Everyone's Getting Rich
Everywhere I turn in the media, I hear that the economy is horrible. I hear that our parents had it better than we do. I hear that my generation may be the first ever to be poorer than my parents generation.
First off, my parents never had iPods growing up. In fact, they didn't even have cassette walkmen. Surely that's a form of wealth? Second, my daughter will grow up in a home with multiple computers; flat screen high definition televisions; cars with automatic windows, doorlocks, and airbags; wired and wireless networks; video chat with grandparents; cellphones for all; and more. Isn't that also a sign of great wealth? Isn't that also far more than my parents ever had? (Yes.)
Secondly, even if new technology didn't indicate an increased standard of living, rising incomes would. Check out the the National Data Book's spreadsheets for Money Income Of Families--Distribution by Family Characteristics and Income Level.
Between 1970 and 2004, annual median income increased from $9,867 to $54,061. After adjusting for inflation, annual income increased from $41,568 to $54,061. That's quite an increase! Incomes were adjusted using the Consumer Price Index Research Series, to that even takes into account increases in the cost of healthcare.
Sounds to me like we're doing pretty good.