Much of what is in this chart is simply a function of gouging.
@HiroProtagonist Bear in mind the chart is based on prices, not affordability. Affordability has to include many other factors starting with your buying power, aka inflation.
I always wondered why one could buy a nice Mercedes in the mid 70s for $10k, with ~3% inflation you are looking at $38k today, yet a mid class Mercedes starts at $55k now? A 44% gap.
Might be good to look at more charts like these.
@L0g0s There's difficulty in doing a price comparison like that between a car sold in the 70s and today: the features list isn't the same and they aren't made of the same materials.
Most things have changed a lot. Food, a basic necessity, is completely different from the genetic level all the way through to packaging.
A person of a certain economic level could afford to buy car X, with all the latest materials and technologies of that year. Wouldn't it make sense that a person at a similar economic level today could afford a similarity advanced car?
Maybe the price gap is because of tech. But it is sort of moot because one can't buy a car without it.
@L0g0s "Wouldn't it make sense that a person at a similar economic level today could afford a similarity advanced car?" Not necessarily so. There's way too many factors that could affect these things to assume that correlation as a given.
@Johncdvorak #1 increase in price? hospital services
what's one of the most proprietary-software using industries in the US? hospitals
GNU/Health https://news.opensuse.org/2021/10/20/hospital-to-run-gnu-health-openSUSE/ is how to reduce that overhead substantially, and to take a good chunk of the graft away
@Johncdvorak To all commenters, keep in mind that gouging is not necessarily determined by price. Margin, or markup, or profit, for a good or service is where I would lay claim to gouging. So if the markup on a good or service is out of line with respect to its value in the market there is a potential problem. A problem that a true capitalist system would correct. But we don’t have that. Not even close.
@Johncdvorak or anyone, have an idea on the reason for the 2018 textbook dip and spike? First I thought it was too granular, and maybe it was tied to semesters, but it didn't happen in other years. (Maybe 2009?)
@Johncdvorak in fairness, college textbooks are printed on unicorn vellum, that justifies their cost
Price gouging is mis-understood. When government sanctioned middlemen get involved with something like Healthcare, we hear the costs are rising and government needs to solve the problem. In reality that is gouging.
If there is a wildfire in CA and lumber is necessary there will be a price rise due to scarcity. I will find the price necessary for me to remove my products from another market and bring it to CA. My profits enable CA to have what it needs. There is a difference
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