The Price of Things to Come

While doing my spring cleaning, I came across two items of historical economic import:  a birthday card from 2002, listing the price of things in 1959 versus 2002, and a 1970 circular from Two Guys Department Store, with the prices of some food items.

In 1959, a loaf of bread cost $0.20 per pound.  In 1970 (about ten years later), Two Guys advertised two two-pound loaves of bread for $0.77.  Doing the math, that came to $0.18 per pound, two cents lower than the average price in 1959.  In 2002, 32 years later, a loaf of bread cost $1.03 per pound.  In 2012, ten years later, a loaf of bread cost $1.27 per pound.

A gallon of gasoline in 1959 cost $0.30 cents a gallon. I can remember my mother paying $0.25 when we stopped for gas in the mid-Sixties.  By the time I was in college in the late Seventies, the price was about $0.75 cents a gallon.  In 2002, the price of gas was $1.54.  Today, ten years later, we’re nudging towards $4 per gallon here in New Jersey.  In California, drivers are reportedly paying $5 per gallon of gas.  It took ten years between 1960 and 1970 (with a little help from the Arabs) for the price of gas to double.  Between 1980 and 2000, a 20-year span, the price of gas doubled.  2002 and 2012, the price has more than doubled in a ten-year period.

As for the price of milk, in 1959, my mother paid $1.02 per gallon, and that included service by a milkman.  Some 54 years later, that same gallon of milk costs about $4 – the same as gasoline.  (Two Guys wasn’t running a sale on milk that week in early 1970, so it’s hard to say what the price was).

Back in the Clinton Era, when I moved into my own place, within a mere six months, I noticed my grocery bills had doubled, for the same items.  Yet, the government economics experts insisted that there was no inflation.  Today, they’re claiming the same thing.  No inflation.  It’s our imagination.  It has to be tied to wages, or the stock market, or the price of corn, or some such thing.

Wal-Mart is the 21st Century version of yesterday’s Two Guys.  A mother couldn’t walk into even Wal-Mart and buy a boy’s hooded sweat shirt for $1.97, or a boy’s ski jacket for $4.99.  The platform shoes that are all the rage now, you could buy then for $4.50.

In 1959, a 3-bedroom house was $13,350.  Two years later, my parents paid $17,000 for their split-level home.  In 2002, that same 3-bedroom house cost $149,165.  Then the well-crafted bubble that began with the Community Reinvestment Act during the Carter administration, which was then enhanced by Clinton (“We’re going to reinvent America!” he boasted in his inaugural address), blew up in G.W. Bush’s face just in time for the low-information voters to elect, and then re-elect Obama.

Today, O’s pitchmen bragged that housing prices are creeping up again.  Well, isn’t that just peachy keen?  When prospective owners who can’t afford to pay are being granted credit once again, on orders from Obama, why shouldn’t the homeowners charge more for their homes?  They have to charge more since, thanks to Obamacare, they must pay a tax on the sale of the house.

The Lyin’ King has spoken:  a free ride for all who haven’t earned it and a bonus if they can bring down the house of Western civilization.  That is the price of the future he wants us to look toward.




Published in: on April 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm  Comments (2)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article!
    It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  2. It also assembles many eye catching applications as of netlix, slicker.
    Now that you know what to look for before buying a cheaper smart
    phone, you can check this great choice of cheap android smartphones or this great
    Samsung Galaxy Note Review. The processing process that some of these cameras have is incredible, however,
    it must be said that the Nokia N8 seems to be beating all of them when it comes to performance and resolution.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: