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 Post subject: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 2:51 am 
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Those were the days. Electronics in general were very expensive compared to other items. Even a $175 radio was a months pay.


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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 2:55 am 
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Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
Based on that, a brand new Philco 38-116 at $200 was a big purchase!

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 4:28 am 
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Using the Westegg inflation calculator to convert to today's money helps you understand things:

New house $70,342

Average Income $31, 221

New Car $15,511

Average monthly rent $487

Harvard Tutition $7,575

Movie Ticket $4.51

Gallon of gasoline $1.80

Postage stamp $0.55

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 4:37 am 
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Thanks, Stephen.

I'd like to see now a comparison of solid waste per person.

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Mon 18, 2019 4:59 am 
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I don't think there were all that many over $100 radios sold in those days, compared to the $25 to $50 table models. You could still find nice consoles, although not the really high tube count models, well under $100.

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 4:41 am 
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Right, a lot of people would buy a console radio for so much down and so much a month.
Some dealers accepted a trade-in as well.
AA5's were cheaper to build than cathedrals, worked better than 4 tube curtain burners and there were dozens of companies churning them out.

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 5:01 am 
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FStephenMasek wrote:
Using the Westegg inflation calculator to convert to today's money helps you understand things:
Harvard Tutition $7,575


College went out of control with student loan guarantees and kids signing things they probably shouldn't

According to Harvard’s website, tuition costs for the 2019-2020 school year total $47,730, fees are $4,195, and room and board costs $17,682 for a subtotal of billed costs of $69,607.

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 6:30 am 
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Location: Riverside Ca. 92504
I doubt in 1938 that there was the laws ,rules, regulations, restrictions, that add to our buildings, land use, crops , food, and all else. THE living standard was not as well as we have it today also with life expectancy way lower then. Modern medical techniques are amazing. Houses are built better. Cars now last at least 150000 miles and better . Back then a car lasted maybe three years before an overhaul which was not too hard to do. It is a trade off. I think I would rather live in this age then in the thirties... Tom


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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 3:18 pm 
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It isn't an either or thing. We could still have had every bit of those technological advancements and less expensive goods without turning the currency into confetti and destroying the ability to save against a rainy day.

Deah Old Hahvahd, in those days, was tough to get in. It wasn't just being able to afford tuition. They didn't let just anyone who could fog a mirror attend.


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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 3:34 pm 
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Looking at current costs, some things have gone down and some have gone up in price. Improvements in technology seems to be the main driver of reduced prices. Food distribution has also improved. My mother grew up in the 20's and she remembers getting an orange for Christmas. They were either unavailable or too expensive to consume for the rest of the year.

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 3:56 pm 
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Location: Smithfield, Pa. 15478
Keep in mind when comparing car prices, you were buying a manual transmission, no A/C, manual brakes, no power steering, and probably no radio. (They were aftermarket back then!) Today, even the cheap-o models which ARE available at the adjusted prices have these features

The price of gas at the adjusted $1.80 is about right. (What percentage of the price went to taxes then versus now?)

About the only thing that remains dead-on is the price of postage. The 3 cent stamp does exactly what the 50 cent "Forever" stamp does today.


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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 5:35 pm 
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Its important to remember that in 1938 most of the country was crippled by the depression. As in people literally starving to death. Poverty standards among the worst in the world by today's standards. As such people really didn't have any money to spend in the first place. A far cry from today where even most trailer homes have 3-4 TV sets, 2-3 cars outside, a few computers, plenty of processed food in the pantry, and various social safety nets to prevent one from starving if it really came down to it.


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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 8:58 pm 
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Stop by the bank to exchange your 2019 dollars for 1938 dollars. The exchange rate is currently $18.25 to $1.

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 9:27 pm 
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Don't forget, those 1938 silver coins are now worth at least 10 times the money.

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I like things that light up, tubes, bulbs, LEDs, whatever, and things that make noise.


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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 10:20 pm 
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Houses are now built better? That was a joke right?

Anyway, a gallon of milk was expensive back then.


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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 11:18 pm 
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Houses maybe better insulated, but they are built with all of that Tyvek crap and stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Wed 20, 2019 1:16 am 
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Ted wrote:
It isn't an either or thing. We could still have had every bit of those technological advancements and less expensive goods without turning the currency into confetti and destroying the ability to save against a rainy day.

Deah Old Hahvahd, in those days, was tough to get in. It wasn't just being able to afford tuition. They didn't let just anyone who could fog a mirror attend.

95% of applicants to Harvard get rejected today.

Back in the 1930's, only male graduates from selected, elite private schools would be allowed to even apply to Harvard. And there was no such thing as financial aid.


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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Wed 20, 2019 5:58 am 
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Bob has an interesting point about "the poor." I've personally been in thousands of apartments in poor neighborhoods in California, yet usually see TVs in every room, plenty of food, multiple vehicles and so forth. Books are the rare things in those apartments. Many of the units have none (and no Kindles or other electronic books).

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Wed 20, 2019 9:06 pm 
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Think of this then How much is an ounce of gold then and now?

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 Post subject: Re: 1938 Cost Of Living
PostPosted: Nov Thu 21, 2019 12:11 am 
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Number 6 wrote:
Houses maybe better insulated, but they are built with all of that Tyvek crap and stuff.
When you insulate, the walls need moisture protection.
Houses are generally better, no doubt. Sure, the better 1930's houses and years prior are still standing, but many others have burnt, rotted or collapsed. There were no standards in many rural areas.
Heating a modern house is easier, so must be less costly.
Wiring and circuit protection is certainly better.
Some new roofing products are much better.
Houses in general are bolted to the foundation where they need to be, roof trusses are strapped to the walls where they need to be.
Manufactured roof trusses are designed to carry the snow load for that climate zone.

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