I have a confession. I love the Andy Griffith Show.
And, it so happens to be on Netflix.
Even though the Andy Griffith Show first aired 34 years before I was born, I find the show hilarious and simple, unlike this complicated world. The humor is clean and still surprisingly funny.
It is also interesting to see how people lived back in the day.
Opie Taylor, played by Ron Howard, and one of the main character’s of the show alongside his father, Andy Taylor, the Sheriff of Mayberry, played by Andy Griffith buys a single scoop ice cream cone for 10 cents in an episode called “Ellie for Council.”
That’s right. 10 cents.
As a 22 year old born in the 90s, I am amazed by the fact that ice cream costed a dime in the ’60s.
They still have Five&Dime stores, but nothing is worth five or ten cents anymore. I mean nothing. In all honesty, it’s false advertising if you ask me. It’s like when you walk into a knock-off dollar store and find that nothing is actually a dollar, just the “lowest price around.” Hah! Check the fine print!
After seeing that episode, a thought struck me. Which is never a good thing because my thoughts sometimes drown me. I looked up the cost of a single-scoop of ice cream in 2017. Now we all know prices vary for different companies and areas, so I averaged out the price of a single-scoop of ice cream from two popular ice cream joints: Baskin Robbins ($2.79 a scoop) and Dairy Queen ($1.99 a scoop).
The average cost of ice cream between the two came to be $2.39. And that’s just the average price between the two ice cream places in my South Jersey area. Prices may vary depending on ice cream brand and location. Some single scoops go for $4 or $5 bucks!
I am no economist or historian, but I feel we pay a lot more for that single scoop of ice cream compared to buying ice cream in Opie’s day.
In reality, 0.10 in 1960 should equal about 0.82 today with a cumulative rate of inflation being 723.6%. Check my math.
So, I did some more math and double checked with a different formula. I calculated the rate of inflation on my averaged ice cream cone price.
What does 2.290 mean?
The price of a single scoop of ice cream has gone up by 2,290% since 1960. (Note: Give or take the average cost of a scoop in your area.)
Now, I know it’s just ice cream.
But, if the inflation rate of a scoop of ice cream is that bad, what about everything else?
I talked to my grandma so I would have an example that isn’t from a family sitcom. Honestly, I don’t remember how we got on this topic, but I asked her how much giving birth in the hospital cost in 1959, the year my dad was born.
She told me $14.00 dollars. Her words not mine.
Today, $14.00 in 1959 would equal about $117.29 at a cumulative rate of inflation of 737.8%
In a perfect world having a baby would cost around $117.29 dollars. Right? Wrong.
I looked up the average cost to give birth in my state (New Jersey). Having a baby costs between $9,700 to $12,500; averaging that out, having a baby costs $11,100 dollars. And that is a normal, uncomplicated delivery
So applying the same formula:
The cost of giving birth in a hospital without complication has gone up by 79,285% since 1959. (Note: Give or take the average cost in your specific area, factoring in complications because caesarean delivery can be even more costly.)
I hear over and over how the standard of living is getting higher and higher. Everything is expensive, way more expensive than decades ago even in correlation to the time period.
The other day my uncle told me he doesn’t think his daughter, my cousin, will ever be able to live on her own or, not until she is at least 30, half joking. She’s 16 going on 17. He firmly believes it will be that bad when she enters the period in her life where she wants to move out and gain her independence.
I already think it’s that bad today. I am about to graduate college and the salary for entry level positions in my field of study (Public Relations) is between $25K and 30K and the average cost of a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment in my area (Roughly $900/month not including utilities) just does not seem to correlate like it should. I honestly cannot afford to live on my own with a college degree while working 40 hours or more a week.
Like I said in my other post. This. System. Is. Not. Working.
So, what do we do?