Is your quality of life (due to economics) higher or lower than it was 30 years ago? Obviously if you are younger you can comment and substitute another number for 30. If you are older feel free to go even further back. I'd say mine was about the same overall. Wages are somewhat stagnant however inflation is very low. Cars, housing, food (in general) has gone up. My current computer costs a fraction of my first computer. I now have no landline phone, cable TV but it's all replaced via the internet for less. Banks used to have a lock on your money, now a brokerage account or mutual fund can offer more convenient services at a lower rate (in general). Cars cost more but my last car has lasted over 20 years. In the past cars generally didn't do that. Air travel is cheap in comparison to pre-deregulation. I don't see the present wide availability of the internet playing out the way it has under the old regulated systems. Ma Bell never changed in 50 years. People have learned to be more entrepreneurial with more people working from home, going into business for themselves or just by simply having a side plan/income. There are less people with 20 year guaranteed jobs but more people not having to go to the same dead end job for 20 years. 401k's with employer matching, self directed IRAs, a low inflation environment, these weren't always the case. When I was a kid parents could fork over hundreds of dollars for a set of encyclopedias for the family. Now much better is available for free over the internet. When I use a phone, which is rare, I can make unlimited (long distance) phone calls for free. Mom and pop shops, when that's all that existed, were generally expensive and didn't necessarily carry everything that you wanted and you might not be able to afford it if they did. Fewer people worked on their houses, if necessary, and had to call a "professional" whereas now anyone can go down to Home Depot and cheaply buy the materials yourself and just watch YouTube videos if necessary. Gas had a big percentage jump in the 70's but has had long periods of relative stability since then. It's easy to buy most anything that is on Ebay or Amazon for much less than at any time in the past. It's easy to sell used stuff and get a decent price which was not the case in the "little nickel" days when you either basically gave away something or just clogged up your garage with it. Is your actual quality of life materially worse, better or about the same now as opposed to some fixed period in the past?