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Restaurant prices in the 19th and 20th centuries (2009) (restaurant-ingthroughhistory.com)
129 points by benbreen 52 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 112 comments

The information would be much more interesting if it were adjusted for inflation or purchasing-power.

I thought the non-adjusted prices were interesting. No idea what story it tells if you adjust it, but non adjusted, the prices were essentially the same from 1840-1925.

Yes. That's interesting. Your grandfather could tell you what a dinner should cost by his experience. How did that happen? Did wages not increase?

The data's not available before 1947, but the trend is clear: you're looking at the early part of a compound growth formula (with large annual variability).


US GDP per person has grown about 1% per year on average.

Wages stopped increasing to match productivity in the early 1980s, and that trend continues.

> Wages stopped increasing to match productivity in the early 1980s

1970s not 1980s:


The gold standard made inflation nearly impossible. Thus prices stayed the same long term.

There was huge inflation during WWI, as the government sold war bonds.

"The World War I era and its aftermath, 1917–1920, then produced sustained inflation unmatched in the nation anytime since. Prices rose at an 18.5-percent annualized rate from December 1916 to June 1920, increasing more than 80 percent during that period."

[1] https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2014/article/one-hundred-years-....

>>"There was huge inflation during WWI, as the government sold war bonds."

I'm not sure of what you are saying there, but it can be interpreted like war bonds is the cause of inflation.

It's exactly the opposite. At war, a government have to use all the available resources for the war effort. That will produce inflation, because the war spending is competing with the private spending for the same resources.

A way to avoid it, is for the government to retire money from the private sector. A way to retire money from the private sector is to sell war bonds to the population. If you buy a war bond, basically what you are doing is promising that you will not spend your money until after the end of the war. Normally you will get some interest for your patriotic sacrifice.

Also, for the gold standard fans out there, imagine what would happen if a government can not mobilize all the available resources of the country because it has not enough gold. That would be the most ridiculous way to loss a war.

Good point.

Also during the Civil War I think. I was just listening to a podcast and they were talking about this. I think it took a couple of decades to get back to the gold standard after.

Also when people found gold deposits.

It's not that inflation was impossible. It's that periods of inflation were offset by periods of grinding deflation depressions.

There’s no connection between falling prices and depression. At least that’s what Milton Friedman concluded in A Monetary History of the United States, even though he initially assumed there would be.

Well, Friedman says inflation is driven by the money supply, which is partly true. But it's also true that a shrinking money supply is associated with both deflation and recession/depression.

You can still get inflation if demand broadly outpaces supply, the money supply is only one factor

Not really.

I’d start by studying Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech to get some perspective away from people writing about their pet economic theories.


Political speech is only slightly more reputable than "pet economic theories", imo. What does the academic literature say about this?

Quite a bit. I’d suggest again to check it out.

It’s an interesting period of history with many parallels to our current state of affairs.

> Quite a bit. I’d suggest again to check it out.

What a useless response. Suggest instead how to check it out! What books should be looked up or terms googled?

The linked Wikipedia article references several good books.

Also no minimum wage for the staff.

The Gold standard

The idea of your money purchasing less is just a creature of the last 100 years. It doesn't have to be that way, but basically there has been annual share dilution from the US currency corporation for 100 years, it was chartered by Congress in 1913. In currency contexts this is called inflation. In all other asset classes it is called dilution.

Inflation is not the same as an increase in the money supply ("dilution" as you call it).

Inflation defined as an increase in consumer prices.

Consumer prices are affected by many factors other than the money supply, for example if oil prices rise then it tends to push up consumer prices and therefore inflation even if the money supply were static.

> It doesn't have to be that way, but basically there has been annual share dilution from the US currency corporation for 100 years, it was chartered by Congress in 1913.

Sure, you can build a money system without inflation but that doesn't change that you still have to represent the loss of value via unemployment caused by saving money. i.e. you will need money with an expiration date, negative interest rate or wealth tax.

I don't have a problem with the current reality. I am only pointing out that the current reality isn't fundamentally an absolute reality, just the features of the current epoch of currency which is only 100 years old. This thread was only about why the prices for a long time in the 19th century were not changing much across those 100 years, when in the 20th century things increase. I'm not here to opine about a future alternate system.

>I thought the non-adjusted prices were interesting. No idea what story it tells if you adjust it, but non adjusted, the prices were essentially the same from 1840-1925.

I'd heard that there was no inflation in England in 1914 versus 1614. That's not quite right, but there was a remarkably stable period (for some value of "stable") between c. 1650 and c. 1750, and another from 1820 to 1914.

Youve found one of the secrets that LSE and Chicago school types don't want Americans to know about. A good analysis of the big picture reasons behind this would turn anyone into a conspiracy theorist.

Could you elaborate on this for someone with no prior knowledge of what you're referring to?

Presumably GC is talking about how modern economists frequently say that inflation is necessary for growth, but restaurant prices staying the same from 1840-1925 (which certainly could not be described as a period of stagnation) seems to be a counterpoint to that claim.

And then extending that, one could make the argument (and cryptocurrency maxis frequently do) that inflation is really only good for the existing upper class, who like it because it makes it easier to pay off their debt (of the "building a factory" variety, not credit cards) and because the wealthy own most real assets (e.g. property) that don't get devalued by inflation.

I haven't done enough analysis myself to say whether I think this argument holds water, but that is the argument I assume GC would make and I've done my best to steelman.

> 1840-1925 (which certainly could not be described as a period of stagnation)

There were plenty of "periods of stagnation" in that time interval, though.

In general, stable money income flows promote economic resiliency far more than stable prices do. This means a rising price level (inflation) when the economy is hit by real-world constraints such as war or disasters, and stable or even falling prices when there is a lot of real growth. Pegging the value of the US dollar to gold led to an economic disaster in the late 1920s as the Banque of France was hoarding a lot of gold in a futile attempt to re-establish "sound" money after WWI. Widespread devaluation in the 1930s made it possible to stabilize nominal income flows again, which had beneficial effects even though it came with some mild price rises.

There are two people A and B. They pay each other $100 every month with net $0 profit. Then A decides, hey I want to do this project that needs $200 to complete, so I will stop buying from B for a month. A now has $200 on his account and B didn't work for a month because there were no customers. A wants to spend $200 on the project and pays B but B can only do a months worth of work. At this point the only way the $200 can represent a claim to 1 month of labor is if productivity doubled or the population grew and we now have person C ready to work on the project.

It's pretty obvious what the problem is. If the value of the money is kept stable while the real world deteriorated (through unemployment) then A becomes a leech on productivity or productivity growth. I.e. the way he is maintaining his savings is by exploiting the slack in the labor force. Thus anyone who wants to save in USD is dependent on an underclass that willingly sacrifices their labor. I don't see how this benefits poor people. I can kind of see how this benefits a middle class founded on exploitation. I definitively don't see how reducing the savings until they reach their real value benefits an upper class. They are the ones that want their money to be stable because it means they can extend debts arbitrarily long into the future at their own whim.

I appreciate your steelmanning, and while I meant it more geopolitically than financially, of course it all boils down to financial policy and it's reasons and justifications both prior to major changes (Bretton woods, The Fed, 1968, 1971 etc) and afterwards. Your steelmanning though has helped me to understand how academics I talk to are likely to be thinking about the topic, so I know now what I need to read up on. Thanks.

Anybody know any good treatises on inflation?

That could make some sense in 19tg century, but not today, when "building a factory" debts and real estate are owned by publicly traded corporations that literally anyone could buy shares of.

BTW, that's one of the things that make me so excited about DEFI – bringing even more financial instruments previously only available to the rich for wide masses.

To be honest I think only very limited financial instruments should be available to the masses. I don’t even think people should be able to buy single stocks by default [1]. I think people should basically only be able to invest in broad-ranged low-fee index funds, and I guess funds that shift over time from equities to bonds.

The problem with many financial instruments being available is that, because there isn’t anything very interesting to say about “normal” investment, someone reading about investing (or talking to some financial advisor trying to sell them something) will think that it is sensible to be picking investments in various new or weird instruments. The incentives don’t work for the cover of every issue of Barron’s to say “yep, people should probably just invest in broad-ranged low-fee index funds”[2].

But maybe it is hard to stop people from foolishly getting involved in these sorts of schemes and instead of weird financial instruments they will be convinced to make “totally safe but high interest” loans to obviously dodgy companies.

[1] I might back down from this a bit and allow normal equities but not penny stocks and definitely not options. I’m not suggesting no one should be able to get involved but rather that it should be somewhat inconvenient to do so, eg maybe you need to turn up to some office in person or send in a form and wait 2 months (as opposed to the system of “accredited investors” who just need to be somewhat wealthy, a requirement that cuts out people who could make good decisions while still allowing plenty of dentists to be duped into stupid schemes.)

[2] Maybe Barron’s is a slightly bad example as their focus is on financial markets, but you could imagine instead the personal finance section of a regular newspaper.

It is pretty meaningless.

I have looked up before that the average person in 1914 worked 60-70 hours a week for a 2020 inflation adjusted wage of 5 dollars an hour. 60-70 hours a week in deplorable conditions.

At that time you basically worked to pay rent and buy food, then drank to find some kind of happiness.

This simply is inflation, specifically a pretty good instance of an inflation measurement. An instance of an inflation measurement is just the record of the change of price of X, where X is either constant or (typically) also changes over time. Here X = a meal.

>[1987] However, at a top restaurant such as Masa’s in San Francisco a fixed-price meal runs $48 (almost certainly excluding drinks and tip), while diners at Berkeley’s innovative Chez Panisse can expect to pay at least $45.

Gosh - I'm pretty sure the last time I walked out of Chez Panisse it wasn't for less than $250 each (with wine).. inflation surely doesn't count for this?`

There's multiple factors in play here. Inflation is one.

Population growth is another. The Bay-area population went up by ~2 million people between 1990 and 2020. Even if the income distribution remains the same, the number of potential diners who can afford an expensive meal goes up.

Income distribution is another. If the percentage of the population who could afford an expensive meal and would buy one goes up, the number of potential diners goes up even faster.

Perceived social impact of an expensive meal is another factor. If more people believe there is social benefit in buying to an expensive meal, the number of potential diners goes up. This could be due to a larger pool of expensive meal buyers trying to impress each other, better awareness of expensive restaurants by the general population, etc.

Edit: changed "going to an expensive meal" to "buying [...]"

> Population growth is another. The Bay-area population went up by ~2 million people between 1990 and 2020. Even if the income distribution remains the same, the number of potential diners who can afford an expensive meal goes up.

And with that, the housing situation in the Bay Area has seen rents skyrocket disproportionately high compared with the rest of the country. At least some of the cost of the meal goes to the restaurant baking in their increased overhead, which again, is higher than it would be in the rest of the country.

(and if Chez Panisse owns its space, you can exchange "rent" with "property tax")

Note that if Chez Panisse owns its space, it likely pays practically nothing in property taxes considering businesses benefit from prop 13 too.

Even without rent or property tax, there's still opportunity cost. If they could make more money renting out the building than their business makes, it isn't worth it.

Part of it is that fine dining is much more labor intensive now than it used to be. Chocolate lava cake was at the pinnacle of fine dining desserts in 1987, but now it's considered rather pedestrian.

To put it politely. There must be vanishingly few places that'd consider themselves to offer fine dining and also wish to be seen serving it!

I don't think that really has anything to do with it being labour intensive, nor suggests that it must be even more so in the post-lava-cake era though. It just 'went viral', was over done (no pun intended), and lost its mystique.

The same no doubt happened to all manner of exotic (or once exotic) dishes before it.

Source? Just wondering where you got this info from.

Jean-Georges allegedly invented the dessert in 1987, having recently received the highest possible rating from a NYT review. He later went on to be a 3 Michelin star chef.


Cook it a bit longer and it’s a soufflé

Nope, a proper lava cake is a layer of cake surrounding a layer of ganache. Under-cooking a chocolate cake is the lazy way.

Also a soufflé has a high % of whipped egg whites versus a typical cake which has unwhipped eggs but a bit of baking powder.

Overall inflation doesn't account for it. A dollar today is worth ~40 cents back then.

Wage inflation for professionals living in San Francisco, however, does. A lot more people in SF are making ~$400,000/year, than were making ~$10,000/year, back then. Hence, the restaurant can charge ~4x, and still be fill its tables every night.

Why would inflation measure some Veblen good only a small fraction of the population can afford?

The price of Rolex watches has also massively increased, but that doesn’t go into inflation calculations either.

Do we have an index of the ratio between the cost of fine dining and peasant/fast food over the last few centuries?

it might be hard to do, particularly for anything that was pre-industrial. aristocrats mostly ate in their homes with a massive kitchen, gardening, hunting staff.

fine dining in a city needs a support base, and for a good deal of history there weren't enough people who could afford to eat out luxury food to support a fine dining scene.

This is very interesting when looking at prices in terms of gold. During the 19th century, US dollars were backed by somewhere around 1.5g - 1.6g of gold, which is worth around $90 today. So multiply by 90 and you start getting reasonable prices:

1833 - cheap meal for 1 shilling = $10.80 1834 - moderate meal for 15 3/4 cents = $14.18 1838 - beef steak 25 cents = $22.25 1849 - corned beef and cabbage = $112.50

and so on. A very rough rule of thumb is multiply by 100 and that's the rough price in gold today. Things weren't all that cheap and monetary expansion since the devaluation of the dollar makes these prices seem much cheaper than they are.

> 1885...Two eggs, fried or boiled, accompanied by the invariable boiled potato, fetch from 10 to 15 cents; steak 15 cents; sirloin, 25 cents; plain omelet, 25 cents;

10c for two fried eggs, but 25c for a plain omelet? Did omelet mean something other other than eggs back then? Or is it that "omelet" implies cooked fresh, while boiled and fried eggs are cooked in bulk and served cold?

Yeah weird the egg based dishes consistently seem to outprice steak:

1860 The Globe, Salt Lake City: Porter House Steak (25¢), Ham & Eggs (37½¢), Bowl of Oyster Soup (1.00).

1865 The Pioneer Restaurant, Portland OR: Porter House Steak (20¢), Sirloin Steak (15¢), Ham & Eggs (25¢), Apple, Prune, or Pear Sauce (5¢), Cranberry, Apple, or Custard Pie (5¢).

Prior to electricity and lighting, eggs weren't available the same way all the year. Primarily, they were a spring and summer item. This is one of the reasons cakes are special occasion (eggs and work, really) and the reason for eggs for easter and spring celebrations.

I wonder if it predated industrial-scale egg farming?

You get free grass to feed your cattle, the railroad to transport it and there are a lot of steak on a cow.

Meanwhile you don't have an industrial production of eggs, so you get at best one egg every day per chicken, more likely one or two every three days. That is of course if you assume it is egg season.

A chicken in every pot was a slogan for Johnsons great society, because chicken was a luxury. It would have stayed that way, but then capitalism happened.

came here to ask this: how was steak less expensive than ham'n eggs?

American West was very good for raising enormous herds of cattle. Cowboys are literally boys who take care of cows.

Eggs were a only made in spring and summer

Its very possible the omelet contained more eggs, 4-5 would make some sort of sense for these prices.

2 eggs is indeed a small omelette. Cooking for myself I'd usually have 3 (large) eggs, and probably a slice of toast. I realise that's pretty meaningless without putting a face (/body) to the comment, but I don't think that's unusual/a lot at all.

I mean if you imagine putting one fried egg on another, a two egg omelette's going to be smaller than that (losing some to the fold).

Omelets take a fair bit more attention from the cook than doing a big batch of fried or boiled eggs all at once.

That's like paying say £2.50 for the fried eggs, and £6.25 for the omelette today.

That seems fine to me? I'd probably expect some toast with the eggs too.

(The steak in the middle does seem more of an outlier, but you called out the omelette so am I. :))

Omeletes are eggs with extra ingredients (ham, peppers, etc.)

I believe it says “plain omelette” which I read to mean at most they added cheese.

Would be interesting to compare those values to typical wages of the time. How many hours did you need to work for a restaurant visit?

Most products are far cheaper in terms of hours of labour needed to produce them nowadays, while services and restaurants largely stayed the same in labour-intensity, so inflation-adjusted numbers would not be very helpful.

I'm not sure about restaurants not getting more efficient. Even things like microwaves, refrigeration and automated fryers and cash registers seem like they would drive up efficiency, not to mention the improvements in logistics and food distribution.

Those probably lead to a few percent of efficiency increases. In agriculture already you see orders of magnitude increases if you look in how many people used to work in it and how many people work in it today. In Industry the efficiency increases can be even higher.

Takeaways / fast food chains are much more efficient than standard restaurants, and the prices reflect that.

This makes me think of the Sisters of the Road in Portland, Ore.

It's technically meant for the homeless/poor, but they serve a very nice lunch or dinner for $1.50 or $1.25 (iirc).

I love that they charge that small amount, because it makes it more sustainable and less of a pure charity where every meal is 100% based on some kind of donation budget.

I've always thought that there should be more organizations like this where the charity is that the service is provided at cost, in a profit free way. By using this model charities wouldn't be utterly dependent on donations.

Its such a beautiful way to fairly utilize capitalism for justice.

I'm not sure if the $1.50 completely covers the cost of the meal but its completely possible.

If you ever felt like going there for a meal I wouldn't discourage you. It's actually a nice thing to try to interact with homeless people on an equal basis. More than that it's also valuable life experience to see how different life can be from your own.

I think my experiences of homeless life taught me things about psychology and humans nature that I couldn't have learned any other way and I feel experienced in life in ways that are hard to explain. Its like going to another country to learn the language.

If you do go, the house would probably appreciate a $5 bill for the meal, which is 100% worth that.

I will say that Sisters is typically fully booked up every day. So you'd want to dine there on a day where they weren't booked up, so as to not deny a space to someone who needed it.

There's a similar restaurant for the homeless in Atlanta. I'm not sure they charge anything for the meals but it is a table service restaurant with menus and the other trappings of a typical casual dining service. The desire is to not just feed the homeless but also to give them some feeling of normalcy and dignity, even if just for one meal.

On Sundays the general public can eat at the restaurant. It's run by church youth groups on Sundays. Because most of them have limited to no restaurant experience, the service is a bit slow but tolerable. All of the proceeds from the Sunday meal service for the general public goes into keeping the restaurant running the other six days of the week.

there are places where you get to pay what you want. you should pay something, but you decide how much. the one we have been to looked like a high end fine dining restaurant, and we were treated as such. it was driven by some buddhist philosophy and it effectively allowed those who could afford it to subsidize the meals for those who couldn't.

it doesn't need to be fine dining, but i like the idea of having a place where less and better off can go to eat and noone has to be ashamed that they can't afford their meal.

Made me wonder what dining out would cost if the labour were free, and/or if the building (rent, mortgage, etc) were free. I assume those are the two significant costs of any restaurant.

it depends a lot on the kind of food. I once asked the owner about this when I worked at a pizza place. the "house salad" was almost straight profit; lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. cost basically nothing when purchased in bulk. the salads that included cheese were more like a 300% markup over the material inputs. interestingly, wings were sold at a slight loss. I guess you don't want a whole group to pick a different pizza place just because one person wanted wings.

Used to have a neighbor who owned several Domino's Pizza locations. He said the cheese pizzas were a loss for him. Not only because the price is so low but also because cheese is one of the most expensive toppings. When you order other toppings, they can put a lot less cheese on the pizza but for the plain cheese pizza, they can't get away with skimping on the cheese.

Its not nessasrly skimping. To much cheese makes other things soggy.

>interestingly, wings were sold at a slight loss. I guess you don't want a whole group to pick a different pizza place just because one person wanted wings.

Shouldn't this logic work in reverse as well? In other words, "they were able to charge more for wings because people wouldn't order from a different place just to save a few bucks on wings"?

to some extent I'm just regurgitating what the owner told me. the guy was a bit neurotic. he would obsessively compare his prices with all the other local takeout places. there wasn't really a cohesive business strategy in the pricing other than "match or beat everyone else". for high volume items like pizza, this meant playing around with the inputs until they were profitable, but he just accepted that he would take a loss on a few infrequently sold items (although he would absolutely lose his shit if you didn't charge someone for an extra side of ranch with wings).

I'm not sure he was completely wrong though. the bulk of the customers were teenagers and working class families, two extremely price conscious demographics. I'm sure a fair chunk of them would actually go somewhere else to save a few bucks on a routine dinner. getting pizza isn't necessarily "going out" to the working families; sometimes it's just the most cost effective way to feed the family that one night that neither parent has time to cook.

> they serve a very nice lunch or dinner for $1.50 or $1.25 (iirc).

During covid, they're charging nothing at all.

1981 The chain restaurant TGI Friday’s charges $2.95 for its Plain Potato Skins appetizer, which comes with sour cream and chives for dipping, but $5.20 for Loaded Potato Skins which arrive with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.

Seems way too much

Interesting, the prices and choices. See also https://www.economist.com/big-mac-index and https://github.com/TheEconomist/big-mac-data , though you may want more historicals.

It's worth mentioning that the "Big Mac index" only works as a comparison tool in some countries.

In my country, before the Euro was adopted in 2015, a Big Mac was the same price as the rest of Europe, which for the purchasing power here was a lot of money. McDonalds was seen as a luxury, only for tourists and the middle class who wanted to show off their wealth.

For the same price or often less, you could go out to pretty much any other restaurant in the city and get lunch. Even now there are still a one or two places I know where you can lunch for less than a Big Mac meal (maybe without drinks), but we've had a lot of inflation since the Euro was adopted, so nowadays the McDonalds meal is usually cheaper, and no longer considered a luxury.

Can you give some examples of prices?

Ive always thought those fast food meals were silly and overly expensive.

Like, the hamburger is 4$ alone BUT add on some terrible cheap pre frozen fries and soda that costs like 5 pennies and there's your 'meal' for 10$. Completely crazy!

And fast food fries really are terrible. I don't know what they do wrong but I used to work at a restaurant that served pre frozen fries that were quite good, so it's not even that.

You still have to cut the fries. It is only reasonable to freeze them if you fry small amounts at a time. I don't see much extra labor in cutting them on demand. Sure, you get to make slightly more if there is a lot of demand. Should we sacrifice quality for that?

Turns out monetary expansion does cause price inflation: “ 1849 Sky high “gold rush” prices at a fashionable eating house in San Francisco: Corned Beef & Cabbage (1.25), Sweet Potatoes (50¢), Apple Pie (75¢).”

The old menus (from the 1800s), just read as much more healthy wholesome food. It seems that sometimes after the 50s, restaurant/dinner food quality took a dive and it looks like mass market food you find a groecery store now.

Recently, I remember in Williamsburg, there used to be a food/restaurant store where you could by home cooked style meals. Eg, greens, beans, turkey, brisket and other home style food. It was cheap and good.

Not sure what happened to those stores, but the replacements, that sell 'build your salad bowl' type of food feel more sterile and just not as good.

eg. There is a huge difference in taste between a good local burito place, then going to Chipoltle and such.

I feel like more restaurants have been going with cheap wheat-based ingredients and heavy batter deep frying.

The trend towards fried chicken sandwiches reduces the "meat" part of the sandwich only 50% meat. Happy hours consist of flatbreads, fries, sliders, artichoke dip (mostly oil, and chips to dip), egg rolls, bruschetta, wings with heavy breading, etc.

Basically even medium-tier restaurants are evolving into bar and diner food, and making it seem like a trendy thing.

The old menus seem amazingly bland.

They don't provide enough information to judge that.

There's a category of restaurants that still exists in Greece (though admittedly on the decline) called a mageirion/magirio that sells home-style cooked food like pastitsio, stuffed peppers, moussaka, etc., usually from a limited rotating menu. Not sure what the closest U.S. equivalent would be... maybe a southern "meat and three" type place?

You might think the food is more healthy, but life expectancy in the 1800s tells a very different story:


Advances in medicine probably contributed more to that, however.

Washing hands, not working in a mill or mine or smelting place would be huge factors. Lower child births death is probably the biggest.

When the food became fast to make, the quality and nutrition value decreased!

What is “wholesome” food? Sounds like a vague term to describe “things I like”.

Does anyone remember when McDonalds last advertised that you could have a meal with change back from you $1?

I remember 39 cent cheeseburgers one day a week (maybe Wednesday?) and 29 cent hamburgers another (Sunday) during the 90s.

I remember, they had chicken burgers for 1€ and a year later they raised the price about 50%.

And I just paid 2.80 for two of the cheapest cheeseburgers.

I remember when BK whoppers were $1. I miss those days.

They're still $1 if you order through the app on Wednesdays. No idea how this isn't causing them to lose a ton of money, but it's been going on for over a year.

You’re my new best friend! I now have a Wednesday lunch plan, for like forever. ;)

A lot is said about portion sizes nowadays, but that chicken dinner from 1960 looks like a gut buster!

I really think this information would have been much easier for me to digest as a chart rather than the current format. I had a head injury recently and my head actually hurts trying to parse and understand this information in the way it is presented.

The dinners aren't the same across the years so it's not a very apples to apples charting of it, but I plucked some representative values out and did the inflation lookups on them here:


Before 1971 gold backed currency. After its fiat with only backing a promise and price doubling every 15 years on average.

Does this really effect anything? If it did you figure the economic statistics would show drastic changes starting round then.

Gold-backed currency is fiat, with government setting gold-money exchange rate.

Besides, there were more bank runs back in the gold standard era.

>Gold-backed currency is fiat, with government setting gold-money exchange rate.

The government can theoretically debase its currency at will, but how often does that happen?

>Besides, there were more bank runs back in the gold standard era.

Right, because there's a real risk that the bank/government won't be able to pay up the gold that was owed. These days it's not an issue because you can just print more money to fulfill the obligations.

"Gold-backed currency is fiat, with government setting gold-money exchange rate."

Pedantically taken, yes. But outside of major wars, debasement of currency was rare. Compared to contemporary inflation stealthily eating away your savings, the difference is in practice stark.

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