A pair of Fed officials take a look at the American standard of living and find that things really aren't so bad after all. (Ht: Cafe Hayek)Since 1982, we have had only 16 months of recession, all the while living standards have improved.
We work less, produce and consume more than our ancestors and even the less advantaged among us have a material prosperity undreamed of just twenty five years ago. Think about CD/DVD players, plasma TV sets, cell phones, digital cameras and computers.
"All segments of society have shared in the material progress. Over the past two decades, ownership of cars, color televisions, and household appliances has risen among poor households (Fig. 2). A quarter of poor households have computers. Two in five own their homes. For many goods, ownership rates are higher for today’s poor households than for the general population of the early 1970s."
In addition, we live longer, have more leisure time, all while working conditions have improved (it's actually safer at work than at home now, statistically speaking)and we spend quite a bit less time working within the home as well.