At the weekend I was visiting an old-fashioned clothes shop in my home town in order to buy some shirts. Its old-fashioned in the sense that its independent, and run by the owner, and you get more personalised service. The shop has been going since the late 1800s, being kept in the family, but will likely close for good when the current owner retires, as his son isn't interested in taking it on. Anyway, I was talking to the owner about my work, and commuting to London daily, and he was telling me about when he used to commute in the 1970s, and how the train journey was more civilised and comfortable. As just one example: back then there was a proper buffet carriage, staffed by two stewards, serving hot food. Now there is a feeble 'cart' that gets pushed up and down the train, that serves just hot drinks, luke-warm drinks, and packaged snacks like chocolate bars and crisps. The shop-keeper was bemoaning a general collapse in quality across all areas of life - food, clothes, furniture, household goods - and said he felt sorry for young people today as they largely don't even know what good quality is, having little experience of it. How did we get into this position? Aren't we supposed to be richer than we were decades ago? Yet we put up with so many products and services of poorer quality.