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(Economist)   Since 1978, shelter in the U.S. rose four times in price, milk doubled, and gas more than quintupled   (economist.com) divider line 104
    More: Misc, Joseph Stiglitz, defined benefit, emergency shelter, passage, rates of return, President Eisenhower, American Living, Lyndon Johnson  
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3773 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jul 2012 at 10:43 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-12 08:57:14 AM
Yet wages stay the same.
 
2012-07-12 09:04:07 AM
Make the shelter out of milk and you're ahead in the game.
 
2012-07-12 09:22:01 AM
That's because companies have to make more profit this year than they did last year or they're losing money. If you are not constantly growing you're failing. There is no middle ground. You cannot continue to operate at a modest profit year after year or you will be looked at as a failure.
 
2012-07-12 09:45:29 AM
So inflation still exists? Thanks for pointing that out!
 
2012-07-12 10:26:53 AM

downstairs: So inflation still exists? Thanks for pointing that out!


I guess it depends on how much inflation has increased by per year.

If inflation increased on average by 3% per year, that would still only increase the price of stuff by a factor of 2 3/4 or so. Now, if average inflation was more than 3%, then, yeah. So, milk actually stayed under the rate of inflation.

I think the ultimate point the author of TFA is trying to make is that:

a. Some things have increased MORE than by the rate of inflation and
b. what SilentStrider said (although not explicitly stated in TFA)
 
2012-07-12 10:46:10 AM

SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.


THIS

But never mind that, everyone has a fair shake in the US. Completely transparent and open.
 
2012-07-12 10:47:54 AM
Great news! For the entire decade of the 80s, I did nothing but build subdivisions, raise dairy cows, and stock pile diesel fuel! I guess it all depends on which side of the coin your on when it comes to these economic matters. Of course, you are poor so it's bad for you, but think about how good this news is for rich folks like me!
 
2012-07-12 10:48:26 AM

SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.


Well Obamacare taxes and regulatory uncertainty and such as...
 
2012-07-12 10:48:35 AM
It's because the top 1% are hoarding all the money, and depriving the rest of us from having it. With less money in circulation, the prices have gone up. We need to take back some of the money from the top 1%, by increasing taxes, then with money back in circulation, the costs of milk and everything will come down. Then once those prices come down, the government won't have to spend so much money on food stamps, and overall our deficit will start to disappear.

Basically we just need to take all the money that we deserve from the 1%, then everything else will sort itself out.
 
2012-07-12 10:48:47 AM
Has anyone ever observed this year's car model - sold as new off the lot - costing less than last year's new car?
 
2012-07-12 10:49:39 AM

SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.

 
2012-07-12 10:49:47 AM

spentmiles: Great news! For the entire decade of the 80s, I did nothing but build subdivisions, raise dairy cows, and stock pile diesel fuel! I guess it all depends on which side of the coin your on when it comes to these economic matters. Of course, you are poor so it's bad for you, but think about how good this news is for rich folks like me!


You sound like my in-laws. The difference being that my in-laws are serious when they say such things.
 
2012-07-12 10:50:12 AM
In 1978, you could buy a fully loaded Cadillac for $12,000.
 
2012-07-12 10:50:44 AM

I_Am_Weasel: Make the shelter out of milk and you're ahead in the game.

+1 internet
 
2012-07-12 10:51:36 AM
gas more than quintupled

Better lay off the beans.

beauty-video-tutorial.com
 
2012-07-12 10:52:30 AM
By my calculations, things now cost easily 50% more than they did 25 years ago, and no less than 100% more than they did 35+ years ago. Why?

It isn't because things cost more, but because the dollar has become worth less. Damned near worthless.

I'm fairly sure this is where someone will try to defend the Federal Reserve and fiat currency. Fark you in advance.
 
2012-07-12 10:53:06 AM

SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.


If not decreased for some demographics. And this is the crux of the problem...inflation is normal, as TFA points out. But if wages are not inflating along with everything else, it becomes a problem.
 
2012-07-12 10:53:24 AM
Creeping inflation? Oh noes!

All that money I socked into my mattress is being devalued! If only there was a way to get more money at the inflated rate to offset this loss, or to put my mattress money to work for me in some way that it can earn more than it loses to inflation.

It's like -- if only there were *jobs* and *investments* out there -- we wouldn't have to worry about this shiat all the time!
 
2012-07-12 10:53:40 AM

vernonFL: In 1978, you could buy a fully loaded Cadillac for $12,000.


Or a VW for $5K, tops.
 
2012-07-12 10:53:53 AM

SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.


The median US income in 1978 was $15,064

The median US income at the end of 2011 was
$51,413

So, household income has increased 3.4 times
 
2012-07-12 10:54:04 AM
But but but moon colonies!
 
2012-07-12 10:54:13 AM
As the govt. tells us, most of this doesn't matter. They don't count fuel or food in their inflation numbers. Because people don't need to fuel or food, I guess.
 
2012-07-12 10:54:41 AM

ringersol: It's like -- if only there were *jobs* and *investments* out there -- we wouldn't have to worry about this shiat all the time!


The Sinon Empire is calling, will you answer?
 
2012-07-12 10:54:54 AM

vernonFL: In 1978, you could buy a fully loaded Cadillac for $12,000.


Only thing worse than a 70s Cadillac is an 80s Cadillac. It was like they were actually trying to lose market share to the Germans & Japanese.
 
2012-07-12 10:55:13 AM
spentmiles SmartestFunniest 2012-07-12 10:47:54 AM


Great news! For the entire decade of the 80s, I did nothing but build subdivisions, raise dairy cows, and stock pile diesel fuel! I guess it all depends on which side of the coin your on when it comes to these economic matters. Of course, you are poor so it's bad for you, but think about how good this news is for rich folks like me!


I love you, sir. Rich people are my betters. May I wash your new Mercedes Benz and spit shine your nice Bally dress shoes?
 
2012-07-12 10:55:21 AM
Repeat after me: Inflation is good. Deflation is bad.

/Hey, why is everything more expensive?
//I saved all this money for retirement, now it's worthless? Why didn't I just spend it and borrow more?
 
2012-07-12 10:55:33 AM

kid_icarus: SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.

If not decreased for some demographics. And this is the crux of the problem...inflation is normal, as TFA points out. But if wages are not inflating along with everything else, it becomes a problem.


What demographic has had wages decrease from 1978 to 2012?
 
2012-07-12 10:55:42 AM

thespindrifter: I'm fairly sure this is where someone will try to defend the Federal Reserve and fiat currency


Aw, look. It's a goldbug. Isn't that cute. I just want to put it in a jar with a stick and some grass.
 
hej
2012-07-12 10:56:17 AM
It's as if having a vastly larger population somehow puts a strain on the availability of resources that we can't just arbitrarily make more of.
 
2012-07-12 10:56:50 AM

xanadian: downstairs: So inflation still exists? Thanks for pointing that out!

I guess it depends on how much inflation has increased by per year.

If inflation increased on average by 3% per year, that would still only increase the price of stuff by a factor of 2 3/4 or so. Now, if average inflation was more than 3%, then, yeah. So, milk actually stayed under the rate of inflation.

I think the ultimate point the author of TFA is trying to make is that:

a. Some things have increased MORE than by the rate of inflation and
b. what SilentStrider said (although not explicitly stated in TFA)


SilentStrider is wrong.

The article doesn't use adjusted dollars, it just notes inflation.

The average household income in 1978 was $15,060.

The average household income in 2010 was $49,445, or 3.28 times higher than in 1978.

Milk is actually cheaper than it was in 1978, and homes are only slightly more expensive. Gas is significantly more expensive, but it's not a renewable resource like housing or dairy products: Once you've used up all the petroleum, it's gone, whereas you can always rebuild or subdivide housing, or breed more cows.
 
2012-07-12 10:57:08 AM

hej: It's as if having a vastly larger population somehow puts a strain on the availability of resources that we can't just arbitrarily make more of.


Except that we can make more houses and milk...
 
2012-07-12 10:57:18 AM
You mean to tell me that with our explosion in population, the demand for housing, food, and energy has increased more than the supply?

The hell you say!
 
2012-07-12 10:57:45 AM
vernonFL: "In 1978, you could buy a fully loaded Cadillac for $12,000."

1978 -- cadillac: $12,000 -- avg wage: $10,500
2010 -- cadillac: $50,000 -- avg wage: $41,600

oh noes!

/ http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/AWI.html
 
2012-07-12 10:58:04 AM
 
hej
2012-07-12 10:58:31 AM

meanmutton: hej: It's as if having a vastly larger population somehow puts a strain on the availability of resources that we can't just arbitrarily make more of.

Except that we can make more houses and milk...


The space to put the houses on isn't infinite.
 
2012-07-12 10:58:45 AM

SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.


THIS can not be stressed enough. In 50 years, there will only be two classes, the super rich and the minimum wage class......seriously.

All Scranton city workers -- including cops and firefighters -- will be paid minimum wage effective immediately.
 
2012-07-12 10:59:45 AM
They forgot to mention one really huge one: healthcare costs. I work in a public school (IT, not a teacher) out in the middle of nowhere, and I've been here for 11 years now. When I started, a newly hired teacher would make around $26k and the family plan on our health insurance was ~$600/month. Over the course of a year, that works out to around 28% of their pre-tax salary. Today, a new teacher will start at around $28k and the family plan is ~$1800/month. That's approximately 77% of a new teacher's pre-tax salary. In addition, the deductibles and co-pays have tripled over that time. That is a HUGE increase in the span of just a decade. I realize that anecdote /= data, but we're not alone in this situation. I can handle the increase in gas, milk, shelter, etc. It's the health insurance that's killing me (possibly literally). I know people who work a full-time job and don't take home a penny. They work 40 hours a week just to provide their family with some half-assed medical insurance. I don't know anybody who has to work a full-time job just for gas money.
 
2012-07-12 11:00:53 AM

hej: meanmutton: hej: It's as if having a vastly larger population somehow puts a strain on the availability of resources that we can't just arbitrarily make more of.

Except that we can make more houses and milk...

The space to put the houses on isn't infinite.


Except in a few areas (LA, New York, San Francisco, etc.), it effectively is. Even in some of those areas, the limits on housing aren't because of a lack of space but rather because of regulation restricting the height of buildings.
 
2012-07-12 11:01:51 AM

meanmutton: What demographic has had wages decrease from 1978 to 2012


Construction, because for what I used to get paid in 1997, the company can now hire four Mexicans. Yes, I have been told that to my face.

Telecommunications: 99% of the Installers, mostly ex-Lucent/Western Electric are now doing the same work for half the pay, no benefits, and no retirement, mostly as subcontractors of subcontractors. If Telecom took that hit, there must be many other like it.

Call Center work used to be decent pay, and now if you can even *find* call center work in this country, it's basically wage slavery. Retail? even worse. Unless you live someplace with a shiatload of rich people nearby spending money, or some place pumping money out of the ground like West Texas, there is no economy to speak of, and the jobs show low pay accordingly. Agriculture is practically a dead-end unless you incorporate with a major company. Independent little small business-types are getting screwed with the tax burden. The list goes on and on.
 
2012-07-12 11:03:54 AM

t3knomanser: thespindrifter: I'm fairly sure this is where someone will try to defend the Federal Reserve and fiat currency

Aw, look. It's a goldbug. Isn't that cute. I just want to put it in a jar with a stick and some grass.


Not really, not that there's anything wrong with that. But imaginary money with no actual backing, based on... well nothing really? yeah, look how well that's working out for us; fraking Canadian money is equal with ours now! That's a damned crime.
 
2012-07-12 11:04:22 AM
mytdawg SmartestFunniest 2012-07-12 10:58:04 AM


How Paris Hilton's dogs ended up better off than you. (new window)


Ah, but someone had to build those 2 story dog houses for Paris. And someone has to manufacture the gourmet dog food for her dogs, along with walking, training, etc.

See, trickle down economics works, so we need to extend those tax cuts for the rich. Someday if you click your heels maybe you too can be as rich with hard work.
 
2012-07-12 11:06:19 AM
1978? Oh noes, which one president shall we blame for the last 34 years of failure?
 
2012-07-12 11:06:53 AM
dittybopper: "SilentStrider is wrong."

When people say "wages stayed the same" they're talking about inflation-adjusted dollars.
No-one talks about wages over time in absolute terms, because it would be as stupid as talking about prices over time in absolute terms. (e.g. TFA)

So, sure, SilentStrider made an *irrelevant* point to the article at hand.
But he's not *wrong*.

And the point is worth far more discussion than the "water: still wet" -level observation of TFA.
 
2012-07-12 11:07:03 AM

meanmutton: SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.

The median US income in 1978 was $15,064

The median US income at the end of 2011 was
$51,413

So, household income has increased 3.4 times


Id like to note thats household income... a lot more women are in the workforce now, and it doesnt say anything about wages earned vs hours worked. People are working a lot more hours these days than in times past.
 
2012-07-12 11:07:26 AM
img.photobucket.com

/really? i'm the first?
 
2012-07-12 11:09:40 AM

thespindrifter: meanmutton: What demographic has had wages decrease from 1978 to 2012

Construction, because for what I used to get paid in 1997, the company can now hire four Mexicans. Yes, I have been told that to my face.


The current median construction worker salary in the US is $46,000 a year. The 80th percentile income in 1978 was $26,000 a year. You're telling me that construction workers in 1978 were amongst the richest what, 10% of Americans?

Telecommunications: 99% of the Installers, mostly ex-Lucent/Western Electric are now doing the same work for half the pay, no benefits, and no retirement, mostly as subcontractors of subcontractors. If Telecom took that hit, there must be many other like it.

If telecommunications installers today make minimum wage, that's about $14,000 a year. You're telling me that in 1978 telecommunications installers were making $28,000 a year and were amongst the richest 20% of Americans?

Call Center work used to be decent pay, and now if you can even *find* call center work in this country, it's basically wage slavery. Retail? even worse. Unless you live someplace with a shiatload of rich people nearby spending money, or some place pumping money out of the ground like West Texas, there is no economy to speak of, and the jobs show low pay accordingly. Agriculture is practically a dead-end unless you incorporate with a major company. Independent little small business-types are getting screwed with the tax burden. The list goes on and on.

I had no idea that call center work was even a thing in 1978. Can you please tell me how much they made in 1978?
 
2012-07-12 11:11:25 AM

meanmutton: kid_icarus: SilentStrider: Yet wages stay the same.

If not decreased for some demographics. And this is the crux of the problem...inflation is normal, as TFA points out. But if wages are not inflating along with everything else, it becomes a problem.

What demographic has had wages decrease from 1978 to 2012?


TV repairman
 
2012-07-12 11:11:41 AM
I'll just leave this here.
inkspotantiques.com

/you haven't lived until you buy gas in Europe
 
2012-07-12 11:13:08 AM
Read this thread. Then go read the comment thread in the Economist. Then play "guess which discussion group has a more solid grasp of macroeconomics and which one is (3/4) full of knee jerk partisans flinging blame at whomever they blame for everything".

Enjoy!
 
2012-07-12 11:13:38 AM
Shelter's free. And you get a complimentary cold cereal breakfast!
 
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