This is kind of interesting. Here is a link to a cost of living calculator.
You can punch in a dollar amount and a year to see what it equals in todays dollars.
$100 in 1924 is equal to $1,251.46 today.
It could be interesting to post some values of items available back in the day and what that value would be in terms of "todays dollars"
Ford announced a "$5 day" in 1914. According to the calculator, in terms of todays dollars that would be $107 per day.
If you could buy a new touring car for $380 in 1924 that would equal $4,755.56 in terms of todays money.
It could be fun to see what people can come up with, convert, and post...
I do not agree with the calculator. For example, an average house in 1925 would be about 3,500, but today it would be around $200,000, that is a factor of 57. A modest car in 1925 being a Ford model T at about $350 compared to a low priced modest car today of about $17,000 is a factor of 48. The average is about 53. A 5 cent beer in 1920 will cost 65 cents using the cost of living calculator, or $2.60 using my rule of 53. So by my calculations a $5 a day ford factory job should be worth $264 per day today, and with roughly 250 working days per year the annual pay would be $66,000 before Federal tax, State tax, local tax, SSN tax, medical, dental, vision, long term disability, and life insurance, medical savings account, and other deductions.
I have used this one in the past.
We use http://www.minneapolisfed.org/index.cfm to calculate right off values when replacing old equipment (corporate assets). I cannot say that it would work to determining what a person’s wages where back in the day.
I tried the scenario that Jeff discussed regarding a factor worker.
1920 - $5/day
2009 - $53/day – well that is not correct. I expect they would make $25hr.
You can not really compare a model T to a cheap modern Americanized car, our government is to involved and we require to many safety items. I read last year that in India a new startup car manufacture (Tata motors) is now selling a car for approximately $2,200 US dollars. It is the ultimate stripped down car.
1920 - $350 New Model T
2009 – $3700 Comparable Model T pricing
2009 - $2200 New Tata Motors vehicle.
So you can buy a new car for less than a T, but I do not think I would want one.
I found a Maxwell repair bill from 1914. Labor cost was $6.50 for 11 hours. That converts to $12.58 per hour today. I was recently told the rates would be $50, $65, $85 per hour for repair work. I just wonder.
How does $6.50/11 hours work out to $12.58 per hour?
My bad. I failed to read "today" into that. Please accept my apology.
I'd love $12.58/hour today for every hour I spend working on someone's car.
I guess what you have to take into consideration is how things have changed since then. Society has changed a great deal since the teens and twenties. I think the figure about the 1914 $5 day being $107 per day in todays money is probably pretty darn accurate. Average people lived subsistance lives ninety years ago. The "cost of living" was real different than it is today.
If you consider $107 per day or $26,750 per year in todays money to be comparable to the $5 a day highly desirable Ford factory job of the teens and twenties, you may be confusing it with a plant in China or Mexico.
Jeff, The calculator is indexed off the difference in the cost of living from year to year. There are many factors. Go to the link and read up on it. You may learn some new and interesting things.
Yabut, don't forget that the published "cost of living" index is an average based on 87% of the country's lower income earners.
The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative selection of consumer goods and services. The selection of goods and services (commonly referred to as the "market basket") is based upon actual consumer purchasing patterns, which are determined from a survey of consumer expenditures. Goods and services in the market basket are weighted according to the share they constitute of total consumer spending. The major expenditure categories are:
Food and beverages
Education and communication
Other goods and services
The CPI calculated for 2009 and applied to Social Security COLA was determined to be ZERO for 2010!
Just one question--Was there anything on the above list that stayed the same for you in 2009?
Those calculators are a joke.
The govt has been fudging the numbers for years. They release a report that looks good, or not too bad, then a few months later when few are watching, they revise the report - always downward, closer to what it really was.
The best government money can buy.
I should have added:
When you consider that lower income earners shift expenses among the categories when costs go up, it's easy to see how the CPI can get skewed. For example; when transportation costs go up, recreation may go down. When food goes up, expenditures for other goods and services may go down. All you have to do is look at the current economy. If people can't buy goods and services because of the shift in prices, factories don't sell goods. When factories don't sell goods, they lay off workers.
And all the time the CPI stays zero, 12% of the country is unemployed, prices have doubled on most food, transportation and medical care line items but the "Average" paid-out by clerks and service workers have remained level. Yeah, right--That's a fair way to determine inflation. ???
Sorry for the rant.
I just get hairy fingers when someone tells me the CPI is flat-lined for 2009. What country do THEY live in?
When was the last time you bought something made in USA? Even a large percentage of our food is imported.
My solution: 100% inspection of all imports - paid by the importers.
Creates jobs of every discipline and skill level.
Makes domestic products more competitive.
Improves safety: Just in the last few years, we've imported wheat poisoned with melamine; toothpaste with ethylene glycol; drywall with corrosives that eat plumbing and make people sick; tainted Heparin that has killed and injured; lead laced toys. And that's just the ones that have been found, and made the news.
We inspect only 4-5% of imports. Dubai Ports World, which owns some of our ports, is in financial trouble, and a possible route for dirty bombs. Will it be okay to catch just every 20th one?
Adam is right about changes in society. We now have "lifestyles". We have more affluent expectations than people did as recently as fifty years ago. Go back 100 years, and the difference is more striking. An example is in the use of electric power. I have two floor lamps and a ceiling fixture in my living room, along with a TV, VCR/DVD, CD player, tape deck, computer, two scanners, and a printer. In 1909, if your house had electricity, the lighting was likely to be one bulb per room unless you were well-off. When cars came along, most families that had a car had just one. We now consider it necessary to have a lot more stuff.
I have got to ask , why is the minimum wage in the US as of last year $ 6-50 per hour ?
Who or what has caused this overall drop in wages to occur, may it be something brought about by cheap imported labour whether it legal or not legal helping around the farm or workplace just to make ends meet !!! l dont know but I'm curious, last year while travelling down to Indiana, we stopped at many places and found that low paid trend at nearly every stop.
The T in 1913 was about $550-00 for a touring, a medium sized family car, now a meduim sized family car , lets say the Ford Taurus at $25,500-00, that equates to a 46 times rise, wages if done the same way would go from $5-00 per day to $230-00 per day or $ 59,000-00 per year,Hands up all of you that currently earn $ 59k per year, forget all of that other stuff, it was not around back then , well except the taxes part, bloody Romans, so the dollar for dollar value should be close, then work backward to a year and find when your wage, stopped gaining and started reducing.
Just interested to know not trying to cause waves ....
That $5/day was for a worker at a Ford plant, not a courtesy clerk (bagboy) at the grocery store. Check out what blue-collar workers in the auto industry make today.
Minimum wage is now $7.25/hour I believe, not that it matters much compared to $6.50/hour.
I believe I'll stop here.
@Rick: Welcome to the global world! I am sure you would like us all to by US goods, right? Well - if EU did the same to protect their market we would all be poorer.
The only way is to qualify the domestic production and that is done by education.
I am not an expert, but how much of an intelligencia reserve does all the now unemployed US citizen count for?
And how would that look if US had better opportunities for all to get the education their mental abilities enables them to rather than their financial?
The first jobs to be outsourced is those that does not require a high education level.
The danish govenment statistical agency have such a website.
It is based on the inflation through the years, and for salary comparition it may work OK.
When it comes to goods, I do actually not know to what extent VAT is included.
And when it comes to cars, all new owners of private cars must pay a registration tax which where not that high back then. Today it is 180% of the cars price ab dealer and then 25% VAT on top of that (around here the bargain is "Buy one, pay for three" :-)
So my bottom line is that these kind of websites and tools must be used with quite a large grain of salt.
If we were to protect our market like Ralph suggests, we would be poorer too.
We've lowered the standards in education so that everyone can "pass".
There are plenty here making our $7.25/hr. minimum wage that are both ignorant and incredibly lazy. There are laws that protect their jobs.
The "party" is over here in the US and it can't be blamed on China.
My following statement is puely how this thread hit me, not an intent to play on words. Yesterday's VALUES cannot be compared to today's DOLLARS. It was a different world - if you were hungry more than likely someone would give you food (albeit in exchange for some work). Today you fill out a few forms and poof Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, etc., etc., etc. "THINGS" cost basis was different.
Lewis: If everyone in this country had always taken it upon themselves to take care of the people who really needed those things, then the government would have had no reason to begin providing those programs in the first place.
Your right Seth it's not the fault of China! I think it's the fault of those who took advantage of cheap labor for high profits no matter the cost to our standards!! As a matter of fact,it was not long ago that a idea was put forth to have model T crankshafts forged in China.Has anyone seen much made in Japan lately?? When the cost of labor in China gets too high for some to make large/easy profit China will be out!! $7.25 per hour?? Yes there are people working for that but is it a liveing wage?? Their are people who say $7.25 min wage is too high but is it fat cats with money playing as poloticians or people trying trying to live?? Let's talk model T's!! PS,You still have one?? Bud.
Sure Bud, $7.25/hr is a living wage though it's only $14,500/year. Those who earn only that just can't live like you and I do. I can live on that much but only because I bought my house when I was 21, it's all paid for now, I'm single with no chilluns, and I don't want much.