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If an economic crisis lasts long enough, people’s core values may begin to change. In the middle class, people learn to get a good education, buy a good home, and save their money for retirement. Much of the driving factor for success is about the future. These values come from generations of people who usually stay in the same economic class as their parents.
Today, those values are shifting back to an old-fashioned way of living. During the Great Depression, class was a concept on the brink. Even the wealthy suffered financially, but most people regained their social status as the country recovered. Americans still had hopes and dreams for a brighter future, but the practical approach to conserving resources meant that the middle class shifted to a cautious handling of money. For four generations, saving money has been a key part of the middle class lifestyle.
However, somewhere along the way, the middle class became enamoured with the economic boom of the 1990′s, and people began to hedge their futures against easy access to credit. Now it’s all come crashing down, and the attraction to materialistic things like big homes, luxury cars, and expensive trips has caused the middle class to pay attention to the wisdom of earlier generations.
The middle class lifestyle is once again a practical approach to living where people use cash to buy the extra “luxury” items. Practical cars are back in favor, and real estate sales are at a stand still. Once again, the middle class lifestyle is changing back to a practical philosophy that emphasizes education, practical houses and cars, and saving money.