What could a teenager working minimum wage 60 years ago buy with his summer earnings compared to now?
Mark Perry has a calculation at his blog Carpe Diem: Young Americans: Luckiest Generation in History:
Here is the short version:
1952 after working for the summer, a teen could buy:
- 17” TV
2011, after working the summer, a teen could buy the functionally equivalent items as 1952:
- Laptop & printer (if you can call that comparable to a typewriter)
- 32” HDTV, blue-ray player, home theater system (just a tad bit more than a 17” TV, but still comparable functionality, sort of)
Plus in 2011 our hypothetical teen still would have enough money left over at the end of the summer to buy some bonus stuff on top of matching types of things from 1952:
- 14mp camera
Here is the long version of his calculation:
Working minimum wage, 40 hours, 12 weeks in 1952 could allow a teen to buy:
Royal Deluxe Portable Typewriter
Silvertone 17-inch TV
Same parameters in 2011, a teen could buy:
Dell Inspiron Laptop
Apple iPod Touch
Appll iPhone 4G
Canon 14.1 Megapixel Digital Camera
HP Officejet Wireless Printer
Westinghouse 32 inch LCD HDTV
Sharp 3D Wi-Fi Ready Blu-Ray Player
Samsung 5.1-Channel Blu-ray Home Theater System
Sonicare Rechargable Power Toothbrush
Sony PlayStation 3
Sony Clock Radio with Apple iPhone and iPod Dock
TiVo Premiere HD DVR – 45 hours
XM OnyX Sirius XM Satellite Radio Tuner
De’Longhi EC702 Espresso Machine
Read the full article. You will enjoy it.
I’ve discussed this concept earlier at: I can’t think of a better time to be alive. Or, is the middle class better off today than in 1975? That conversation was based on a post at Cafe Hayek. This one is from Carpe Diem.
I will repeat my question: even with our current economic , isn’t this the greatest time to be alive?
Even with the very difficult economy, the future is brighter than ever.