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(Smithsonian Magazine)   In 1982, Omni Future Almanac predicted that in 2010 eggs would cost $18 a dozen, beef $22.75 per pound, bread $8 a loaf, gasoline $2 a gallon, and coffee $4.50 a cup. However, we would earn higher salaries, like $330K baseball players   (blogs.smithsonianmag.com) divider line 60
    More: Amusing, Omni Future Almanac, omni, road bike, energy conservation  
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2256 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 May 2013 at 3:02 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-11 11:29:23 PM  
Reading that reminded me of when I lived in Switzerland.
 
2013-05-11 11:40:45 PM  
Aparently, Omni Magazine lived in Brooklyn in the future.
 
2013-05-11 11:40:49 PM  
I miss being a pro baseball player in Switzerland.
 
2013-05-12 12:31:46 AM  
What are these "American Factory Workers" they speak of?
 
2013-05-12 12:38:18 AM  
coffee $4.50 a cup

So they predicted Starbucks?
 
2013-05-12 12:48:06 AM  
Right idea, wrong proportions
 
2013-05-12 01:13:21 AM  
From the comments:  A "good" road bike will run you $2500 up easily.

lulz
 
2013-05-12 01:22:21 AM  
Was their prediction based on this, by any chance?
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-05-12 01:34:35 AM  

Bladel: coffee $4.50 a cup

So they predicted Starbucks?


I see my work here is done.
 
2013-05-12 02:10:02 AM  
The compounding screwed up their results a great deal after 2000 but they aren't far off in many parts of the world.  In Oz,  a dozen free range eggs are $6 and people do buy enough that they are stocked (the cheap eggs are about $3.50).  The high end bread runs $4.50 a loaf.  Top end steak is $47.99/kg or about $22/pound.
 
2013-05-12 03:12:07 AM  
Ha, $2 gasoline. We blew right by that one.
 
2013-05-12 03:23:33 AM  

Wizzin: Ha, $2 gasoline. We blew right by that one.


Geez, I have a 13-gallon tank and actually remember the first time I paid $25 to fill it.
 
2013-05-12 03:26:44 AM  

balki1867: Wizzin: Ha, $2 gasoline. We blew right by that one.

Geez, I have a 13-gallon tank and actually remember the first time I paid $25 to fill it.


I remember my dad biatching when gas got all the way up to fifty cents a gallon.
 
2013-05-12 03:40:44 AM  
Yo, the prices for coffee are just about right, if you can buy it at Starbucks!
 
2013-05-12 03:58:44 AM  
I could tell you how I used to fill up with a $10, and got change back unless the tank was really low, but instead I'll say, the day I realized I was officially old was the day I caught myself saying things like, "I remember when I could fill up with a ten dollar bill."

/remembers the time the pump stopped at $99.99.
//I was hoping it would roll over to 0, and that fill-up would be free.
 
2013-05-12 03:59:59 AM  
I remember 1982. It's when Ronald Reagan became not things. He was not a former union boss, he was not a Hollywood dandy wearing a cowboy costume left over from his days as a failed B-list actor, he was not on his second marriage, he was not hated by anyone who knew him personally, he and his not-second wife were definitely not into reading star charts as their spiritual belief system since they loved Jesus, and he definitely did not have a sociopathic hatred of worker's rights, and President Reagan did not, I repeat this saintly man, did not set this country back 100 years just to make a bunch of rich assholes even richer.

www.tennrebgirl.com
 
2013-05-12 04:24:20 AM  

REO-Weedwagon: I repeat this saintly man, did not set this country back 100 years just to make a bunch of rich assholes even richer.


He was a real trend setter in that regard.
 
2013-05-12 04:35:53 AM  
Hey now. I'm only 30 and and remember gas being $0.67 a gallon. This was sometime in the late nineties I think, and in Los Angeles no less.

/wonders if she'll ever see under a dollar again
 
2013-05-12 05:02:28 AM  

Peki: Hey now. I'm only 30 and and remember gas being $0.67 a gallon. This was sometime in the late nineties I think, and in Los Angeles no less.


I'm older than you and I don't ever remember seeing gas that cheap.

When I was in high school, it was about $1.00/gallon. So, just for a larf, I decided to check the historical prices for gas.  The last time the price was close to $0.67 was in 1979.  Those are national numbers, of course.  There's always going to be regional variations.  But, I find it super hard to believe Los Angeles gas prices would be so much lower than the rest of the country.  When I lived in California, gas prices were always higher than average.
 
2013-05-12 06:13:39 AM  

eraser8: Peki: Hey now. I'm only 30 and and remember gas being $0.67 a gallon. This was sometime in the late nineties I think, and in Los Angeles no less.

I'm older than you and I don't ever remember seeing gas that cheap.

When I was in high school, it was about $1.00/gallon. So, just for a larf, I decided to check the historical prices for gas.  The last time the price was close to $0.67 was in 1979.  Those are national numbers, of course.  There's always going to be regional variations.  But, I find it super hard to believe Los Angeles gas prices would be so much lower than the rest of the country.  When I lived in California, gas prices were always higher than average.


The least I remember paying for a gallon of gasoline was 77 cents in 1988 in Des Moines, IA.  I made $3.40/hr working at Target.
 
2013-05-12 06:25:11 AM  

eraser8: Peki: Hey now. I'm only 30 and and remember gas being $0.67 a gallon. This was sometime in the late nineties I think, and in Los Angeles no less.

I'm older than you and I don't ever remember seeing gas that cheap.

When I was in high school, it was about $1.00/gallon. So, just for a larf, I decided to check the historical prices for gas.  The last time the price was close to $0.67 was in 1979.  Those are national numbers, of course.  There's always going to be regional variations.  But, I find it super hard to believe Los Angeles gas prices would be so much lower than the rest of the country.  When I lived in California, gas prices were always higher than average.


I saw gas for $.67 while on summer vacation driving through Indiana in around 1987. Might have been $.65. Either way, cheapest I'd seen since the late '70s.
 
2013-05-12 06:57:44 AM  

REO-Weedwagon: I remember 1982. It's when Ronald Reagan became not things. He was not a former union boss, he was not a Hollywood dandy wearing a cowboy costume left over from his days as a failed B-list actor, he was not on his second marriage, he was not hated by anyone who knew him personally, he and his not-second wife were definitely not into reading star charts as their spiritual belief system since they loved Jesus, and he definitely did not have a sociopathic hatred of worker's rights, and President Reagan did not, I repeat this saintly man, did not set this country back 100 years just to make a bunch of rich assholes even richer.


This is what farklibs actually believe.
 
2013-05-12 07:52:51 AM  

Debeo Summa Credo: REO-Weedwagon: I remember 1982. It's when Ronald Reagan became not things. He was not a former union boss, he was not a Hollywood dandy wearing a cowboy costume left over from his days as a failed B-list actor, he was not on his second marriage, he was not hated by anyone who knew him personally, he and his not-second wife were definitely not into reading star charts as their spiritual belief system since they loved Jesus, and he definitely did not have a sociopathic hatred of worker's rights, and President Reagan did not, I repeat this saintly man, did not set this country back 100 years just to make a bunch of rich assholes even richer.

This is what farklibs actually believe.


Wouldn't libs believe the opposite, since that was a sarcastic post?   And, of course, also because it's true.

Six terms as the SAG president
Born and raised in Illinois

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Wyman
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Quigley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Regan

Perhaps he wasn'thated by everyone who knew personally him.  Perhaps.
 
2013-05-12 08:19:58 AM  

eraser8: Peki: Hey now. I'm only 30 and and remember gas being $0.67 a gallon. This was sometime in the late nineties I think, and in Los Angeles no less.

I'm older than you and I don't ever remember seeing gas that cheap.

When I was in high school, it was about $1.00/gallon. So, just for a larf, I decided to check the historical prices for gas.  The last time the price was close to $0.67 was in 1979.  Those are national numbers, of course.  There's always going to be regional variations.  But, I find it super hard to believe Los Angeles gas prices would be so much lower than the rest of the country.  When I lived in California, gas prices were always higher than average.


I remember gas at 83.9¢ sometime in the late 90s, because of a stunt with a radio station. Maybe there was something like that going on.
 
2013-05-12 08:26:02 AM  

chrylis: I remember gas at 83.989.9¢ sometime in the late 90s, because of a stunt with a radio station. Maybe there was something like that going on.


I'm going to blame the fat-finger on my phone's "keyboard".
 
2013-05-12 08:36:46 AM  
I remember the era of cheap gas, that was nice. Wonder if we'll ever see it drop below $3/gallon here again.
 
2013-05-12 08:56:05 AM  
It's cute how they thought wages would keep up with inflation.
 
2013-05-12 09:11:42 AM  

ajgeek: It's cute how they thought wages would keep up with inflation.


Why, if they didn't people would be out on the streets protesting. And we all know that never happened.

/massive eye roll
 
2013-05-12 09:27:27 AM  

Debeo Summa Credo: REO-Weedwagon: I remember 1982. It's when Ronald Reagan became not things. He was not a former union boss, he was not a Hollywood dandy wearing a cowboy costume left over from his days as a failed B-list actor, he was not on his second marriage, he was not hated by anyone who knew him personally, he and his not-second wife were definitely not into reading star charts as their spiritual belief system since they loved Jesus, and he definitely did not have a sociopathic hatred of worker's rights, and President Reagan did not, I repeat this saintly man, did not set this country back 100 years just to make a bunch of rich assholes even richer.

This is what farklibs actually believe.


Reality has a liberal bias. Deal with it.
 
2013-05-12 09:45:41 AM  

chrylis: I remember gas at 83.9¢ sometime in the late 90s, because of a stunt with a radio station. Maybe there was something like that going on.


Gas dipped rather low in the late 90s.  I remember a period where it was definitely below a dollar.

Anyway, Omni's predictions probably had a lot to do with an over-estimated inflation rate.  Inflation in 1981 topped out at 11.83% and 1982 started at 8.39%, so the authors probably had their expectations colored by recent experience.
 
2013-05-12 10:16:49 AM  
Of all of those, I would gladly take a 2 buck gallon of gas.  I remember when I was living in Houston in 2004 (My 'year of exile') and cursing the world because the $1.79/gal gasoline meant I was going to need divine grace to make it to work all week on only 7 bucks.  If only I had known it would be up near farking 5 bucks a gallon before the recession.  I remember the joy as seeing the plummet over a week to fuel costing half what it did.  And the sorrow of knowing that unless something catastrophic happens, I will never see 2-something gas ever again, because we've shown that we'll pay over $4/gal, even if they could profit at $1.50, they'll sell it at the higher cost, because we'll just farking pay.

It really shows how disjointed from reality gasoline prices are when it costs more in a city near the refineries than four hours north in a land-locked metropolis.
 
2013-05-12 10:25:53 AM  
From 1982? Yeah, we were still experiencing inflation well north of 10%, so looked at from their perspective those prices make sense.

research.stlouisfed.org

Signed an 11.5% mortgage the next year...ouch!
 
2013-05-12 11:04:55 AM  
Looks like some MBA did a log-linear regression in excel. God job, you are a mathematical wizard.
 
2013-05-12 11:05:10 AM  

eraser8: I'm older than you and I don't ever remember seeing gas that cheap.

When I was in high school, it was about $1.00/gallon. So, just for a larf, I decided to check the historical prices for gas. The last time the price was close to $0.67 was in 1979. Those are national numbers, of course. There's always going to be regional variations. But, I find it super hard to believe Los Angeles gas prices would be so much lower than the rest of the country. When I lived in California, gas prices were always higher than average.


Must have been spring of 1998. As memory serves, Clinton released some oil from the SPR and gas prices took a nose dive for 2 weeks. Which as luck would have it, I was driving to Florida for spring break that weekend. Filled up for $0.69 somewhere in Georgia. Took a picture of the price sign because I knew that was never going to happen again. A week later as we were driving back, gas was back to about $1.00 and I haven't bought gas for less than a dollar since then. Heck, I was real excited a few years ago when gas briefly went back under $2/gallon.
 
2013-05-12 11:08:04 AM  
Hmm, checking Wikipedia, I can't find a SPR release for that timeframe.  so disregard that part.  But I most certainly did buy gas for $0.69/gallon in the spring of 1998.  Somewhere I have a photograph to prove it.
 
2013-05-12 11:19:14 AM  

Hoopy Frood: I saw gas for $.67 while on summer vacation driving through Indiana in around 1987. Might have been $.65. Either way, cheapest I'd seen since the late '70s.


I remember back in early 95 my parents were away so I had the car to myself a couple weeks and 15 gallons of gas was less than 15 bucks by just a touch. Not quite 67 cents a gallon, but under a buck a gallon.
 
2013-05-12 11:43:09 AM  
In High School in the 80s - I was taught that by the time the year 2000 there would be no more oil.  Moral of story?  Humans are mind numbingly bad at predicting the future.
 
2013-05-12 12:00:50 PM  

chrylis: eraser8: Peki: Hey now. I'm only 30 and and remember gas being $0.67 a gallon. This was sometime in the late nineties I think, and in Los Angeles no less.

I'm older than you and I don't ever remember seeing gas that cheap.

When I was in high school, it was about $1.00/gallon. So, just for a larf, I decided to check the historical prices for gas.  The last time the price was close to $0.67 was in 1979.  Those are national numbers, of course.  There's always going to be regional variations.  But, I find it super hard to believe Los Angeles gas prices would be so much lower than the rest of the country.  When I lived in California, gas prices were always higher than average.

I remember gas at 83.9¢ sometime in the late 90s, because of a stunt with a radio station. Maybe there was something like that going on.


I remember filling up for $0.98 cents before skipping school and heading to the beach.  That was in 99' in MA.

As for seeing it that low again, probably not until be get rid of the penny and shift over the decimal on our currency measurement.
 
2013-05-12 12:40:19 PM  
Reposting from another thread

I'll give you the best damned prediction of the future you'll ever read.

Wall to wall bookshelves. Floor to ceiling windows looking onto nature scenes or their equivalent. People will meet in groups to enjoy foods cooked with fire and beverages made with yeasts. Later on they'll enjoy cheeses made with techniques that haven't changed in 700 years. They go the gym to lift heavy stones and exercise through random motions. They enjoy a hot soak followed by a cold plunge. They read poorly thought out articles on "why hasn't the flying car caught on" and chuckle and the naivety of the author.

This next part is less likely to be right.

Smarter phones and maybe a heads up unit. A personal AI to do keep track of things might be there, but I think having an anthropomorphic servant would get creepy.  Maybe something like a Roomba with a post topped with arms. Driverless cars and pilotless airplanes won't happen because the AI doesn't have the skin in the game required to generate safety. Oh, and let's toss a synthetic pancreas in there, that's something with demand.

Probably won't be right....

Nanite bone restitchers. Machines that assemble food from CHON. Personal vehicles capable of going to the mall or Mars. Hoop earrings. Zombies. The return of Jesus. A decent remake of Ghostbusters.
Oh, and flying cars won't happen with extant technology because the features that make a good car are not the features that make a good airplane. And vice versa.

And it's sad that Robocop got Detroit right.
 
2013-05-12 12:44:51 PM  
I remember gasoline selling for 25 cents a gallon, not a litre. At least I think I do. Maybe it was 50 cents.

But my favourite site for measuring the historical value of a dollar suggests I may really remember 25 cent gasoline:

If you want to compare the value of a $0.25 Commodity in 1968 there are three choices. In 2012 the relative:
real price of that commodity is $1.65
labor value of that commodity is $1.67(using the unskilled wage) or $1.93(using production worker compensation)
income value of that commodity is $2.75

In other words, the price of gasoline is not determined by price inflation. It's determined by how much money you have in your pocket when you buy gasoline. They will take everything you've got. This is a very educational site.

http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/

They also cover the GBP, which means you can look at prices back to the Middle Ages and compare them with the price of gold and silver over a very long period of time, back before the discovery that the natives in th Americas had tonnes of the stuff caused the price of gold to drop by a third.
 
2013-05-12 01:01:12 PM  
They were close on soup, coffee and calculators.
 
2013-05-12 01:15:15 PM  

gingerjet: In High School in the 80s - I was taught that by the time the year 2000 there would be no more oil.  Moral of story?  Humans are mind numbingly bad at predicting the future.


Stephen Leacock, a humourist and an economist, wrote a little parody mocking this type of prediction in which he predicted that coal would run out by 1961. Most of these errors result from extending trend-lines or using the wrong line in the first place. In the real world, exponential curves are common enough, but many things tend to follow a logistical curve or a sigmoid curve. These curves produce radically different results over the long term although they look identical for a while.

Coal consumption was already on its way out when Leacock mocked dire warnings of coal shortages. Instead of rising exponentially, coal consumption followed a sigmoid or "s" shaped curved. Oil and gas also follow the same type of curve, and we are at the foot of the curve for several new forms of energy.

Total energy consumption continues to rise as does consumption per capita. Coal production peaked in the UK, and then other countries. The Hubbert Peak was correct for oil production, at least conventional oil production. But overall, technology, which does increase exponentially, has kept us going with cleaner and sometimes cheaper fuel, only when the fuel gets cheaper you run into Jerrod's Paradox, which is that more people consume more of it, and thus end up buying so much more of it that the lower price means they have less money in their pocket.

Americans responded to the oil crisis by improving mileage, reducing the weight of cars with plastics and lighter parts, and such. This reduced the cost of driving so Americans bought more and bigger cars (and invented the SUV and giant passenger pick-up truck to evade the pollution restrictions on cars). Hence, more cars, bigger cars, better-equipped cars, more miles driven--and in the fulness of time, higher gasoline prices.

You can't reduce consumption with improvements to the vehicle. The improvements make people willing and able to consume more.

Adam Smith noted something like this a century before Jerrod. He noted that the falling price of silver in Europe as a result of the American treasure pouring into Europe caused people who would never have dreamd of having silver on the table to buy a lot more silver than the mere reduction in price alone would have caused them to buy. Family pride, keeping up with the Jones, sensitive price points and so forth meant that relatively cheap silver meant that people spent even more money on silver, dumping their pewter and iron cutlery and replacing local pottery and even luxurious Chinese porcelaine with silver dishes.

Adam Smith was one smart cookie and surprisingly critical of the thinking of the type of people who consider themselves his intellectual heirs. I've noticed a trend that way: Jesus, Marx, Freud, Smith, Hayak ... they are all better thinkers than their disciples and thus more "liberal" and flexible than the ideologues that call upon their name.

ChristianI dreamed I stood upon a hill, and, lo!
The godly multitudes walked to and fro
Beneath, in Sabbath garments fitly clad,
With pious mien, appropriately sad,
While all the church bells made a solemn din --
A fire-alarm to those who lived in sin.
Then saw I gazing thoughtfully below,
With tranquil face, upon that holy show
A tall, spare figure in a robe of white,
Whose eyes diffused a melancholy light.
'God keep you, stranger,' I exclaimed. 'You are
No doubt (your habit shows it) from afar;
And yet I entertain the hope that you,
Like these good people, are a Christian too.'
He raised his eyes and with a look so stern
It made me with a thousand blushes burn
Replied -- his manner with disdain was spiced:
'What! I a Christian? No, indeed! I'm Christ.'
Ambrose Bierce

The Devil's Dictionary via Poem Hunter
Link:  http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/christian-7/ 
Back before Leacock even, people were worried about horses. There were so many of them that cities could no longer keep up with the manure and were looking to be buried in the stuff. But humans have a knack for solving the most pressing problems of the moment, thereby creating the problems of the future.

People solved the horse problem by putting the cart before the horse and then removing the horse.

For a while people were predicting that America's cities would need 30 million horses by 1961. Or course, a horse is a horse, of course, but it's not the same thing as a horse power.

American motorists alone now have billions and tens of billions of horse powers with scarcely any horses.

If we survive and prosper through the coming global warming incident, it will because cleaner and cheaper sources of energy will be exploited, making coal, oil and natural gas all more obsolete than wood and whale oil are today. In 1848, the USA was still getting most of its fuel from wood, with some lighting from whale oil. But Dr. Abraham Gesner was busy at work touting his new invention, kerosene.

Oddly enough, we still use a lot of kerosene without knowing it. It is used to power aircraft.

What is it with some medical doctors? Gesner scarcely practiced medicine, if at all. Darwin didn't even make his way through medical school before he switched his major to geology and naturalism. As the Christians say, a lot of people are called, but not all answer.
 
2013-05-12 01:17:55 PM  

DoctorCal: From the comments:  A "good" road bike will run you $2500 up easily.

lulz


Well, they have gotten a lot cheaper than 10-20 years ago when a "good" one would be about $8k.
 
2013-05-12 01:30:16 PM  
I used to own that book when I was a kid.  Very entertainig to read.  Disappeared on one of my families many moves.
 
2013-05-12 02:21:27 PM  
I can remember a brief dip in gas prices in the mid-1990s (the lowest I recall seeing was about $0.85 a gallon on a road trip in central Illinois, when Chicago-area prices were about $1.00), and before I had ever heard of Admiral Ackbar, I was thinking "this is a trap." Still, it was nice to fill up my Sonoma's 20-gallon tank for less than $20, even for only a short while.

I made my decision to go with smaller cars in 1999, after experiencing UK prices (80p / L or $4.83 / US gallon) on my trip there. Then again, the UK crowd is now WISHING it was "only" 80p.

Meanwhile, back here, everyone else was buying Canyoneros... some people never learn.
 
2013-05-12 02:25:10 PM  
Ok, so they overestimated inflation. That's not a big deal. But there is no excuse for thinking gas prices would fall in the face of inflation.
 
2013-05-12 03:59:41 PM  

Peki: Hey now. I'm only 30 and and remember gas being $0.67 a gallon. This was sometime in the late nineties I think, and in Los Angeles no less.

/wonders if she'll ever see under a dollar again


Only if you put your purse on top of the pump
 
2013-05-12 07:05:16 PM  

Fubegra: I can remember a brief dip in gas prices in the mid-1990s (the lowest I recall seeing was about $0.85 a gallon on a road trip in central Illinois, when Chicago-area prices were about $1.00), and before I had ever heard of Admiral Ackbar, I was thinking "this is a trap." Still, it was nice to fill up my Sonoma's 20-gallon tank for less than $20, even for only a short while.

I made my decision to go with smaller cars in 1999, after experiencing UK prices (80p / L or $4.83 / US gallon) on my trip there. Then again, the UK crowd is now WISHING it was "only" 80p.

Meanwhile, back here, everyone else was buying Canyoneros... some people never learn.


Admiral Ackbar said that in 1983. Were you not born yet?
 
2013-05-12 07:39:52 PM  

gingerjet: In High School in the 80s - I was taught that by the time the year 2000 there would be no more oil.  Moral of story?  Humans are mind numbingly bad at predicting the future.


What an astute prediction.
 
2013-05-12 08:06:14 PM  

optikeye: Omni Magazine lived in Brooklyn in the future.


No, but Bob Guccione (the publisher of Omni and some other magazine) did have a nice place upstate on the Hudson in Staatsburg. If you were on the river back then and brought your binoculars knowing where to look, you would have many the CSB to share once you departed your bunk.
 
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