How does that old Bob Dylan song go: “the times they are a changing”. When we think about changing times, economically speaking, the best time to be alive was probably in the 1950’s to 1970’s, those were the glory days for the Canadian economy. It was the first time in history that one income could support a family, prosperity and opportunity were everywhere.
Home ownership was not a priority, mom stayed home with the kids, the average family size was more than twice as large as today, and one income would be enough to support the family comfortably. The best part is that folks back then had no debt, or very little debt.
Credit cards have been around for a long time, a lot longer than most people realize, but they weren’t anywhere near as prolific as they are today. In the late 1970s there were less than 8 million bank issued credit cards in Canada, today there are more than 80 million. Our population hasn’t increased ten-fold.
Over the twenty-five years from 1950 to 1975 incomes far outpaced the cost of living and very few people bought goods and services on credit. In fact, credit was frowned upon with a near religious zeal. These days the exact opposite is true, people use credit frivolously and frequently and the cost of living is far outpacing the growth of incomes.