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Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:27 AM

This idea: "Everything is more expensive these days." is a total lie, and here's proof.

..Some things and services are much cheaper. Not a little but a whole lot. So, here is the proof: In the 50s a long distant phone call might cost (and I am not sure of this number) $1.25. for 3 minutes. I remember being told that the long distance calls needed to be very short because they are ..."so expensive"
..Now, these calls are much cheaper. Not a little, but a whole lot le. If a 50s call was that expensive, let us convert that in ..."inflation terms" In reality, from today's viewpoint, that 50s call was at least 5 times more expensive than 3rd sentence implies. From an honest view of that 50s call, it was not $1.25 for 3 minutes, but in today's money, 6 to 7 dollars for that 3 minute long distance call. How can that happen? Who did that and how did they do it?
..It is one word: technology. It was technology that changed it and made it much cheaper. The communication field was filled with helpers. Operators, call assistants, experts on keeping the calls short, and all kinds of other ideas. But today, it is technology. Phones are made by machines. (not in the U.S.A. like they used to be made, but somewhere abroad) The entire system is operated by technology. Modern machines do not need a lunch break
... While it might be more complicated than that, that is the heart of this issue. Many young people do not have the faintest idea what an operator did. It is similar to reading a "map." The machine tells you where to turn, and how to get there. Technology, Technology, and MORE..Technology. ALSO, that technology is much cheaper than it was 30 -to 40 years ago. That is part of the show, and that is also the truth. As I sit at this computer, and as I think back to the 1980s, I didn't have the faintest idea in the early 80s, that I would own a computer and operate one. But here we are, and this is now, and that is the past. And that is why this statement: "Everything is more expensive these days" is a ...TOTAL LIE....

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:40 AM

1. You found one

So what? Or did you? My phone bill is a lot higher than it was in the 50s.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:41 AM

2. To a degree you are correct

but in the 1950s we didn't carry a $500 to $1K phone in our pocket in order or subscribe to a wireless carrier for $50 - $100+ per month to make that inexpensive call.

Yes, the call itself is much less expensive, getting to that point still comes with a significant cost.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:49 AM

3. You don't need to spemd that much

$40 phone and about $10/mo. With Tracfone.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:12 PM

7. Yeah, I know

but we also know that folks do pay that and much more.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:49 AM

4. That phone is not a "phone" as we thought of it in the 50s and 60s.

That "phone" in our pocket is really a hand held miniature computer. Yes, we talk into it like a "phone" but, there is much more to it than just being a "phone." We can multiply 45 times 6482 and then divide that number by 84. It is a walking adding machine as well as a "phone." Many other uses for that so called, "phone"

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:03 PM

5. News from the future

Someday, Apple will announce the release of the iPhone XIX. It will have apps like you've never dreamed of and a holographic display.

It will also be the first iPhone without a phone app.

(Apologies to the NY Times.)

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:11 PM

6. I fully understood that when I posted my response to your OP

Yes, it does much more than we could have ever dreamed of in the 1950s, but for many it is their only phone and in order to make that inexpensive phone call there is a whole lot of hardware, infrastructure, software and related costs hovering in the background.

That it does more than just allowing us to talk to another individual, is a completely different discussion.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:14 PM

8. To put prices into perspective,

in 1950 the federal minimum wage in this country was 75 cents an hour. In 1956 it went up to $1.00/hour.

Yes, that money was worth more and bought more than those amounts today, but the long distance call cost is a good example. Back then ordinary people rarely made long distance calls because of the expense. Not too long ago I read a novel about a group of women who became friends when their husbands were all stationed at the same air base in England in the 1950s. When they came back to the states they wound up in different parts of the country. But they called each other pretty regularly, which was unbelievable enough, but they also regularly talked by phone to a woman back in England who was also a friend. They'd have been writing letters.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:17 PM

9. As you say "and I am not sure of this number ..."

kinda puts a crimp on your extrapolations.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:19 PM

10. I don't think most people thought that. People are having to

buy larger homes or just keep throwing good stuff away to make room for all the stuff we have that we never needed before.

But of course it's natural to kvetch when inflation does threaten wellbeing, like in homes, education, and food.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:30 PM

11. In 1965, my brother called from L.A. to Paris to propose to his girlfriend, who was touring Europe.

I found the bill among my parents papers: $110.00, which would be about $900.00 today.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:31 PM

12. I tell my kids

to save their money, because it might be worth something some day.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:34 PM

13. Tell me about the cost of housing, healthcare, and higher education

The things you really need in life, not the things you want. You can survive without making long distance calls.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:35 PM

14. Long distance phone calls are cheaper because of infrastructure

there were no fibre backbones and VOIP in the '50's; everything had to go over circuit-switched copper. There were literally only a limited number of long-distance call routing lines available because of the circuit-switched infrastructure. If you're already paying for Internet (or happen to be near a wi-fi hotspot) you don't even need to make a long distance call anymore; you can use Skype or something similar for free.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 12:50 PM

15. My phone bill is almost free compared to the 1950s

However that's because it's included with my cable and internet cost as a "3 in 1" deal from Verizon Fios. I'm sure many of you have something similar.

Nobody paid for cable TV or internet ISP in the 1950's and currently my monthly bill is around ~$140 per month. Out of that amount my landline charge is maybe $10-15. There's never an add-on charge for "long distance" calls because they don't really charge for those any more.

I do agree with your premise that digital technology has made many things cheaper in the 21st century. However the high tech company owners and billionaires have conspired to keep the profits from technology mostly to themselves. There is very little sharing of the goodies, very little trickle down.



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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:30 PM

16. Sorry, but that's an extremely naive statement.

Many people feel that, even with full-time work, they simply don't have the income necessary to live the lives they want. Even when it comes to just the basic essentials such as food, rent, car payments, or tuition fees, it can often seem that a dollar today just doesn't buy what it should. As it happens, this isn't just economic paranoia. In fact, the prices for daily goods have increased considerably since 1998, above and beyond what can be accounted for by inflation, giving the dollar much less buying power than it had just 20 years ago.

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/101314/what-does-current-cost-living-compare-20-years-ago.asp

The dollar's buying power is less than what it was 20 years ago, meaning what you earn doesn't stretch as far as it once did.

Government statistics show that while household income has been steadily increasing, it has failed to keep up with the pace of inflation.

In addition, the cost of buying items like houses and automobiles has increased at a rate that outpaces the rise in inflation.

The average cost of buying a new car in 1999 was $20,686; adjusted for inflation, that price today should be $31,874. However, according to Kelly Blue Book, the average cost of buying a new car in April 2019 was $37,185, 14% higher than the price when accounting for inflation.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:09 PM

17. one reads that the current inflation rate is slightly under 2 per cent these days nt

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