The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Inflation of the value of today's dollar


April 23, 2020

To The Eagle:

While studying issues relating to our Federal Reserve Banking System in 1987 I read extensively a book written by a fellow who was considered to be the world's foremost expert on world currencies and inflation. He published quarterly reports subscribed to by many around the world. He pegged the 1987 dollar at 3 and one half cents compared to the 1943 dollar, a widely used benchmark.

How does our 2020 dollar compare with a 1943 dollar? At least one penny but surely not two. I use a simple method to estimate what a 2020 price would be in 1943 dollars. Simply move the decimal point two places to the left. Today's $6.99 burger becomes a $0.07 1943 burger. Today's $12.00/hr. wage becomes a 1943 $0.12/hr wage.

In similar fashion today's millionaire ($1,000,000) becomes a 1943 ten thousandaire ($10,000).

This little exercise will reveal what you already know; that everything is really expensive nowadays and some of us really can't afford much of it.

My best guess of today's dollar is 1.3 1943 pennies. If you think it is 2 cents feel free to move the decimal place two points to the left and multiply by two. That will still tell you what you already know.

Just for a reference a rather standard wage was $1.00/hr in 1943 (1943 dollars, of course).

Gilbert Vik

Puget Island


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