purchasing power is higher than in the 1970′s. You are talking in terms of qualitative measures. In quantitative measures, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics car tax calculator. One dollar in the 1975 would be worth $4.20 today. Meanwhile the average salary has gone from 11,200 in 1975 to 49,445 in 2010. So adjusted for inflation, salaries in 1975 would be 47,040 today. According to these numbers, American salaries have gone up a mere 5% in 35 years. A cross index to salaries would be the cost of goods. For example, a 12 oz. box of Kelloggs corn flakes in 1975 cost $.45 and today that same 12 oz. box costs $2.99 representing a purchasing inflation ratio of 6.64. Oreo cookies cost 5.9cents per ounce in 1975 and now cost 24 cents per ounce in 2011, representing a purchasing inflation ratio of 4.06. Certain items have better ratios than others. If you take everything into consideration, not much has improved over the last 35 years. Numbers have changed, but overall prices relative to income has remained largely the same.
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