From Yahoo Finance: http://polls.yahoo.com/public/archives/57019568/p-quote-300 The typical U.S. family in the 1970s had one wage earner. As of 2000, it had two. What family expense increased the most in this period, as a percent change? - Total spending on health insurance - Total spending on mortgage payments - Total spending on cars & maintenance - Total spending on home entertainment Correct answer is : Total spending on mortgage payments. "The authors of 'The Two-Income Trap' detail how the typical U.S. family today, with two wage earners, is worse off than a generation ago, even with higher family income. In their account, mortgage expenses are largely the culprit. Expenses like automobiles and taxes increase nearly in lockstep with adding another wage earner in a family, and for the typical family they did increase significantly over the period. But in the typical family's budget, the largest percent gainer (aside from taxes) has been mortgage expenses. It's not that typical families today buy newer homes. The authors argue that, instead, the middle-class family faces a potent housing problem. Housing is important not just because home ownership is a traditional value, but also because it is the key to obtaining good public schools for children. But with relatively few good schools, and relatively many dual-income households, a bidding war has ensued. The result? Adjusted for inflation, mortgage payments rose 69% in real terms for the typical U.S. family in this period. So while the typical U.S. family in 2000 had 75% more income than its counterpart in 1973, it was still left with less after expenses." --- Very interesting. Is this why some or many out there believe there is a housing bubble? I hate to break it to those waiting for a burst, but housing markets don't collapse like equitiy markets. Anyone read the "The Two-Income Trap" ??