourself trapped, but you can't really get stuck in one like you can in a normal lift. I did a masters at the University of Essex, whose library has one of the few remaining examples in the UK, but I don't know if it's still working, even - apparently you can no longer get the parts to do effective maintenance, so they're getting very expensive to maintain. It worked when I was there.

Last edited by Richard W; 16 March 2018 at 05:23 PM.
  #580  
Old 16 March 2018, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
No. But realizing you're sharing the elevator with someone wearing/eating/accompanied by something you're highly allergic to, or with someone who seems about to pose a danger to you, might well be an emergency.
In which case you better be sure what the button does. If its just immediately stops the elevator, you've just made the situation worse.
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