Perspective

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Nice car..Chrysler, not a jaguar or anything but not shabby. The other day I had a talk with the telephone man. He came out to work on my line because some drunk hit a light pole and blew out a transformer and there was this power surge, and well things went to hell. So I had to call for help. We got to talking. He told me that he was going to buy his wife this car, so that she could go visit her family in comfort, no little car for her... no siree. He then proceeded to tell me how everything is going to hell in a handbasket and the economy sucks. It is really rough out there for a working man.

Once upon a time he says people had more spending power.

I am the proud owner of a Buick Century with over 100,000 miles on it and with that in mind I told him that once upon a time people did not own two vehicles, the combined value of which was almost as much as their home.

Maybe people are just forgetfull, but believe it or not back in the good old days only rich people had cars like the ones in this picture. It is hard to compare spending power today with a time when there were no cell phones or computers or cable TV or CDs or Ipods and damn few houses that it costs $30 thousand to put a new roof on. I see the homes today in the subdvisions and I think to myself, back when I was a kid only rich people had houses like that.

I am not rich. I am a working woman who lives in a rural area where oppurtunities are not what city people might expect, but I am not starving. But I can remember tar paper shacks, kids with no shoes or decent winter coats, folks losing their farms because they could not come up with even a paltry sum to pay their taxes.

This young man is bemoaning the cost of a college education for his kids, but he would consider it beneath those kids to a technical school to become nurses or plumbers.. Nope, he wants lawyers in the family. Because they make money, lots of it and won't have to do without like he does. They won't be forced to buy Chryslers instead of Jags.

13 comments:

Barry Dauphin said...

[shameless plug alert]Tell this guy to go buy my book, so he'll better understand why he feels the way he does. Even though it will cost him a tank of gas for that car, self understanding is priceless ;>)[/shameless plug alert off]

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

Hey, that's what my wife wants. Though not in the silver. In something she describes as "buttercream frosting yellow". Women.

Nope, he wants lawyers in the family. Because they make money, lots of it and won't have to do without like he does.

I don't know how much money those lawyers of the future are likely to make. The schools just keep churning them out. And even in a society as litigious as our own, I bet a fair number will end up as plumbers. Probably better paying by then, too.

terrye said...

Skook:

Buttercream frosting.... that is her diet talking.

In truth I am thinking of buying something cheap and small that gets about 50 miles to the gallon.

Barry, he is too poor to buy your book.

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

I am virtually certain that when you look at Consumer's Reports reliability ratings for the last few years, all the Jags (if in fact they show Jags) will be a sea of black dots, while the Chrysler will be better and your normal Japanese econobox better still.

I once put 274,000 miles on an Accord. I sold it only because the interior by then looked like somebody had attacked the seats with a chainsaw. That and a new clutch. Otherwise, it would have kept on ticking.

I think you are exactly right about the buttercream frosting, btw.

Morgan said...

Bet he's getting her the SRT-8. It's his wife, after all, and what husband could deny his wife the full 425 HP, 0-60 in 4.9 seconds experience. It makes merging easier, and when you're in a bad neighborhood, you can get out faster.

I hope his budget doesn't limit him to the standard version.

Skookumchuk said...

Bet he's getting her the SRT-8.

Well, I'm not. Unless I can somehow sway her away from what they call "Linen Gold Pearl". Or is it "Cool Vanilla"?

I just need a 1960 El Camino, that's all.

terrye said...

Hey, my old man never bought me a car. I had to do that.

Skookumchuk said...

A 1960 El Camino or a biodiesel-capable Ram MegaCab. The latter choice would however require me to gut the garage and build a shed out back for my workbench and tools, just so the thing would fit.

Whereas - the 1960 El Camino at a mere 201.6 inches overall would fit nicely and is a much more rational choice.

Now somebody just has to give me the $40,000.

So either the buttercream frosting 300 or the 1960 El Camino will remain in the world of fantasy.

Three guesses as to which one.

terrye said...

the 300.

You should see Gale's collection. It is a good thing he owns land. That way he can have a place to put his fleet.

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

Remain in the world of fantasy?

The El Camino will remain fantasy and the 300 will be hers. Unless I can bambooozle her out of it and convince her that the El Camino would be "a good investment". You know, kind of like my shotguns. They are collectors items, sweetie, always increasing in value. It's true.

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

So the line about "collector's items" has been tried before, then?

terrye said...

skook:

She will see right through it. Eyeballs will roll up, there will be sighs, and she will look at you as if you were daft man, daft.

I was never good at that. My old man got whatever he wanted. I just do not know how to pick em.

George Atkisson said...

I was born in 1951. We got a black and white TV when I was 8 or 9. That meant one Christmas present each for us kids. We were fine with that. My mom ironed every piece of outer clothing since there was no perma-press. Mostly we read and played outside. We had a swing-set, but had to be careful, it wasn't anchored with concrete (GASP!). When Dad got a second car (paid for by his employer), we felt like the luckiest family in the world. We were the only people we knew who had TWO cars in the driveway!

I don't lecture my kids on the "good old days", but let's face it, the average 21 year old today owns things that the old robber barons of the 20's would have given half their fortunes to own.

Perspective and expectations determine your contentment level. Last study I saw had roughly the same percentage of happy/content population in Haiti as the U.S.