Interesting Data About Inflation and Millenials - 1970 vs 2017

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Kittamaru, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    So, taking data from the US Census Bureau, USA Today, and other sources:
    https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/uspricemon.pdf
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/mone...action-price-3-kbb-kelley-blue-book/26690191/
    http://www.in2013dollars.com/1970-dollars-in-2017?amount=1

    In 1970:
    Minimum Wage - $2.10 /hr, or $4,368 yearly
    Average Wage - $4.52 /hr, or $9,400 yearly
    Average New House - $23,450
    Average New Car - $3,450
    Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year public school - $358
    Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year private school - $1,561

    In 2017:
    Minimum Wage - $7.25 /hr, or $15,080 yearly
    Average Wage - $24.97 /hr, or $51,937 yearly
    Average New House - $368,300
    Average New Car - $33,560
    Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year public school - $9,650
    Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year private school - $33,480

    The difference between 1970 and 2017:
    Minimum Wage - 345%
    Average Wage - 553%
    Average New House - 1,571%
    Average New Car - 973%
    Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year public school - 2,696%
    Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year private school - 2,145%

    Now, between 1970 and 2017, the dollar has gone up roughly 630%...

    If we just do a straight adjustment for inflation (very rough, but close enough for our purposes:
    Minimum Wage - Negative 285%
    Average Wage - Negative 77%
    Average New House - 941%
    Average New Car - 343%
    Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year public school - 2,066%
    Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year private school - 1,515%

    Simply put - the cost of things such as a house, a car, or college tuition has increased many, many times more than wages have.

    In 1970 an average car loan with an 11% interest rate and a 3 year repayment term. Now... there are banks offering 72 and 84 month terms. In 1970, a person working minimum wage, 40 hours a week, and paying the national average 9.8% income tax rate could easily get a decent car and have it paid off in two or three years, even sooner if they were careful with their budget (say, $100 a month, or 27.5% of their gross income, they would have a 3500 dollar car paid off in 35 months). Today, a minimum wage worker paying the same percentage of their gross income, would be paying $350 a month, but it would take 96 months to pay off that average $33,560 car... even if they went with a low end car and call it HALF the average price, it's still 48 months). Now, factor in that in 2017, the rough income tax rate for a minimum wage earner is 15%... a six percent increase.

    It gets even worse when you look at homes.
    In 1970, a minimum wager worker could, putting 30% of their income towards it, get an average house on a 20 year mortgage; they would be paying about $110 a month and have it paid off in 18 years.
    Today, a minimum wage worker putting that same 30% towards it, would be paying about $380 a month, would be paying for 81 years... in order to do a 20 year mortgage, they would have to pay roughly 18,415 a year... which is 122% of their gross income. Ok, lets assume they work two full time minimum wage jobs. That puts them at 30k a year income. They would be paying 61% of their gross income to make a 20 year mortgage. Double the term length, and it would be 30% of their gross income (or about 50% of their net) on a 40 year mortgage, before the interest on the mortgage is even considered.

    Okay, I hear you saying "but minimum wage isn't supposed to be a living wage". Fine, lets compare average wages:

    1970 - $9,399.52 average yearly wage with a $23,450 average house. Putting 30% of that income towards it, they can do a 10 year mortgage and have it paid in 8. Lets make it easier on their budget, and say they put 15% towards it - that gives them a 20 year mortgage, paid in 16 to 17 years.

    2017 - $51,937.60 average yearly wage with a $368,300 average house. Putting 30% income towards it, it would take 23.6 years to pay it off... so a 25 year mortgage at least. Even if they get a "cheap" house, at say $200k flat, they would be doing a 15 year mortgage and paying for 13 years... or if they want to make their budget a bit simpler, paying 15% on a 30 year mortgage and paying for 26 years.

    Basically, they would be getting almost half the house at twice the cost...

    So, simply put... it isn't that millennials are lazy et al... it is that we find ourselves in a financial situation that is, quite simply, untenable.

    EDIT - edited to fix LaTeX formatting issue.
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Use medians instead of "averages". You'll get a more directly informative picture, and a more dramatic one. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm

    About ten years ago we crossed a line I thought was significant:
    starting fifty years ago the median hourly wage in a full time job bought the median house on the standard contract (20% down, 30 year fixed at prevailing rates, 30% of gross income to housing);
    the line crossed was this one: it is now the case that in most markets the median job does not rent the median 2-bedroom apartment at the same 30% to housing criterion.
     
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  5. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Aye, it does paint an even more dire picture, doesn't it.
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    One of the things about that worth noting actually treads into other issues, as it has to do with argument from privilege. That is to say, what is it about our society that so many business models, and thereby some significant portion of the American economy, that has over the years required workers who cannot afford to live according to the wages paid?

    I would not disagree with the point that we can expect someone to raise the issue, but the issue itself, that we have a structure intended to codify laboring (working) poverty, is problematic. The idea of the minimum wage is that people should be able to receive a decent wage for their labor. That the minimum wage is not supposed to be a living wage is the human compromise to inhuman totems such as "The Economy" and "Business". That we should then design business models demanding a perpetually displaced labor class quite clearly describes of the dimensions of a terrible compromise. When I was young, the businessman would speak of jobs and economy and prosperity, and all the good stuff business does. When I was older the businessman explained that actually delivering that stuff was Bad For Business, and, therefore, Bad For The Economy. To a certain degree, cultivating an expanding range of working poor has long been a patriotic duty in these United States.

    It is not that I would complain of the observation; rather, I would declare it time to challenge the pretense. I, too, can hear them saying minimum wage isn't supposed to be a living wage, and I call bullshit insofar as the idea that such an argument has merit would seem to beg its own quiver of questions. Thus: If the business model says, "We require the dedicated labor of employees who cannot afford to live in this society", then the business model is dysfunctional.

    Quite frankly, I'll try to think of something more useful once I get over this bit.
     
  8. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Aye, and I agree 100% - if a business cannot pay its workers a livable wage, then said business probably doesn't have any right to exist, much less make huge profits for its owner(s). Hence why I went into the average wage cost as well - there are, unfortunately, too many people who still believe a minimum wage job is ONLY meant for teenagers living with their parents.
     
  9. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Figures on housing , cars , tuition can be challenged.
     
  10. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    OK, then do it.
     
  11. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Do you wish to challenge them? On what basis - I gave you my sources at the start of the post. Do you take exception to them? If so, on what grounds?
     
  12. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    I have been alive worked purchased and sold property purchased new vehicle . and work for living.
     
  13. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    That doesn't answer the questions posed. Try again, or quit trolling.
     
  14. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    If History is to be believed - then nearly every generation has had it more "untenable" than their preceding generations.

    Yet, again if History is to be believed, that same History seems to show that those individuals of ANY generation that were willing to put forth the required Hard Work, overcame what others of THEIR generation simply chose to bemoan/complain was "a financial situation that (was)is, quite simply, untenable".

    So, Kittamaru, simply put, as in nearly all previous generations - not EVERY member of ANY generation were/are "lazy et al", and some prefer(ed) to work hard to achieve their goals .

    And, Kittamaru, to those individuals of ANY generation that were/are willing to put forth the required Hard Work, then NO financial situation was/is, quite simply, untenable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  15. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Given that I put forth the effort to compile a not insignificant bit of data to support my position, then certainly it isn't too much to ask that you do the same to support yours?
     
  16. birch Valued Senior Member

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    3,886
    sometimes, I wonder if something is in the water. who is going to be at the mcdee's drive-thru to hand you your happy meal? or serve your latte at starbucks? or sew your sneakers in a sweatshop?

    How about when all these menial jobs which don't or barely sustain a living are taken over by robots, then people can self-actualize and put forth the hard work to overcome (dirty or menial work society needs and wants done). otherwise it's really unrealistic to blame people when they are not in control of the economy.

    why don't pure capitalists just say the truth (as if it's not obvious anyways) and that not everyone is supposed to overcome untenable financial situations, simply because someone has to fill them. it's all about who can grasp the prize, right? otherwise, unless all wages become 'tenable', your point isn't valid and only by omission can it be true; that omission is a whole swath of society that is struggling financially because of lower pay or do you scream at the janitor who scrubs the toilets at your place of business that they didn't overcome whilst you still need someone to do the very thing you are deriding them for? is that rocket science?

    otoh, you might have a point. maybe the entire next gen should just go straight to college all the way to a phd, then seek employment commensurate to that attainment level. that would change society wouldn't it? I guess Rumpelstiltskin or santa claus and his elves will do the rest.

    the problem isn't the jobs as there are varying people with different skillsets and abilities but the real issue is the pay. a decent living wage should be default. I also think no one should be homeless or without medical care.

    I think when society takes care of these problems, it will be a leap forward in human evolution.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,755
    I have to disagree with your analysis here on cars. Average price for cars is a very poor indicator of affordability. Why should a poor person care what the cost of a 2017 McLaren P1 is? (3.7 million in case you were wondering) He doesn't - he cares about the cost of the CHEAPEST car out there. Let's compare the cheapest car back then (the venerable VW Beetle) to the cheapest car today (a Nissan Versa.)

    Cost of a VW Beetle in 1970 - 2294 (14,607 in 2017 dollars)
    Cost of a Nissan Versa in 2017 - 12,885

    So about 2000 cheaper in 2017 dollars. Plus which, of course, the Versa is an infinitely better car - better gas mileage (31 vs 23) much better engine (109 vs 34HP) safer, cleaner, more stuff (radio etc.) And much more likely to keep you alive in a crash.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  18. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    You don't have any statistical data on cars, you don't have data on tuition , according to your opening , so don't try to intimidate me. And on housing I wonder how did they sample and what region of the USA
    A small town house in the suburb of Chicago in the late 1970 $ 40.000 in a higher grade $ 60,000
    Dodge Duster 1976 $ 2800. I paid $ 21.00 per credit hour for 120 credit hours for graduation ,I paid for my son at IIT at 2012 for 4 year to 2017, $12.600/ year in medical school at Uni. Illinois 49.500/ year . So this are my facts what are your
     
  19. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    To be 100% Honest, Kittamaru, you merely accessed/Linked to data that others had already compiled.

    So, in that same vein :
    - http://www.in2013dollars.com/1776-dollars-in-2017?amount=1
    - http://247wallst.com/investing/2010/09/16/the-history-of-what-things-cost-in-america-1776-to-today/

    Seeing as how the various aspects of the Economy of the U.S. is(or is failed to be!?) managed/controlled/policed - there will continue to be ups and downs of varying degrees and and lengths of duration...is that not a given?

    Seeing as how different individuals within each Generation have various levels of understanding of that Generations True Economic Workings(?) and the various Ideals, Abilities and Work Ethos of those different individuals, would it not be fair to say those individuals of ANY generation that were/are willing to put forth the required Hard Work, then NO financial situation was/is, quite simply, untenable...is that not a given?

    Sorry, birch, but I find nothing in the ^^above quoted^^ to be anything near to the point I was trying to put forth.
    In all actuality, what you Posted, in my eyes at least, is part of the reason that the U.S. Economy suffers from such highs and lows : the various cognitive abilities of any individual within any Generation and the Overt Determination and Willingness by the "Providers" in each Generation to abuse/take advantage of those various cognitive abilities in the "Consumers".
    i.e. : convince everyone to Overpay for to "go straight to college all the way to a phd", when it is common knowledge (that to continue to succeed in perpetuating the U.S. Economy!) :
    "that not everyone is supposed to overcome untenable financial situations, simply because someone has to fill...these menial jobs which don't or barely sustain a living...be(ing) at the mcdee's drive-thru to hand you your happy meal? or serve your latte at starbucks? or sew your sneakers in a sweatshop?"
     
  20. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    So... I used corroborating data from multiple sources, including the United States Census Bureau with several tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of data points...

    And you wish to throw that all out in favor of your own singular experience.

    Why in the world should I bother to take you seriously? Where are my facts? Right there, in front of your face... I provided the links to the sources. Go read something... it may save you making a fool of yourself.
     
  21. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Fair enough, though I don't believe they included supercars and the like in their averages:
    Granted, without a more comprehensive analysis of what they actually looked at, I cannot say that for certain. If you have additional or more comprehensive data sources you would like to include, I'd be more than happy to work them in when time permits.
     
  22. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    So you take umbrage with my using actual data compiled by groups with access to far greater pools of data than I, as an individual, could ever hope to accomplish on my own... interesting.

    So what, exactly, is your claim, then? That the last 30 years of data should be dumped because it wasn't policed forcibly enough?

    I think the data makes it obvious that it isn't a given. As an example (this one from our neighbors to the North):
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaure...and-the-recession-isnt-to-blame/#85f751a5946e
    and
    The forbes article references this report:
    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/gl...15638656/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&
    Another report
    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/gl...10327284/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

    It isn't just a US trend.
     
  23. birch Valued Senior Member

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    Part of the issue is also that many have baccalaureate than ever before but it doesn't really indicate ability by itself. This is why many go for their masters or doctorate to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pool.

    Even when I was in the military and during AIT, there were several who had bachelor's degrees but they weren't anymore intelligent than the rest of the class. In fact, most of them were not anywhere near the top of the class and it's easy. one has to consider what the degree is in. they had degrees in sociology or psychology which is easy. I knew this one girl who had a degree in sociology and she always failed the written answer part of the exams because it tests for info retainment and comprehension. Same thing when I went to AIT for network tech, some had degrees in basketweaving but that's a matter of just getting the degree. It's no indication of real ability or skill than joe-blow down the street with no degree. Of course, these were not top-rated schools either but even with that, it's not a guarantee.

    One of the positive aspects of this is that more and more professions require actual skills, not just a piece of paper. The more technical the degree, the more likely it's an indication of proficiency.

    Just like if you have a law degree, you still can't practice law without passing the bar exam etc. this is why I think the civilian sector should inplement some aspects of the military because it tests for real knowledge, ability and even personality tests to gauge a more comprehensive analysis of what a person is best suited for and there are quite a few options even with these types of tests.
     

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