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Cost of Living

Focus On The Positive

Each of us chooses our point of view on what we see and how we analyze things.  Some of us are perhaps pessimists who look at the world as a glass that is half empty. Others of us might be called optimists who look at the world as a glass that is half full. In both cases the glass has the same amount of liquid, the description, and therefore the judgment, is the only difference. The Cost of Living or The Consumer Price Index are two excellent examples of the negative point of view.

The News

The media generally chooses to focus on what we call the news. We all know there are both good and bad things that happen each day, yet news has been defined to be the things that are bad: bad news. It doesn't have to be this way. Like each of us, the media chooses to define news in the way it wants. We should therefore recognize it for what it is: the bad news, not, the news, or we would have "the rest of the stories". 

The Cost of Living

Now this an area that is also the pessimist's point of view because it looks at just the negative side: the increasing cost of goods. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in our Federal Government establishes a Consumer Price Index that continuously changes with inflation. Many of today's Web Sites offer calculators that illustrate the increasing cost of goods by calculating the worth of a dollar for two different time periods. Visit The American Institute for Economic Research to see such a calculator.

It is fun to discuss the Cost of Living changes reflected in prices and compare how far a dollar goes, especially when talking with our children about "The Good Old Days"! The only problem is that we lack a quality of life measure to truly determine if life is getting better or worse. Actually we are working less hours and making more money and buying far more than our grandparents did on average across the entire United States!

It's Getting Better All The Time

Stephen Moore and Julian L. Simon have taken a bold step in defining today's quality of living compared with yesterday's in their new book, It's Getting Better All The Time. Here are some facts as presented in the book that talk about life from the year 1900 to the year 2000:

The average life expectancy in 1900 was 47, today it is 77.

Infant mortality has gone from 1 in 10 to 1 in 150.

A farmer 100 years ago could only produce 1/100th of what a farmer produces today.

In the 1800's, almost all teenagers toiled in factories or fields full-time; now 9 in 10 go to school.

In 1900 the average American worked 2 hours to earn enough money to buy a chicken for food, today it's 20 minutes.

Why has there been so much progress in America? Stephen Moore offers the following:

“The unique American formula of individual Liberty and free enterprise has cultivated risk taking, experimentation, innovation, and scientific exploration on a grand scale that has never occurred anywhere before.”

Family Tradition

A positive outlook on life and everything we see will motivate each of us to grow to our potential and positively impact our families, friends and the person we meet on the street.  

Our Product

Visit our Shopping Mall to buy a copy of Stephen Moore's Book, It's Getting Better All The Time. Be sure you and your family have the facts about the quality of life in The United States. The data presented and the accompanying analysis will shift your view of American Life Today to the positive if it is not there already. This country affords an opportunity to mankind that is unprecedented. "Let Freedom Ring!"



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This Web Site is the intellectual property of American Family Traditions. Some of the information provided is general knowledge and some is the original work of American Family Traditions. Permission must be requested to use or reproduce any of its contents to ensure fairness. Footnotes have been provided where appropriate to give credit to the work of others and to ensure you get permission from those sources.
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Last updated April 8, 2001
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