What explains the fact that “access to the good life” has increased so significantly over time for low-income Americans? One main reason is the “miracle of the marketplace,” especially the miracle in the manufacturing sector. Thanks to significant advances in technology and gains in worker productivity, the costs of most manufactured goods have consistently declined year after year, making goods produced in our factories ever more affordable relative to our income, especially for low-income households. Greater global access to consumer products like low-cost clothing from abroad has also contributed to the increased affordability of manufactured goods for Americans.
It is so easy to get caught up in complaining and looking for the negative that it is worthwhile to reflect on how good we really do have it compared to even the recent past. Of course things could be better but they really aren’t all that bad. We have much to be thankful for.