Back in 1973 I was 15 and I needed to get a special work permit to be a 'stock boy'.
This document ensured that I would not be forced to work past 10pm, was not exposed to morally undesirable situations,
(which I would have loved at that point in time),
my tasks were strictly limited to light work well within my physical capacity (come on look at those muscles!)
and that it didn't interfere with school (D'OH!)...
and all for $1.50 an hour!
Now to keep things in context I lived with my parents in an average Suburban Bungalow for which they had forked out $18,000.
I still didn't have my driver's license but the following year I passed my test in this, my Grandmother's new Datsun 510, and bought myself a 1966 Ford Falcon (in excellent condition) for $100.
In the NEWS today a report from Statistics Canada revealed that from 1980 to 2005 the average Canadian worker's salary rose by $50...
FIFTY DOLLARS IN TWENTY FIVE YEARS!!
On top of that the current Housing Boom (which has already peaked in the USA) continues to thrive despite the dire warnings from Economists who have repeatedly warned that it is unsustainable, and that there is growing evidence that as the overvaluation in home prices climbs above underlying economic fundamentals, that there is a risk of an eventual correction.
I have personally witnessed the average price of a house in WhatEVERpeg grow from $18,000 in the 70s
to $82,000 in the 90s
to the current cost of $173,000,
which is still about half the Canadian average of $314,000.
Our house has doubled in value in just 10 years...WHY?
It's not as if there is a Baby Boom or the Immigration Floodgates were opened.
As far as I can tell the only thing fueling the 'HOT' market here was a 50% Divorce rate!
In DemographEEK terms WhatEVERpeg's population growth is 'tortoisian' at best... I don't know if that's a real word.
Regardless, if the average salary has only increased by a paltry $1 per week over 25 frickin' years but the cost of a house has doubled, even tripled in some markets, I would not be surprised if that 'correction' happened any minute NOW.
It's definitely a 'Seller's Market' which is great for both my Parent's generation and the oldest Baby Boomers who want to downsize and move into a Condo..
but for people who want to move up and especially young people who are just starting out and don't have any equity to play with it is an unmitigated disaster...
always loved that term...
The other obvious EEKonomic trend has been the widening gap between the RICH, the Middle Class, and especially the Lower Income Earners aka the Poor.
Here in Canada, during the past 25 years the earnings of the Rich actually increased by 16.4%,
the Middle Class earnings grew by $50,
and the income of the Poor has decreased by 20%.
It seems that we are headed back yonder to days of Olde...
Serfs Up Dude!