I've been thinking about something to reply to this with. Something told me that there's a counterargument, but I couldn't put my finger to it at first. Turns out, you said it yourself:
If you could not compete for that scarce resource you made do with less
Minimalism and mindful consumption have been getting traction over the last decade or two. I think the reason for it, mostly, is that people find it difficult to manage their urges to buy and consume, in a world so full of things to do it with. I think people are recognizing that, without managing that urge — in a way no producer of food or luxury items will ever help you with — they're going to spend far more than they can afford, and most people are savvy/unfucked (in a sense of having few things that would skew their perception) enough to account for that.
People have been having an increasingly tough time getting a job in the first world, both because of the sudden population boom due to rapid industrialization of production...
...and because of the decrease in wages this (and many other things, including women starting to work during/after WWII) meant. People clearly see that they're getting less and less — or, more precisely, are being able to afford less and less. Some are drowning in credit as they try to cope with the pressure of not being able to buy whatever they want, that's true, but more and more people are willing to take a cut so that they can still afford what they need.
Maybe, with automation on the rise, this is where we're heading: a new plateau of desire and consumption, with a much higher base level of production to supply us what we need.
Then again, I'm mostly talking out of my ass here. If I'm getting something wrong, that's on me.