Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fun with inflation

I am always wondering what things cost. I am the cheapest person in the world and I rarely buy anything, but I am curious what it might cost anyway. I would be great on The Price is Right.

I also like knowing what things used to cost--you know, so I can complain about how much the things I'm not buying cost now.

Tom's Inflation Calculator meshes both of my desires: I can enter how much things cost in a certain year and it tells me how much it should cost now if it changed at the rate of inflation.

Not only did I learn that the 10-cent pack of baseball cards I used to buy in 1972 should cost me only 49 cents (they're at least a buck, without gum!), but I can find out whether my wages kept pace with inflation as well.

This is a cool tool that I have already used many times since discovering it last week. I has three modes: one for figuring retail prices, one for showing wage inflation, and one showing only medical care inflation. The retail mode goes back to 1666 and the wage mode dates from 1914.

Leave a comment to show me the interesting thing you learned from it. I will leave the first note to show you what I found out and why.

1 comment:

Ugly Naked Guy said...

I hate unions but have often reaped the benefit of their wages. When I was 22, I worked stocking shelves at a grocery store--a union job in Southern California. I made $14 an hour which was outrageous for unskilled labor in 1984. Since then the Retail Clerks Union has lost considerable power (as well they should) and journeyman clerks top out at about 18 bucks.

What I used the calculator for is finding out what the wage would have been if the union didn't take it on the chin all of these years. The rate would have been over 27 dollars!