In this period of economic downturn there is much tightening of belts going on. There is the fear of losing a job, and the depression that comes from having lost one. People aren’t going out as much, aren’t buying as much. At a time of low interest rates, credit is very hard to get, and mortgages are only available if you have a substantial deposit and a secure salary.
Today in the UK, not having a television is one of the official measures of poverty. When I was very young, it was a mark of affluence – black and white affluence, but still affluence! Our standard of living has increased immensely in a relatively short period. We have more possessions than we ever had, and we throw them away faster than we ever did. Once they are out of fashion, they are out of the door. Once they are old tech, we are looking at the new.