Come on Jim…
Right after this highlight, you talk about comparing apples to apples — but somehow you’ve elevated 1.03 cars per family and a household income provided by 1 individual above a household income that today has to be provided by TWO individuals.
the two situations are equal in every aspect except how many earners it takes to earn today’s average household income.
Average wages are now worth half as much adjusting for inflation, therefore 2 cars are often needed to get both earners to both jobs.
So, your premise that families have a choice to have 2 cars more often than not is complete bullshit.
because both adults have to work, no one is home all day to take the kids to school and pick them up, therefore the cost of childcare has to be paid to keep the kids at school until after work hours or sacrifice half a day’s work in order to pick up the kid from school.
The average price for my family is around $1200/year for all-day kindergarten, and the after-school Community Extension Program (CEP, otherwise known as PAL, or “Purposeful After-School Learning”) in the state of Arizona is $90 per child, with a 10% discount for a second child, which adds up to roughly $680 per month for 2 children in PAL/CEP.
Doing the math on that amounts to a little somewhere between $5900 and $6100 per year if you account for 10 months of school (from August to May), minus Spring and Fall breaks, Christmas/Holiday break, and a few federal holidays throughout the year.
You choose: 2 cars, 2 car payments, 2 jobs, and an average household income, or 1 car, 1 payment, and $6000 less owed per year, but also $27,000 less made per year.
Add that on to whatever math you’re doing.
Don’t be dumb. Both earners are forced to earn incomes at that point (speaking the language of averages).