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inflation - from $99 to $29.95

updated thu 27 jun 02


David Hendley on tue 25 jun 02

Inflation over the years is wildly variable. It is absurd to
say that 'a dollar in 1970 is the same as $12 today'.
Some things, such as health care, cost dozens of times as
much as 30 years ago, but the product is so much better
that the comparison is pretty meaningless.
Some things, such a watches, cost less than they did
30 years ago, and they are also actually a better product.

Here are some of my recollections:

In 1970, a gallon of milk was 98 cents.
Today it is $2.49.

In the mid 70's, my Pacifica potter's wheel was $400.
Today it is $800.

A color TV with a small round screen was $400 in 1970.
Today a 25"TV with stereo sound is $249.

Spiral notebooks at the discount store 'Back to School'
sale were 3 for a dollar in 1973.
Today, at Wal-mart, they are 2 for a dollar.

Hamburgers at the drive-in were 50 cents in 1970.
Today, as part of a 'value meal', they are about a dollar.

A printing desk-top calculator was $99 in 1970. My father
excitedly bought one because the price was so low, and
threw out his 50 pound adding machine.
Today it would be $29.95
(I still have and use the 1970 model).

Not exactly rampant inflation, huh?

In spite of nostalgia for 'the good old days' (hey, I have it too)
the general standard of living using purely economic measurements
in the U.S. is far and away better than 30 years ago.
I do believe I am better off selling a mug for $20 today compared
to selling one for $5 in 1973.
Come to think of it, I think I sold them for $3 in 1973, as a relative

David Hendley
Maydelle, Texas

----- Original Message -----

> The 'buying-power' of a '1970' dollar, I figure would take about twelve or
> fourteen dollars now to
> match...

Bobbruch1@AOL.COM on wed 26 jun 02

David: if you check out the cost of a house, especially in most urban areas,
cars, medical services, and the cost of a college education - I think you
will find that those increases will more than make up for the costs of the
smaller items which haven't risen so fast over the last 30 years.

Bob Bruch