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paladin
06-23-2008, 10:06 AM
"I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20.00."



"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $2,000.00 will only buy a used one."

"If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.

"Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?"

"If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store."

"When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage."

"Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls."

"I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL of DAMN in it."

"I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in
Texas ."

"Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President."


"I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters
now."



"It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet."

"It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work."


"Marriage doesn't mean a thing any more, those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat."

"I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business."

"Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to congress."

"The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

"There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend, it costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel."

"No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $35.00 a day in the hospital it's too rich for my blood."

"If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget
it."

Andrew Craig-Bennett
06-23-2008, 10:13 AM
Absolutely priceless!

Thanks, Chuck!

I was three, at the time, and my parents discussions on this subject passed clean over my head!:D

Keith Wilson
06-23-2008, 10:27 AM
I was born in 1955.

http://www.vdare.com/images/092606_rubenstein_1947-2005.JPG

paladin
06-23-2008, 10:49 AM
The comment of a $35 a day hospital stay was priceless.....
I received a bill and recepts from my last surgery a couple of days ago...$16000 for the surgery etc at Holy cross...I paid $100 and the rest went to my insurance co. and medicare.....meds this month were $1100, but the insurance picked up most all except for 14 pills of Xyvox for anti-infection on the arm for surgery.....the 14 tablets cost me $999.25.......

LeeG
06-23-2008, 10:56 AM
Chuck, wow, that arm must be important to you

Milo Christensen
06-23-2008, 11:14 AM
Chuck, wow, that arm must be important to you

Ya think? Dude, he paid an arm-n-a-leg for the meds.

Seriously, it's interesting that 1955 was the last year that that list could have been written, given the inflationary spiral of 1955 - 1957.

paladin
06-23-2008, 11:19 AM
The arm will be around when the rest of me is gone, plumbing was replaced with Gore-Tex self sealing plastic stuff...just like self sealing fuel tanks in airplanes.....

Art Read
06-23-2008, 11:19 AM
Had a Scottish uncle who was a bit "tight" with a dollar. Gave up his two-pack a day habit when they had the gall to raise the price to a quarter a pack when he was in his seventies. Lived to be 94....

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
06-23-2008, 11:19 AM
I was born in 1955.

http://www.vdare.com/images/092606_rubenstein_1947-2005.JPG

Me too.

I harbour a sneaking suspicion that the slope of that graph represents not growth, but an institutionalised difference between reported inflation and real world experience...

Paul Girouard
06-23-2008, 11:24 AM
I was born in 1955.



Gad your old ! :D Well more than likely "older" than me as I was December baby.

HOW the hell did this happen! I don't "think" I should be "this old" :mad: Guess it beats the only know "cure" to gettin old :o

MM got reason to be Pi$$ed eh:D

Keith Wilson
06-23-2008, 11:25 AM
I harbour a sneaking suspicion that the slope of that graph represents not growth, but an institutionalised difference between reported inflation and real world experience...Perhaps partially. OTOH, most people (in the rich countries) have a lot more money and a lot more stuff than in 1955. Health care may be an exception, but in 1955, Paladin would have been left with only one arm if he was alive at all.

You may not like getting old, but I figure it beats the alternatives.

peb
06-23-2008, 11:45 AM
Keith, here are some thoughts about your very interesting graph.

In 1947, the mean was 18% higher than the median. In 2005, it appears to be 30% higher (note numbers are an estimate from your graph). This shows the often cited (on this forum) tilt in income towards the upper end.
However, everyone always blames the Bush administration's tax policies for this.
In 2001 the mean was was already 30% higher than the median (ie no significant change in the first term of Bush).
In 1993 the mean was 25% higher than the median. So half of the discrepancy occurred during the Clinton years. Of course, I don't blame Clinton for this, I am only pointing it out because most on this forum do blame Bush for it.
Further analysis, at the end of Reagan's second term it looks to be 21% and at the end of Carters term it looks to be about 17%. At the beginning of Carter's term it looks to be around 11%.

So from 1947 though 1976, percentage wise the median vs. mean got better. It did horrible in the Carter years, and Reagan slowed it down by half. It did bad during the Bush Sr. years, even worse during the Clinton years, and luckily for the middle income in this country, Bush has stemmed the tide.

edited to add: Paladin, I really enjoyed reading your initial post.

Keith Wilson
06-23-2008, 12:29 PM
Quite true. It's long-term trend. The ratio between the mean and median is one rough measure of inequality or at least the size of the "tail" at the upper end of the income graph. Form the beginning of the graph to about 1980 it actually fell - 1.18 to about 1.12, as close as I can estimate. By 1988 it was about 1.22 or 1.23, by 2000 1.27, and it has been more or less flat (as have real incomes) through 2005, as far as the graph goes. One can't blame Bush for everything.

A better measure of inequality might be the Gini Coefficient.

http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/GiniLong2004.jpg

Captain Blight
06-23-2008, 01:46 PM
Funny....

I was born in '67, spent a good part of my early years overseas, and I still remember the culture shock I went through when I returned to CONUS. Having been buying things on the PX economy, I learned pretty quickly that my $1.50 a week allowance didn't stretch nearly as far as it had used to.

Bob Smalser
06-23-2008, 02:26 PM
Quite true. It's long-term trend.]

There are other factors not being taken into account.

In 1955 4 out of 5 families in my large, extended family were full-time farmers who largely owned their own farms and made less than 5 grand a year.....and two of five less than 3 grand. Yet I'm sure in everything from nutrition to medical to education and more we lived better than urbanites making 10 grand or more.

Now, how many 1955 families were small farmers in similar circumstances compared to today? A sizable chunk of the population that probably skews your conclusions all to hell.

hokiefan
06-23-2008, 02:27 PM
Quite true. It's long-term trend. The ratio between the mean and median is one rough measure of inequality or at least the size of the "tail" at the upper end of the income graph. Form the beginning of the graph to about 1980 it actually fell - 1.18 to about 1.12, as close as I can estimate. By 1988 it was about 1.22 or 1.23, by 2000 1.27, and it has been more or less flat (as have real incomes) through 2005, as far as the graph goes. One can't blame Bush for everything.

A better measure of inequality might be the Gini Coefficient.

http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/GiniLong2004.jpg

Out of curiosity what is the Gini Coefficient?

Thanks,

Bobby

Dan McCosh
06-23-2008, 06:37 PM
A better picture would be individual income--most of the gains are due to two-income couples making a family.

Dan McCosh
06-23-2008, 06:40 PM
I do remember my father saying in the mid-1960s. "You can't expect to make much money if you go to medical school--doctors aren't in it for the money."

carioca1232001
06-23-2008, 06:56 PM
I do remember my father saying in the mid-1960s. "You can't expect to make much money if you go to medical school--doctors aren't in it for the money."

In the mid-50īs, my father had just about consolidated himself in private practice, after being ousted from his high-level city administratorīs job post-partition (end of Raj).

He would say: See, people have known my irk ever since I worked as a novice in the public dispensaries (early 1920īs). And they are flocking back to the same doc...... who actually may have gotten rusty on his medicine, on accumulating greater administrative responsibilities..... A good doctor doesnīt look for money.......he does his level best and the money comes his way.

Bob Smalser
06-23-2008, 07:03 PM
I remember our family Doctor charging $5.00 for a house call back then. If his family was better off than ours I never noticed.

50 bucks a week could be had as an adult day laborer. Teenagers got 6 dollars a 10-hour day. Work weeks ran through noon Saturday, too.

But again, that Gini line is likely badly distorted given the number of family-owner farms through the early 1960's.

Dan McCosh
06-23-2008, 07:13 PM
Bill for Dr. and hospital, for third child in 1967, six weeks premature, intensive care, etc.:

--$700. (five weeks factory pay)

LeeG
06-23-2008, 07:13 PM
20yrs ago I helped a friend clean up his recent purchase of a house that was about to be condemned by the city. He got it for $35k and it was in a marginal neighborhood. I was cleaning out the heroin and crack paraphenalia in the back yard and he was emptying the attic. Found cancled checks from the '20s written for $1 to the local doctor for a visit. Great penmanship.

carioca1232001
06-23-2008, 07:22 PM
Colonel, there was a sudden jump in the exchange rate (Sterling) in ī54/ī55, following the British-French Suez campaign and most foreign currencies, including the US dollar, were strongly bonded to Sterling in those times.........

In the later 50īs it used to be about 5 Pakistani Rupees to the US Dollar. My father would charge 'a chip' (one Rupee) for a consultation at his clinic.

Donīt recall what he charged for a house call , although '10 chips' would be approximately right !

The Bigfella
06-23-2008, 07:25 PM
I'm another "ole 55".

As for the cost of things, its all relative. When the GM Holden family car was first released in Australia in 1948, it cost the equivalent of 52 weeks average wages. Same standard of car now would be around 25 weeks - plus or minus and the cheapies would be around 12 weeks.

Bob Smalser
06-23-2008, 07:38 PM
In the middle 1950's farm kids not old enough to hire out generally worked for the family without pay.

The one money break we got was after the commercial June strawberry picking was over (we had 6 acres of them) in early July, we got the subsequent production. After our mothers got all they needed for canning, we set up a roadside stand and sold the rest for 25 cents a quart. I remember my share for that 3 weeks work being as much as 75 bucks....that had to last the year, as we didn't get allowances either.

paladin
06-23-2008, 08:08 PM
since I was the eldest....my job was emptying out the trash cans, feeding the chikkin's, collecting eggs, mowing the grass around the house with an old pushmower..etc.....and for that I earned a buck 25 a week......a box of .22's was about 50 cents 40 if I got shorts, and I could get 50 cents for a rabbit dressed out (mom got first choice), and some summers Mr. Shuler at the bank would put bounties on crows...a nickle each....one year I found their rookery, and got some of grandads dynamite, 1/4 sticks, painted them with hot glue, and rolled them in pea gravel...tied 3-4 of these in the rookery and connected them with a roll of EE-8 field wire.....after dinner, excused myself, and went to check, sure enough big fat FULL tree....and tripped her off......that was the last year Mr. Shuler paid for dead crows......
The next year all the rules changed..and the nice owner of the Rexall drug store was paying 10 cents for every rat that we caught.....was doing fine until someone told him that myself and Ivan Armstrong had a couple dozen in the barn that we were breeding......we weren't...but we were trying.....

High C
06-23-2008, 08:16 PM
When I was a boy you could get laid for a quarter.

Bob Smalser
06-23-2008, 08:31 PM
When I was a boy you could get laid for a quarter.

Not having the opportunity to get laid for a quarter is why some of us still have all our brain cells.

paladin
06-23-2008, 08:32 PM
but that was a hunnert years ago......

shamus
06-23-2008, 08:38 PM
I'm another "ole 55".

As for the cost of things, its all relative. When the GM Holden family car was first released in Australia in 1948, it cost the equivalent of 52 weeks average wages. Same standard of car now would be around 25 weeks - plus or minus and the cheapies would be around 12 weeks.

Reading the diary and account books of my wife's grandfather who died the other day at 98 I'm impressed by the relative affluence of small orchardists of that era. In 1951 and 1955 he paid cash for new Holdens around 1100 pounds. In 1958 his orchard of 13 acres seems to have brought in 11700 pounds with total expenses of around 3000 pounds. So he was 7 times as well off as an average worker. Some kind of agricultural paradise. No wonder he so commonly said "We live in a wonderful country". Incidentally he was still orcharding till about 3 years ago.

The Bigfella
06-23-2008, 09:17 PM
Some areas used to do particularly well. I was talking to a lifelong friend of Mum's at her wake. He reminisced about his best ever day as a commercial fisherman. His lobster pots were so full that he went out and bought the top of the line Chrysler - cash, out of that one days pots.

Times change. Now you need to be a banker to do that.

Keith Wilson
06-23-2008, 10:18 PM
Out of curiosity what is the Gini Coefficient?The Gini Coefficient is one measure of income inequality. It ranges from 0 to 1, with higher numbers being less equal. There's a pretty good discussion here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficientRanges) Numbers for countries are from around 0.25 for Japan and Denmark, to the 0.7 range for some places in Africa.

Bob Smalser
06-23-2008, 10:44 PM
The Gini Coefficient is one measure of income inequality.

And it remains skewed against private land-owners even today, favoring income over wealth. That means in countries with extensive private land ownership, the results lean toward more income inequality that actually exists.

Keith Wilson
06-23-2008, 10:55 PM
The Gini coefficient measures inequality in income, not in wealth. One could develop a similar metric for total assets. I don't know if it would show more or less inequality; I suppose it depends on the country and time. I suspect that looking at wealth in the US right now would show more inequality than income.

Bob Smalser
06-23-2008, 11:14 PM
I suspect that looking at wealth in the US right now would show more inequality than income.

Compared to who?

94% of Canada forests are publicly-owned, while 60% of producing US forests are privately owned, a surprising amount of it in small holdings. Few countries allow, let alone have the private land ownership of the US.

Who's better off....the logger working for a wage or the tree farmer making a similar income but simultaneously growing wealth? While a Gini can be developed to measure anything, the ones you are using only measure direct income. And I suggest from personal experience that in 1955 when small farms of every type were more the norm, your measurements are even farther off.

Similar logic applies to the high percentage of US home ownership. Just because some algorithm fits your politics doesn't mean it's accurate. Because in real wealth you're comparing apples to grapefruits.

The Bigfella
06-24-2008, 12:00 AM
Because in real wealth you're comparing apples to grapefruits


Sorta like freedom eh? Anyone know a country where the Army controls what you can do on a river?

Bob Smalser
06-24-2008, 12:03 AM
Sorta like freedom eh? Anyone know a country where the Army controls what you can do on a river?

Where the Corps of Engineers doesn't regulate environmental safeguards either one of the Federal or State environmental offices certainly does.

Just like in your country.

Moreover, the COE is a bit of a misnomer. If you find any soldiers in it below the rank of Light Colonel I'd like to meet them. The agency is manned by civilians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_of_Engineers

The Bigfella
06-24-2008, 12:15 AM
Thin end of the wedge mate. Next thing you know the Generals will be in power.

Bob Smalser
06-24-2008, 12:35 AM
Thin end of the wedge mate.

As they've been around since 1775, they're pretty slow about taking over. And I'm hardly your mate.

pcford
06-24-2008, 12:52 AM
I'm hardly your mate.

Hey, don't pucker up, Colonel.

It's a turn of phrase in the Antipodes. The citizens thereof think it wonderfully funny to use their local argot. As if every other English speaking country did not have slang as well.

Luckily, we don't have to suffer through Dingo's contributions tonight.

It's pronounced "mayte."

Captain Blight
06-24-2008, 12:54 AM
Interestingly, in 1955, the official Dept of Agriculture policy hadn't been to encourage farmers to adopt fence-to-fence planting of monoculture crops. Intersting as well that a lot of the times when society (read here Governments) make efficiency official policy, it tends to have negative repercussions far down the line.

Captain Blight
06-24-2008, 01:02 AM
Where the Corps of Engineers doesn't regulate environmental safeguards either one of the Federal or State environmental offices certainly does.

Regulate environmental safeguards? Are you out of your cotton-pickin' mind? Bob, I work in an industry that couldn't exist if it weren't for the Corps and its work (primarily maintaining infrastructure built during the WPA days) and I can tell you that safeguarding the riverine environment is way down on their list of prioritties. This doesn't even go into what a waste of money and resources their flagship, M/V Mississippi (http://www.hq.usace.army.mil/CEPA/PUBS/mar05/STORY10.HTM) is.

The Bigfella
06-24-2008, 01:41 AM
I'm hardly your mate.


Yeah - settle down Bob, it wasn't meant in the sexual sense. I guess the antithesis of the term would be cranky old fart. Take your pick.

Getting back to the issue that was being discussed - something about confusing wealth and income.... beware of defining wealth on something highly dependent on an input that has a very variable price. America's wealth is highly oil dependent, for example (as is ours).

Bob Smalser
06-24-2008, 07:22 AM
Take your pick.


More cheap shots? It's you who decides whether your contribution to this community is greater than reinforcing the adage that talk is cheap.

If you want to put a dock, bulkhead or other installation on a body of water the Corps controls you'll need a hydraulic permit (or usually the state for waters the Corps doesn't control...but states take their baseline standards from the COE)). Your proposal will be reviewed by both engineers and biologists and must meet current environmental and structural standards, and you can expect the construction to be inspected.

Do it right the first time. In some areas they subcontract the inspections to local licensed professionals who won't hesitate to condemn your work. For example, leaking Styrofoam crumbs kill the marine life that eat them and are a particular disaster in salmon country. The only acceptable standard for Styrofoam floats are those encased in thick polyethylene.

Keith Wilson
06-24-2008, 08:30 AM
Compared to who?Compared to a similar metric involving income. Wealth is generally a result of income accumulated over time (unless its inherited), so inequalities in income generally translate into greater inequalities in wealth. Yes, many countries show greater inequality than the US, in both income and wealth. As I said, the Gini coefficient is one measure of inequality in income. If you think there's something wrong with it, suggest another way to measure. Otherwise, I think you're complaining about the method of measurement because what it shows doesn't fit your politics.

The Bigfella
06-24-2008, 08:31 AM
My cheap shot as you call it was about the irony of the land of the free being under the thumb of the army. I've been told that Americans just don't understand the concept of irony. Seems to be true, but I'm just an old fart anyhow, so what would I know?

carioca1232001
06-24-2008, 09:26 AM
I hadnīt heard of the Gini concept before and clicked on the Wiki-link that was provided for more info , but to no avail.....

However, there are countries and whole regions on the planet where wealth, in the form of long-standing land ownership and/or land inheritance, has been the major culprit for stumping economic growth , at least in manner of agricultural income, if not all around.

For a real world example, Brazilīs oligarchic north-east region is fair cake .

Keith Wilson
06-24-2008, 09:59 AM
The link didn't work? Let me try again - here's Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient

Another site: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTPOVERTY/EXTPA/0,,contentMDK:20238991~menuPK:492138~pagePK:148956 ~piPK:216618~theSitePK:430367,00.html

And another: http://william-king.www.drexel.edu/top/prin/txt/factors/dist4.html


However, there are countries and whole regions on the planet where wealth, in the form of long-standing land ownership and/or land inheritance, has been the major culprit for stumping economic growth The same, BTW, was true for Chile until fairly recently, and for much of Central America.

hokiefan
06-24-2008, 10:50 AM
Compared to who?

94% of Canada forests are publicly-owned, while 60% of producing US forests are privately owned, a surprising amount of it in small holdings. Few countries allow, let alone have the private land ownership of the US.

Who's better off....the logger working for a wage or the tree farmer making a similar income but simultaneously growing wealth? While a Gini can be developed to measure anything, the ones you are using only measure direct income. And I suggest from personal experience that in 1955 when small farms of every type were more the norm, your measurements are even farther off.

Similar logic applies to the high percentage of US home ownership. Just because some algorithm fits your politics doesn't mean it's accurate. Because in real wealth you're comparing apples to grapefruits.

One thing to keep in mind here is that a significant portion (but certainly not all) of the private ownership is corporate ownership, in particularly the pulp and paper industry. There's another significant portion thats individually owned by tree farmers supplying the pulp and paper industry. Shortly after their mergers with Union Camp and Champion, International Paper owned about 12 million acres of forestland, much of it in the southeastern US. At that time they were the largest private landowner in the country. Given that they didn't have a clue how to run a profitable company, they've been cash strapped for years and selling off the land, so they may not own nearly as much these days. Used to be you could ride through the country and recognize who owned what land by the paint stripes on the trees, Union Camp was white by my memory. Times change though, and I'm no longer closely tied to the pulp and paper industry, so I've lost touch.

Cheers,

Bobby

Captain Blight
06-24-2008, 11:19 AM
I've heard it said that the only true wealth is land; and I think you could make a case that the only true coin is livestock. I imagine someone who made wise investments in real estate in 1955 and held on to it for the last 50 years might agree.

Concordia 33
02-21-2013, 12:29 PM
I miss Paladin! I always enjoy seeing his old threads resurrected.

John Smith
02-21-2013, 03:01 PM
Absolutely priceless!

Thanks, Chuck!

I was three, at the time, and my parents discussions on this subject passed clean over my head!:D

I remember driving home one night after getting a bit lost and the gas gauge being on "E" for some time. we were so happy to find a station open. Among us we has 17 cents. That bought half a gallon, and we knew we'd get home.

John Smith
02-21-2013, 03:10 PM
Seems a lot of folks long for the good old days of the 1950's. Mostly white folks. Black folks likely don't have such fond memories. Those were the days of segregation through the south.

I knew nothing of this until '56 when I learned my friends, and my brother's friends, were not allowed to listen to the black R&R artists. They came to our house to listen.

I was 11 then. My brother was 13. A lot of kids who didn't care what color the musician/singer was were of voting age when the civil rights legislation came around.

skuthorp
02-21-2013, 03:30 PM
It's funny how Palladin's posts seem relevant still, we lost a good'un there.
I was 12, living in a tiny old gold mining settlement on my grandfathers's farm. No electricity, party line phone, a post office about the size of 6 telephone boxes. No shop either, 9 miles to that. Battery radios, strictly time rationed. Walk or horse to a 1 room multi-grade school, my last year before a city high school. At this distance I cannot remember ever being bored. But I was just a bush kid isolated from the other nastier undercurrents that were swirling round the country as migrants and refugees flooded in and the RW government tried to ban the communist party, and failed. I have no nostalgia for the era, just for my experience of it.