The veteran journalist appeared on MSNBC’s The Cycle to call for Americans to accept a permanent lowering of their standard of living. Speaking of the next generation, Brokaw blithely insisted that “they probably won’t have as much disposable income.” He added, “They won’t live in homes that are McMansions. We gotta get real.”The former Nightly News anchor, estimated to be worth about $70 million, didn’t seem to find this a bad thing: “It doesn’t mean we can’t have everything that we need.” Brokaw lobbied for Americans to “get proportion.” He lectured, “One of my friends says we have to get up every morning and say, ‘What do I need today and not just what do I want today?’ That’s a good guide.”
This sounds like a good example of the consumerist argument against McMansions. In this line of thinking, McMansions illustrate a full economic and cultural system where Americans but they don’t need. Indeed, see this recent argument that links the need for big houses to our patterns of buying big products. And if this money weren’t spent on unnecessarily large houses, it could be spent on more productive items.