Electronics Are Cheaper Now Than At Any Point In History
Still, even after you factor-in the cost of inflation, that's a pretty amazing deal, when you consider that today a new men's leather wallet at Wal-Mart (one of your cheaper options) will run you $25.56. But that's not the only old timey-time deal out there: You could buy a new polo shirt in 1950 for 99 cents ($9.46 in 2012 money). Today, you can find generic polo-style Ts for around $5.00, but generally, polo shirts start at around $25 and go up from there.
Aside from inflation, there are a number of factors attached to everything you buy. Namely there are the costs of regulations all along the production chain in addition to labor, transportation, and taxes.
However, there is one category of consumer goods that always tends to get cheaper over time: electronics. One generation of technology is inevitably used to build the next, better generation of technology. It's a trend that futurist Ray Kurzweil has dubbed "the law of accelerating returns." Technology gets smaller, faster, better and cheaper. Always.
DATA: How your neighbors are spending their money on electronics
We can even see vivid examples of these accelerating returns in just the last decade. The basic 4GB version of the first iPhone that was released in 2007 would run you $499 ($554.44 in 2012 money), while the recently released (and far more advanced) iPhone 5 is available for only $199 for the basic 16 GB version.
The website, ThePeopleHistory.com has created a database of 70 years of everyday costs taken from advertisements and other research and broken them down by category and decade.
To illustrate this fact, we compared the costs of various types of electronics as compared to their equivalents today by utilizing a basic Google Shopping search. And as you'll see, the numbers bear this out.
(Note: There are sometimes trace details given—especially in the pre-war decades—and it becomes difficult to create true apples-to-apples comparisons as technology progresses, but we are able to create rough comparisons.)
So, as the economy still trudges through its slow recovery, keep in mind that at least one part of our consumer culture gets cheaper and cheaper.
Click through our slideshow to take a stroll down the history of electronic goods, from the 1920s through the 90s.
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Evan Dashevsky is the Editor of Bundle.com, follow him @haldash