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The value of the percentage metric is that it allows you to compare a certain benefit in terms of the work it took to obtain it at different times. Given 2000 hours/year of work, it would have taken 12 hours of work to buy a coffee maker in 1960 vs. 0.6 hours of work in 2010.

To me, this makes the comparison exceedingly easy to understand.

Yes, that metric is also good, although not as visceral as the one I used. It's also timeless whereas someone reading my comment 20, 50, whatever years from now wouldn't be helped as much.

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