And then I found this a link to this story about the myth of rising prosperity in the U.S. on Scott's FuzzyBlog.
I love articles like these... they help clarify things when comparing living here in Spain vs. back in the U.S. There's always a question - as I've written about before - about my family's future and the quality of life that we can attain in both countries. I take it for granted that there are more opportunities and more money available in the U.S. However, the life for those who don't attain that elusive upper-class status - or even upper middle class - can be REALLY hard and endless in the U.S. Whereas here in Spain, my barber in the small shop up the street is going for a month vacation to his apartment on the Med. Is your "hair stylist" even able to take a vacation this year?
Another reason I love these types of articles is they help me communicate life in the U.S. to my Spanish wife. Sometimes the things I start talking about can be found here in Spain (big box malls) I just haven't run into them yet during my time here. Others like Yukon XLs and theme-chain restaurants can only be described. The article about sprawl was really good because it codified in my mind a lot of the differences I've seen between suburbias in California which are showing their age and the horrible yet new sprawl of places like Atlanta (the land of no sidewalks or urban planning).
Urgh. I'm not happy here in Madrid... that's for sure (the weather and lack of ocean mostly). Spain, however, is a pretty big place so we might be able to find somewhere here that we can make a living (and save/prosper) and I can be happy. But California is always calling to me. I just don't know if I can handle modern suburbia where we'd probably end up.