In general, it's easier to be negative. It's easier for us at Cracked, because it's easier to write jokes about terrible things than nice things. It's easier for us as a generation, because to admit that the world isn't that bad right now would be to admit that we have it easier than our grandparents did and that the world thus has the right to expect more from us.But as much as we like to joke about the sorry state of the world, the facts really don't back us up.#5. "Everything Is So Expensive."
‘Knowledge is power’
The Complaint:"The corporations and the government have us all living like slaves. I can back it up with numbers, too -- in 1950 you could buy a brand new nine-room brick home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, for the whopping sum of $11,500. A decent family car was about $500, and the gas for it was about 25 cents a gallon. A large loaf of bread cost under 15 cents. A large coffee was a nickel, with a free refill. I could go on and on. But now between greedy corporations and the government confiscating our income with sky-high taxes, you have to work two jobs just to survive."The Reality:Let's start with the obvious: A low-end job in the service industry paid a dollar an hour in 1950. A fancy job in insurance or real estate? A buck-fifty an hour. You'd take home $50 a week after taxes. So please don't talk about the good old days of 50-cent steaks when people were getting paid what would now be Tooth Fairy money.So how does this all average out, once you account for income? We don't have to guess. Punch anything into the cost of living calculator -- the one that uses the exact same formula that the government uses to decide things like tax rates -- and you'll see that the prices of most things have stayed pretty constant over the years. High-end manufactured goods have gotten cheaper. Much cheaper, as manufacturing costs drop.In 1954, the cost of a high-end Westinghouse color TV, with a massive 15-inch screen, was $1,295. No, not adjusted for inflation. That was the actual price at the time -- half of the yearly income for some families. Everybody writes this off as if it's a constant of the universe ("of course new technology gets exponentially better and cheaper with time!") instead counting it among the benefits of the modern system. Why? This economic system has resulted in handheld devices that can access all of the porn ever created, at a price affordable to the working man, and all we can do is complain about the cost of unlimited data plans?
#4."People Are Getting Stupider."
"Two words: 'Jersey Shore.' People are getting stupider by the minute, and the stupid people are breeding faster than the smart people. They watch mindless reality shows, and all anybody cares about is celebrity gossip and bullshit. Teenagers are obsessed with Twitter and video games and have probably never read a book. Hell, Sarah Palin will probably be our next president."REALITY IQ scores have risen 24 points since 1914. And on top of that, you have to account for the Flynn effect, discovered by James R. Flynn, which is a way of compensating for increased education (but more on that in a moment). The intelligence quotient is set up in such a way that an average score is 100. So, what do you do if people keep getting higher and higher scores, to the point where 100 is no longer the average? You rejigger the way scores are calculated so that it goes back down to 100.