Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

How To Lie With Numbers – Akki’s Inflation Edition

We’re told that modern day people are worse off than those in the past. Because the price of bread has risen, while wages haven’t. This is, of course, lying with numbers. Either that or the sort of gross ignorance that means the inability to chew gum and fart at the same time.

Yes, well done there. The wages number has been adjusted for inflation. The bread price has not.

Using this logic we can show that Londoners paying 6 d for a quartern loaf in 1750 were better off than we are today. Neatly skipping over the point that a quartern loaf might well have been all the person ate over a couple of days….

Marian Tupy has more:

The average time price (i.e., the amount of time that a person has to work in order to earn enough money to buy something) of everyday items relative to the hourly wages of unskilled workers declined by 72 per cent. It declined by 75 percent for skilled workers and by 89 per cent for upskilling workers (i.e., workers who started as unskilled workers in 1979, but ended up as skilled workers in 2019). That means that for the same amount of work that allowed an unskilled worker to purchase one item in our basket of everyday items in 1979, he or she could buy 3.56 items in 2019 (on average). A skilled worker’s purchasing power increased from one to four and upskilling worker’s purchasing power increased from one to nine.

Yes, I know you all don’t believe this but the Good Old Days Are Right Now.

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Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan
1 year ago

I grew up in houses with no central heating and (in the case when staying with my grandparents) outside toilets. I’m < 50 years old so this is since the early 70s. There is none of this now. My first car was a total crock (Mini Metro) and the logic back then was buy after 3 years old (worst of depreciation over) and before 5 years old (when it rusted to pieces and the mechanicals were shot). This doesn't happen now. Sir Bob Geldof used to raise millions to send food to Ethiopia so it could rot on the docks.… Read more »

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
1 year ago

Economically this is the Golden Age, no doubt about it. The worry is that intellectually and morally things are far from precious. How long can the economy continue to provide such an abundance of wealth if the trend towards stupidity isn’t reversed?

Jonathan Harston
Jonathan Harston
1 year ago

When I attempted to learn to drive when I was 18 I thought what’s the point, I’ll never be able to afford a car. Two years ago I bought a car for seven weeks’ dole, two months’ mortgage, 14 days’ work, 333 loaves of bread, 20 weeks’ groceries, 90 Full English Breakfasts….

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