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Letter to the Editor
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 9:11 p.m.
 

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Donald J. Boudreaux's column “Middle-class myths” (Jan. 8 and TribLIVE.com) is seriously flawed.

First, it looks only at purchase price and does not take into account whether the items of 1956, 1975 and today have the same cost to maintain and useful life. Without examining those two additional factors, no conclusions can be drawn about which generation was/is better supplied.

Second, even if the cost of the enumerated items is lower today, those aren't the only items that shape a family's budget, and certainly not the important items. The costs of things such as housing, transportation, health insurance (now required for everyone) and care, education, utilities, food, clothing and other necessities are far more important than the cost of a 10-cup electric coffee maker.

Finally, being better supplied does not necessarily translate into prosperity, particularly if you are unemployed, “underwater” on your mortgage, being driven into bankruptcy by medical bills, trying to figure out how to send three kids to college, or facing any of the other myriad real-world problems we all face.

Ed Pencoske

Penn Township

Westmoreland County

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