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Multiply all the numbers in the chart by 16.8 and then you can compare.
Even adjusted for inflation almost everything is more expensive now than in 1938. By significant margins.
It reminds me of the time I saw "Double Indemnity" at the Varsity in the late 90s. There's a line where the narrator is describing a huge house in the Hollywood Hills, marveling that "it must have cost $30,000." Everyone laughed, and that was when median housing prices were about half what they are today.
Just it doesn't seem like a pre-war kind of thing.
The quote below is from: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/vitamin-…
In 1900 around 80 percent of children in Boston had rickets, but that number dropped to almost nothing in the 1930s, according to a Boston University School of Medicine article published in the December 2004 "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." The small amount of vitamin D added to milk, cereals and orange juice is enough to prevent rickets and other bone disorders...
1938 = Depression. As in 19% unemployment rate. As in prices are so low because everyone who hasn't gone bankrupt is teetering on the edge of it.
Lets also remember this is a period of time when every white person in the US had the cost of goods subsidized by the segregation and brutalization of the black populations. Also remember that women are typically barred from any profession higher than secretary or school teacher, and women just 60% of what men earn FOR EQUAL WORK!
Also, want to check out air pollution in those cities?
The US had a very good infrastructure in the 1930s, but it was nothing compare to the infrastructure it build after the Second World War.
It isn't just the prices but the availability of goods, services and education. There were regional markets, not national supermarket chains. Produce, meats, dairy products were produce on a regional scale, not a national scale, with shortages and lack of availability.
The US had an incredible auto industry in the 1930s, but it still wasn't compare to the post WW2 industry.
The US was still in a depression, prices may look low then now, but the availability of work, good wages are of an United States of America that was much different than the US that was transform during and after the Second World War. Ditto there was no GI Education bill that transform the US higher education system.
If you look a little deeper and consider the effects of financialization of real estate, it starts to impact a lot of our lives from our increased mortgages and rents, the makeup of our neighborhoods when the existing businesses are kicked out for higher rents, the costs of services at the businesses to cover their rent, etc.
(Full .pdf available from that page.)
Speaking of Cost of Living, this article in the Seattle Times I found fascinating:
The NYT actually had a graph of what's more expensive and what's less expensive accompanying the article but I believe you'll get the point.
One thing I do believe, the poor in America do have it well compared to other countries. That said, I still want them to improve.
Horse shit. TVs, radios, computers, cars, travel are all cheaper in inflation accounted dollars. the poor today have AC, TVs, cars, mobile phones, can fly across the country for $300.
...What I want to know is: What the Fuck Do We Do About It?
Prices aren't going to go down unless we have another catastrophic economic collapse which obliterates asset values. Who wants real collapse & suffering?
Effective legislation against the rentiers isn't going to happen soon enough. The politicians won't cross their friend$.
So what do we do? I don't need more education, I want action.