Many people blame the housing bubble as a reason for families that struggle to make ends meet. "Big banks" and "the 1%" become easy targets when we see news reports showing families kicked out of their homes. The unreported truth is that for many of us, it's a struggle we created for ourselves. Let's look at some graphs that will show us the facts inside the situation:
This first graph shows us a clear example of modern American excess. In 1970, the average American lived in a house a little over 1,600 square feet with three people in their house. Today, the average American lives in a nearly 2,700 square foot house with only 2.6 people in their house! We went from roughly 533 square feet per person in 1970 to 1,000 square feet per person today.
For comparison, on average if you made $50,000 in 1976 you would buy a $180,000 house. $50,000 in 2005 would get you a $260,000 house and $50,000 in 2011 would get you a $215,000 house. If we spent the time to calculate the mortgage payments with each of those, it would show that we're leaving ourselves with less money to spend and save.
The Bible teaches us to stop looking at the mote in our brother's eye until we've removed the beam from our own. As a nation, we should consider fixing our own standard of living problem before we demand more help from corporations and the 1%.