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Thread: What America buys

  1. #1
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    What America buys

    Interesting breakdown in what the typical American household spends their money on. The bubble chart is only so-so interesting, but the comparison with the 1940's household is intriguing.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/...uy?sc=fb&cc=fp

    Transportation costs went from 7.3% to 16.9%, while clothing went from 11.7% to 3.6%

    I can see the car costs increasing because of a couple of reasons: More families own 2 cars now. And the cars they buy cost more (more options are now standard equipment, mandated safety equipment, etc).

    Clothing - if you consider that in the 1940s people wore suits and dresses as daily attire, and today people have "work jeans" and "dress jeans", people simply bought better/more expensive clothes back then. Plus, factor in that the majority of clothing these days is made in China and Vietnam.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiph View Post
    Interesting breakdown in what the typical American household spends their money on. The bubble chart is only so-so interesting, but the comparison with the 1940's household is intriguing.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/...uy?sc=fb&cc=fp

    Transportation costs went from 7.3% to 16.9%, while clothing went from 11.7% to 3.6%

    I can see the car costs increasing because of a couple of reasons: More families own 2 cars now. And the cars they buy cost more (more options are now standard equipment, mandated safety equipment, etc).

    Clothing - if you consider that in the 1940s people wore suits and dresses as daily attire, and today people have "work jeans" and "dress jeans", people simply bought better/more expensive clothes back then. Plus, factor in that the majority of clothing these days is made in China and Vietnam.

    Chip H.

    You hit the nail on the head.

    Gasoline is a huge factor nowadays as well. In real terms, gasoline has never been higher. Labor rates at dealerships and automotive shops are astronomical. Cars are beginning to become out of the reach of even middle class Americans. You can't get a car that runs for under $5k.

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