But, do they get poorer?
> Granted the poor today (I assume) have a higher quality of life than they did 50 years ago,
Good - they're getting richer.
But, why does the sentence continue.
> but their expectations for life are also (probably) higher and cheap credit means that they can live beyond their means and a deeper whole for themselves, while temporarily giving themselves the impression that they have money to spend.
The fact that US poor can be better off than ever before has no connection to easy credit.
In fact, even with the easy credit and the resulting bankruptcy, they're better off now than past poor.
Note that I'm not arguing for stupid credit policies (pushed mostly by govt). I'm pointing out that they have nothing to do with whether the poor are better off now.
Oh, and most poor people didn't get into the cheap credit problem because they didn't even qualify under the stupid standards.
However, the efforts to prop up folks who bought what they can't afford have kept folks who saved out of those houses. It's unclear why that's a good thing.
For the good of society, banks need to lose money on stupid loans.