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Sunday, October 17, 2010

1990 Prices vs. Today

 Photo:  First GM Saturn made- 1990

Wouldn't it be nice to take a time machine back 20 years to 1990 when George Bush, Sr. was President, no one ever heard of 'Iraq', much less could identify it on a map and the greatest offense a VP made was supposedly not spelling 'potato' correctly.  A more innocent time where people actually bought Vanilla Ice & MC Hammer (each sold over 11 million records back then) and for kids, the big fad was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Prices of most items were also better 20 yrs back:

Dow-Jones    
High:     3,000
Low:     2,365

~ Today the Dow is over 11,000.  It is inflated due to hundred of billions of dollars the Fed has purposely pumped into it, in order to give the impression that Wall St. is 'strong'.   Without the phony money, the Dow would really be at around 7000 based on current economic realities.

Unemployment:     5.3%

~ Because Pres. Clinton changed what was traditionally defined as 'unemployed' in the mid 90's, those categories, known as U6,  are not counted officially today but were back in 1990.  So '5.3%' did include temporary workers, part timers, those out of work for 15 or more weeks and underemployed.  Today the true number is 17.1% unemployed.

** It would take $162.44 today to be the equivalent of $100 in 1990

In 1990 average new house cost $123,000.00

~  In 2005, ave. new house cost $256,000 due to constant house flipping and speculating which was part of the housing bubble which popped in 2007 and which we're still feeling the affects

In 1990 the average income per year was $28,970.00 (1999 was $40,810.00)

~  2009 average income was approx $47,000.  Between 1990-99, income went up on average $12,000.  Between 1999 and 2009, income went up on average $7,000

In 1990 the average cost of new car was $16,000.00

~ In 2007, average car price was $27,958- that's an increase of 80% from 1990

Cost of  a gallon of gas was $1.34     ~ today it is $2.79

Cost of a first-class stamp:     $0.25   ~ today it is $0.44

Cost of a gallon of Milk:     $2.78       ~today, between $3.25- $3.85

Cost of a loaf of Bread:     $0.79        ~ today, it is $2.79

Cost of 1lb hamburger meat:    $0.99    ~today is is $3.99

**  OK, The Important part-  Average wages went up $19,000 between 1990 and 2009, yet a home went up by over $125,000 and a vehicle by $12,000 (+$137,000).  This doesn't include prices of every other good and service; necessity and luxury that went up in price in the past two decades.  That meant in order to presently enjoy a standard of living comparable to 1990,  one would have to work a 2nd job, get into serious credit card debt, and/or use their homes as piggy banks to take out a 2nd mortgage.

People love blaming others for the current economic recession/depression..  its the 'fault' of those who borrowed too much or racked up too much debt- this is scapegoating.  I do not and will not.  Because when you crunch cold numbers, you see the system is set up where most everyday people do not have a chance to maintain a decent life without serious overwork and debt overload. And understand this-  it is no accident things are this way.

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