According to some dipshits, American wages — adjusted for inflation — topped out in 1972. I call bullshit.
The median wage in the US was $7134 in 1974. According to inflation adjustment app www.dollartimes.com, that’s equivalent to $48,394 in year 2021. According to http://www.policyadvice.net, the median wage in the US for year 2021 is $51,480. So where the fuck do they get the idea that wages topped out in 1972, or at least haven’t risen much, if any, since then?
Part of it is that medical care and education costs have gone way up — 1900%, significantly outpacing inflation — that’s why people are freaking out. Part of it is because so many more Americans now have useless college degrees plus school debt, which significantly reduces their purchasing power and job mobility. Most of it is because most American journalists and politicians are ideologically driven dumbfucks.
Despite record high gasoline prices, driving is still cheaper today than it was in 1972 because autos today are twice as fuel efficient. Clothes and everyday technology (eg. laptops, tvs) — are much cheaper and in the case of technology, significantly better. Porn is free as long as you have access to the Internet. Foreign language lessons, academic tutoring, documentaries, all free as long as you have Internet. From personal experience, airfare seems a bit cheaper when you adjust for inflation, but data shows it has outpaced inflation by a bit (8% more). Domestic long distance is free if you have a phone plan. The price basic grocery items haven’t gone up when you adjust for inflation, and egg costs the same today as it did in 1972. I bet the street whore that just walked by isn’t any more expensive today, after we adjust for inflation, than she would’ve been in 1972.
Housing costs have spiked over the past year and a half, and it’s a concern, but they’re coming down and may well settle closer to where it should be, which is seven times more than it was in 1972. We’ll see.
Solution to high school costs
That leaves medical care and post-secondary school costs as significantly outpacing wage inflation, around three times more. But college is as useful and dangerous as cocaine, especially since you can usually find better and free instructors on Youtube nowadays. And according to behavioral economist, Bryan Kaplan, education after 8th grade has no effect on personal income outcomes. The kid who gets into Harvard on merit will make the same whether he graduates or gets kicked out for forcing a drunk coed to brush her teeth with his penis. Another economist, Thomas Sowell, has shown that affirmative action has no effect on income outcomes for those excluded by affirmative action, and a negative effect on income outcomes for recipients of affirmative action. Which suggests that it’s not where one goes to school that makes a person, it’s the person that makes the person, okay?
Solution to higher school costs? Stay away from that shit, you don’t need it, just as you don’t need to wear Valentino and drive a Tesla.
Solution to high medical costs
Medical tourism. Americans have raved about the quality of healthcare in Mexico, for instance. Root canal in Mexico is 80% cheaper than it is in the US, partially because Mexican dentists get free education in exchange for serving poor areas for a few years. While you’re there, enjoy the restaurants, a basic one will cost $10 for two people, two drinks included. Or $50 if you want a fancy one. $100 if you want high end that’s comparable to high end Micheline star restaurants in the US. And learn a new language, it’ll prevent Alzheimer’s.
Don’t want to travel? Fine, then figure out a way to stay healthy. Stop eating anything with added sugar. Exercise 7 days a week. Try acupuncture. It’s those with underlying conditions who are paying themselves broke for medical attention.
We could get medical costs down by reducing the number of people — about 50% according to the NIH (and I think that’s an undercount because it doesn’t include the batshit crazy on meds) — who suffer from underlying chronic illness like obesity. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Or get the government out of the business of student loans, which inflates the price of school. How about getting rid of the American Medical Association, a union that drives up the price of medical care. Or get rid of the college degree requirement to get into medical school? If someone can ace the MCAT without college — everyone who does can — that person should be able to apply to medical school. Less student debt and more competition might mean lower medical costs.
I anticipate medical care costs coming down once more medical procedures are automated.
Solution to high housing costs
And if foreign buyers and hedge funds keep buying property, inflating its value? If housing inventory remains low because dumbfuck school counselors told students to get a bullshit degree from a bullshit college instead of learning a trade? Keep in mind that in most parts of the world — from Hong Kong to New York City, Mexico City to Paris, it’s common for many families to fit 4 people in 600sf of living space. In fact, that was closer to the norm in the US until recently. For instance, the average size of an American house was 983 sf in 1950, and 2657 sf in 2014, even though the size of a typical American household declined from 3.37 per in 1950 to 3.13 in 2014. Americans are acting spoiled when they demand a 600 sf one bedroom apartment, no roomate.
If you want prices to come down, tell the government to replace property taxes with land-value taxes, liberalize zoning, and make it easier to obtain building permits. If you want prices to go way up, implement rent control, which significantly reduces inventory.
Random review and comparison of prices
- Cost of a dozen eggs in 1972 was $.52, which is $3.17 in today’s dollars
- Typical landline phone service — mobile service didn’t exist — was $30/month (includes phone rental, you couldn’t buy your own), only local calls are free. Long distance was typically $.10 per minute. That’s $203/month in today’s cost, just for local calls. Meanwhile, in 2022, you can get basic mobile service that includes long distance and internet for $15/month. A new smart phone starts at $100.
- Personal computer in 1972 cost $750, which is $5008 today.
- Basic laptop significantly more powerful than the $3500 Wang 2200 personal computer (1973) costs $200 today. $3500 in 1973 is worth $23,000 today.
- Penthouse magazine from 1972 cost $.75, which is ~$5 today. Photos of naked women are free if you have internet in 2022.
- Use of phone booth in 1972 was $.10/call, two minute limit? That’s $.68 for a two minute call today.
- Pleated shirtdress in 1972 was $15, or $102 today. Shirtdress from H and M costs $30 today.
Life has gotten a lot better, but people are as ungrateful as ever
Would you prefer to make a $100,000/year — you’d be in the top 1 percent — in 1972, or $50,000 a year today, 2022? Who is wealthier, the average person today, or the top 1 percent in 1972?
Some of the pandemic related price spikes are temporary, they’re due to provisional supply chain problems. Some of the price spikes will get worse if we implement dumbfucking polices like rent control. A lot of prices, like medical care and food prices, will go way down if we stop whining about stupid shit and start thinking about how we can build and implement better technology. The world isn’t falling apart, it’s individual people who project their personal batshit crazy onto the world who are.