Over the past few decades, you can always count on the fact that the prices of clothes and electronics have not gone up. The price of a computer or a pair of jeans is the same as it was a century ago
Just look at these ads from almost 30 years ago. The price tag won’t surprise you if you see them today:
In 1993, a computer cost $1500 to 2000. You can find a mid-range computer for a similar price now, and it will do much better.
The consumer price index emphasizes how much value we get for our money these days. It shows that in these changing trends, the prices of some basic items are falling slowly. The bars in the chart below show changes in the CPI compared to last year, and it shows three categories that have seen no price increase: women’s clothing, computers and home appliances.
Homewares are interesting things. When the above ads were published, people placed healthy food items in special walnut display cases. But most families that were established in the last 20 years will not have “good food” that they are not used to.
So we’ve had falling prices, as the chart above shows. And hold on to the second. Enter the last bit of the diagram. upgrade. Wow. That tells us something important. Prices for these articles no longer behave as they have for the past two decades. The recession is over. Instead, they rise.
Even these models—where Moore’s Law and the rise of Chinese manufacturing are keeping us from high prices—have not been able to withstand the extremes of inflation.
That sends a message. Free money spreads. There used to be a mix of rising and falling, but now it’s almost as if it’s rising. Products and services, imports and housing. Higher costs for fuel, rent, labor and shipping mean almost every brand faces higher prices in 2022. has nothing to do with sales and anything to do with aid).