Originally Posted by Sonic82
....and the malls are packed around our area every weekend
Those people are buying primarily cheap Chinese junk.
In 1964 Winchester made changes to the model 70. In effect they made it cheaper and that's why pre 64's are valued so much. Think about how the popular rifles today compare to even a 65 Winchester in terms of quality, workmanship, and so on - much less a pre 64? Now think about how much a rifle would cost today if it were made in the same manner as a pre '64 Winchester?
We buy a lot of stuff today but the stuff buy is primarily junk. And now we've reached a point where even our junk is expensive. Things of real quality are astronomical. We're getting to the point where I could see an old home costing significantly more than a new one just because of the materials used to construct it and much higher quality in craftsmanship (have you priced copper and wood lately?).
Our quality of living has already dramatically dropped and we don't even realize it. New homes tend to be poorly constructed piles of splinters and plastic sitting on a cracked concrete slab. Aluminum is even making a come back for wiring because it is so much cheaper than copper (there's a reason people quit using it years ago). Our cars, guns, and even tools aren't far behind.
Have you noticed how popular Mosin Nagants are today? I'm not a fan of the Nagants. I certainly wouldn't knock anyone for buying one. For many people that is what they can afford, and I've been there. In the past a Mauser or Enfield was all I could afford and those were the poor man's gun years ago. Now the reason I'm not a fan of the Nagants is because of what they represent. We went from a poor man's gun being an Enfield or Mauser to a Nagant? At this rate in five years or so people will be raving over the British muskets that you can get for $100. Seriously, people are going nuts over a WWI Soviet made peasant rifle????? And the really sad part is that those guns are probably made better than many of the current production sporting rifles. For me the Nagants represent just how much our standard of living has already fallen along with the value of the dollar. My first Enfield was only $45 and that was in the mid 80's.
I know that was long winded, but this is a lot more complicated than just where the Dow closed at today. The malls are full of people spending money, but on what? What exactly are they getting for that money? Are they getting more for it than people got for the same amount 10 years ago? How about 20 years ago? What about 49 years ago which would have been 1963?