search  current discussion  categories  business - money 

the price is right...inflation and the value of money...

updated tue 25 jun 02


Philip Poburka on mon 24 jun 02

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

In 1970...

A very 'decent' House in the Bay Area, on the the Sea...would run
you 12 to maybe 20 thousand...about the same as in the 'city'...

A Carton of Lucky Strikes was $2.75 at 'Safeway'...a Pack was maybe 30 cents
in a Cigarette Machine at a Bar....and a Beer and a Shot would set you back
fifty to sixty-five cents in many places...'Proper' places I mean...

Bacon and Eggs and Toast and Coffee in a nice restaurant...75 Cents...'Pie
and Coffee'...30 cents...

A 'Bar' was a place where Men 'stood'...but nevermind...

Gasoline - where I was buying it in South San Francisco...was 22 Cents a
Gallon, and a very clean 'good' used Car would run you a Hundred to two
Hundred dollars...maybe 250 sometimes...

In 1970 I had a little Ice Cream route...I made, 'take home' in cash,
about average, every Month...some Months were better...or as it were, 35 to
60 dollars a day.

Ten to fourteen months 'work' if saved, (and silly me, that is what I
did...'saved' it!)would buy a very cool House 'on
the Coast' ON the cliffs, bye the Water...or in San Francisco, in a decent
neighborhood...or in the

Oakland, Alameda and other areas, you could get a house for a lot less.
You could squat for many of them...or give the city a 'dollar' and promise
to paint the damned thing.

What do they 'cost' now?

A days work would buy me about sixteen to twenty something Cartons of Lucky
Two days Work would buy me a decent Revolver, as a proper big frame Colt
Service' or Smith and Wesson 'Triple Lock'...three days work, or four or
maybe five would get me a very
decent Car, as say a low miliage mid series or top-series Buick or a
LaSalle, Packard or Cadillac...or a host of other likely charming others...I
allmost bought a 1914 'Seven-Ton' SAMSON Truck for $125.00 at a gas was very heavy duty and ran allright...I thought it would be
good for ''Work' things, and it would have been, too...

If you were making more than eight hundred dollars a month you could live
fairly well indeed with a little resoursefulness...

Not so now...

Luckies being $32.00 a Carton...

A 'nice' New Service, pushing well over a thousand...the same or more for a
Triple Lock 'Smith'...

That '37 Lasalle Coupe that was for sale on my little Ice Cream Route with
no takers at $200.00...well, maybe it would readily fetch 25 grand now...(it
was 'clean'! and mighty good lookin...'Black'...)

Now...any 'decent' Car...that is, clean, 'original', running well, not
messed with and made before 1955, maybe
four to seven grand...and up...mostly 'up'...

To enjoy the same 'standard of living' now, as I enjoyed then, I would have
to be making in the vicinity of $16,000.00 a Month, which it happens I do
not tend to do.

In fact...most months, I am pretty close to the old '1970'


O well...!


Las Vegas

----- Original Message -----
From: "Earl Brunner"
Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2002 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: The price is right

> David, was $4.00 an hour a good wage in 1973? That's about where your
$15.00 and
> hour was in 1973.
> I can't remember, I do know that I once thought $1000.00 per month was a
good wage
> for where I lived at the time (mid 70's).....
> > David wrote:
> >
> > 1. $15 an hour for labor to make the piece. This includes all work done
> > while the piece is wet or drying, including painting slips and
> > It does not include any time spent after the piece is dry, such as
> > loading the kiln and glazing.
> >
> > 2. Double the cost to account for periphery labor such as making
> > glazes and firing the kiln, materials, and overhead, such as utilities.
> > don't
> > pay rent, and there is no 'opportunity cost' to using the old farmhouse
> > because I would not rent it out if I weren't using it as a pottery shop.
> >
> > 3. Double the cost again to pay for time and overhead for selling the
> > work.
> >
> > To simplify, the formula can also be stated as a flat $60 an hour, but
> > that makes it sound like you're really raking in the dough, which, of
> > course is not the case.
> >
> > In practice, what I really do is use the formula 'backwards', and just
> > and compare from time to time. For example, if I made 10 of my $36 bowls
> > and it took me 7 hours, I would multiply 10 bowls by $36 to get $360,
> > then divide by 4 (overhead and selling costs) to get $90,
> > then divide by 7 hours, to get $12.85.
> > This would tell me that the bowls are priced too low, and should really
> > be $42 (10 X $42
> > I also take into account 'what the market will bear'. For me this means
> > that, for instance, I get less than $15 an hour for mugs and more than
> > $15 an hour for bowls. Again, that's OK, but I want to be aware of it.
> > I also abandon the model if I am trying totally new things. I consider
> > that more like research and development.
> >
> >
> >
> > Send postings to
> >
> > You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> > settings from
> >
> > Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
> > com.
> >
> >
> > Send postings to
> >
> > You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> > settings from
> >
> > Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
> --
> Earl Brunner
> Send postings to
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at