Standard of Living - better 100+ years ago?

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by gr1nch, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. gr1nch

    gr1nch Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes, I hear some of you thinking, but there was poverty then, slums, crap jobs,...but

    * for about 300 years from the late middle ages there was virtually no inflation. Prices for everyday items were very stable in comparison to the last 50 years.
    * Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses were far grander for the middle classes than the post-war new houses. Cities and towns are full of them. The middle classes now struggle to own Victorian workers cottages, say in London outskirts. House prices have been mainly on a steep upward trajectory.
    * Council houses were plentiful, decent sized with big gardens (ie space), well maintainedand cheap to rent
    * Today there are more things to buy no doubt, consumerism is rampant, but not without excruciating consumer debt.

    We look richer, but in terms of living within ones means and savings, a decent place to live for the majority at least, health, time and peace of mind, are we really?
     
  2. TheFoX

    TheFoX Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    300 years ago, no one would own a Merc, but then again, going back just 30 years ago, the Merc, along with a Bentley and a Rolls, would have been the preserve of the rich. In fact, before Ford introduced Options, buying a brand new Ford would have also been outside of most people's reach.

    Some things have got more expensive, but some things have got cheaper. I can remember back to the days of the Apple II and Commodore PET, and how expensive technology was in those days. Our very first Winchester hard drive, which was 200MB, cost £4,000. So, electronic technology has got cheaper, with more processing power in our Smart Phones than there were in the PDP-11 I programmed back in the early 80's.

    Medicine has got better. More people live after an illness these days than they did 50 years ago, when Penicillin was still in it's infancy.

    Yes, some things have gone downhill. Attitudes these days seem to have gone downhill. Watching programs such as Nightmare Neighbours demonstrates how low these can get. People don't seem to be as content these days, with more and more of us falling out with each other. Gone are the days when whole streets would have parties.

    I could go on and on, but I have to leave for work in a minute, so I'll sign off now.
     
  3. MikeInWimbledon

    MikeInWimbledon Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    1916: what's not to like?

    Middle son working in Belgium (no letters from him for three months - bloody 15 year olds ),
    12 hour working day, 6 days a week - proper regular factory hours and 15 bob a week. You can buy food with that.
    People could walk to work - and the kids can get a job in your factory,
    Wife for life who runs the house and do as she's told (let's face it with 6 kids someone had to)
    No pension shortfall to worry about (no pension)
    No one griping about the NHS
    No grandparents still alive to query what you're doing
    Kids bringing home money at 14 - and a couple of them can read now.
    Gas lights work well in the house - you get used to the smell
    Cheap coal deliveries every week - just wish she'd keep the house clean of the dust. How hard can it be to sweep it out?
    Diptheria now pretty rare - only a couple of folks on our street.
    Outside khazi works a treat and it's your own.
    Kettle fills the bath OK on Saturday night and water stays warm in the tin bath almost until the youngest has had her bath.
    Sunday's boring: No Work !! But there's church and sunday dinner. Wish they'd hurry up and invent the radio.
    Only thing that's sad is the youngest sister is in the workhouse, but that her fault for getting up the chuff and they feed her.
    But my brother's doing OK: 35 bob a week as a bus driver, for working from 8am until midnight. Solid money.
    Don't know what happened to my eldest brother.




    Never had it so good
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  4. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    Eldest brother ?

    Didn't he go off to seek a better life back on the 10th of April four years ago ?
     
  5. camerafodder

    camerafodder Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Really?
     
  6. Peter103

    Peter103 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    100 years ago? Trench foot, Misery, and Death. For what?
     
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  7. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Club Veteran

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    Fred Dibnah certainly looked pretty happy most of the time, might be something in this...?
     
  8. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  9. jotter22

    jotter22 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    can you post the link to Fred Dibnah in 1916 don't seem able to find it? :p

    Tony.
     
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  10. saff

    saff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Did anyone watch "The Victorian Slum" on the BBC recently?
     
  11. Alfie

    Alfie Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    I think the majority are far far better off. No diptheria, TB, Cholera etc and life expectancy much longer.
     
  12. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    I think maybe fifty year ago but not a hundred (WWI was happening for a start!)
     
  13. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    I would have to remark that the forum members might not represent a cross section of the average UK population. Male life expectancy in the UK as a whole is around 80 --- in Glasgow its 65!
     
  14. WDB124066

    WDB124066 MB Club Veteran

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    The guy was like me - living very much in the past - bliss.
     
  15. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Flu epidemic did for my grandfather around then.....plus you have to live through the First World War, Depression, Second World War. No NHS initially, then less advanced diagnosis and medicines when it does arrive, health n safety amounted to 'watch out for that, it'll kill you if you touch it/get hit by it/breathe it in (and then we will deny it for years) - asbestosis etc. Rubbish cars generally, ditto tv, holidays....etc.

    I think I'll make do here. :)
     
  16. Dryce

    Dryce MB Club Veteran

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    My apologies for digressing OT.

    My observation is that if you can walk a few hundred metres from the area of the worst stats you get to an area just outside the city boundary with some of the best stats.

    And in that 'good' area you will probably find a lot of people who have moved out from the 'bad' area.

    This is where the statistics make good headlines. But don't tell the whole story.

    The characteristic that makes a city like Glasgow particularly prone to this was the development of large areas of homogenous social housing 50 years ago and the city has a very good transport network - allowing people to commute. The net result is that you have distinct large areas with poor reputations within the city and conversely you have an extensive suburban spread outisde the city that appears to do much much better.

    One thing that is telling is that the same large hospitals and health trust serve people of both ends to the life expectaccy sprectrum in the Glasgow and greater Glasgow area.

    Going back On Topic a bit - the inner parts of cities like Glasgow would have been more densley populated 100 years ago - and a lot of the areas that we see as the suburbs (and in the case of the Glasgow the large planned estates) would have been fields with the odd quarry and mine. The railways would have been much more extensive in the area they occuped - with large goods yards in the city, and smaller yards and sidings even at the minor suburban passenger stations.

    And there would be a lot more coal burning - domestic and industrial.
     
  17. Dryce

    Dryce MB Club Veteran

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    Travel has got cheaper - and in reality quicker - even over the last 30 years.

    We had family who migrated from India to SE Asia in the 1930s and they often went for the rest of their lifetimes not visiting back 'home' and lost touch with siblings. It wasn't just cost but time - travelling by ship took days or weeks in each direction.

    That would have been as bad in the past - just not televised !

    Conversely we can maintain close connections with friends and family across the world. Telephone and inernet communication are pervasive and cheap.

    Even 30 years ago to call across the world was expensive - line quality was often poor.

    We don't write letters any more. You just pick up the phone on a whim - the only impediment is often timezones - are they asleep or awake?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  18. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    As above.

    And no poverty in (real terms) either.

    The modern definition of poverty in the UK relates to certain minimum standards, which is right and proper for a civilised society to have, but we do not have people who sleep rough, are starving, cold, or cannot afford medical treatment, like we had in the old days.

    (Those who do usually suffer from a range of other issues, which are more complicated than just lack of funds).
     
  19. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    It was hard not to watch Dr Lipscomb

    Scroll down for picture

    http://suzannahlipscomb.com/about/
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  20. artyman

    artyman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I might have paid more attention to history if teachers were like that :D
     

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