Monday, June 26, 2006

We have it much better than 100 years ago

Is life tough? Is the price of everything going up? Not according to the historical statistics. Prices have gone down. Quality of life has improved greatly during the past 100 years. Our income per person in real dollars (adjusted for inflation) has tripled. But really more than that, because in 1901 people spent 80% of their income on the big three while now we spend only 50% on those. So the remainder that is available for health care, transportation, education and entertainment went from 20% of the small income to 50% of the tripled income. So it multiplied by 2.5 times 3 which is 7.5 - seven and a half times more income is available for health, education, transportation and discretionary spending. The Century Survey was authored by Bureau of Labor Statistics regional commissioners in New York and Boston. Seattle Times reports:
With most jobs paying less than 30 cents an hour, food was expensive: the average cost per pound was 13 cents for bacon, 27 cents for butter and 22 cents for a dozen eggs. As mass production made food more plentiful and cheaper, the share of the family budget taken by food steadily declined, dropping to 13.1 percent in 2002-03.

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