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Pears - 15 Cents Per Basket
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© Christine Till
People in the 'good old times' must have been living a good life. 70 cents for a gallon of gas, $30,000 for a big house in a nice neighborhood, 50 cents for a pack of cigarettes, $3 for a huge steak, 15 cents for a basket of pears, etc. The dollar went a longer way back then. All it took was cents to pay gas, property tax, bills, you name it.
Sure, people also made less money 'back then', but inflation has been going on for the longest. $1.00 in 1940 had the same buying power as $15.66 in 2011. In the 50's, you could walk into a candy store with a quarter and buy a bunch of candy. As for the inflation rate being negative, that largely applies prior to 1940 or so. The reason for that is fairly simple - the fact that the currency was either intrinsically valuable, or backed by gold, which meant that the money supply was restricted by the availability of the metal itself. Pre-mass industrialisation, production could keep pace with the supply of money. And in the last 10 years, the cost of living has gone up while wages have stagnated.
There was a time when the federal government taxed great wealth, and used the money to invest in cities, building (and subsidizing) housing and infrasructure and funding jobs programs. Much of that is now gone; revenue sharing is a ghost of the past.
But 'back then' there were no mobile phones, no laser surgery, no robots. It was a totally different world. Don't make the mistake of comparing Then to Now. Probably it IS much better now.
July 11th, 2013
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