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Old 11-11-2015, 02:24 PM   #81
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How do people remember, to the penny, what they got paid in their first job?
I'm not sure why I remember but it was $1.25/hour in 1967 at an Esso gas station and my first paycheck was $11 and some change. For me it was the most I'd ever been paid at one time and possibly more than I'd ever had at one time. And WTH is this FICA charge? For some reason I took off one of the shoulder patches with "Esso" on it when I quit and it still resides in a bottom drawer, grease stains and all.
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:05 PM   #82
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As we are all writing on our smartphones or laptops... I remember 1971ish, when SDSU Biology department just got their own minicomputer. 32k words of memory, when you turned it on, you had to load a bootstrap program via front panel switches. Mass storage as I recall was a tape drive and the cost? $100,000 About the cost of five or six very nice So. California homes! Now we have computers more powerful than sprinkled all over our cars, the breaking system, ignition, etc. And our phones would have been called supercomputers back then.

Later in the later 70s, working at UCSD, I remember racking up a more than $8000 computer bill for one month! on a computer where, because I was a heavy user, I had a whole megabyte of disk space!

I remember in the 1990s calling New York for 25 cents a minute. Now of course it is virtually free to call anywhere in the world.

And remember in the 1970s too, when we were supposed to be running out of oil and food by the turn of the century? World hunger was going to be the ruin of us, and now we have a worldwide obesity crisis.

When we look at what most of us depend on and spend much of our time with nowadays, has the price really increased? There is so much deflation caused by technological improvements, no only in phone calls, computers, but in better medical care, internet, international travel, etc. sticking to the CPI really misses the point of the qualitative improvements in our lives.

Maybe I am optimist (okay, I am an optimist), but if I am lucky enough to live another couple of decades I expect to have much more "real to me" purchasing power than I did in the past, due to technology and qualitative improvements.
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:34 PM   #83
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Yes, a few things cost more, but many items, and it is really many, cost much less or are so much better. Somehow, we dwell on the few expensive items and forget about the cheaper or better items that we enjoy now.

One of the more expensive items for people in some areas is housing, and that may dwarf other stuff. For people in less expensive RE locations, housing may still cost more than in the past after inflation, but that's because our houses are now huge compared to before. And I still recall the time when AC was not a standard feature, not in homes nor in cars.

PS. You talked about food production. Yes, I observe in photos in the media that people in some 3rd world countries are getting "bigger", particularly around the waist. Of course there is still famine in many places in the world, but plenty of places that used to be poor are now having better nutrition.
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:37 PM   #84
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First job (summer while in school) was minimum wage of $1.50/hr (New York State minimum), and the standing rule was that if you clocked even one minute of overtime you would be fired on the spot. So there was always a line waiting at the time clock.

Next summer I got a dream job paying $2.12 an hour and was often asked to put in some overtime at time and a half. What a deal! That year's summer earnings took care of all my spending money for the next school year.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:08 PM   #85
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I worked in a hardware store as a clerk, stocker, truck unloader( tons of h20 softener salt, Scotts fertilizer, manure , michigan peat, peat moss, sakrete concrete, sand mix and mortar, as well as general merchandise) mixed paint, cashier, answered the phone, and waited on customers with 3 others in a suburban shopping mall. Started in May 1973 for $2.10, made $ 2.35, then $2.65, then $3.25 before the minimum changed in 1980. Started engineering job 2/1981 making $22,080/ year. My girlfriend at the time graduated with a business degree and got a job as an assistant manager for a large department store for $8500. That's when thing's went downhill for her and I met future DW, who made even less as a teacher.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:49 PM   #86
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...PS. You talked about food production. Yes, I observe in photos in the media that people in some 3rd world countries are getting "bigger", particularly around the waist. Of course there is still famine in many places in the world, but plenty of places that used to be poor are now having better nutrition.
A little off the subject but...
Seven years ago in Phnom Penh there was only one pizza place. I bought pizza for the kids and teachers at a school I was working with and none of them, the kids nor their Cambodian teachers had ever tasted pizza before.

Fast forward to today, there are pizza places all over Phnom Penh, and they are packed every day with young Cambodians. Everybody loves pizza, coke, lattes and beer, they have more cheese, fat, etc than even an American like me can take. Where the young used to eat rice with fish, now it is pizza with coke. That is not to say they have a lot of money or any of the things we think we need to have, maybe just own an old moto, and live in a small simple place with their parents, but they have a smart phone and eat pizza on their nights out with friends.

Some wealthier parents even want their kids to be fat so they look more wealthy, more like western kids!

Not to say there is no poverty there, there is, a lot, but I would say not the systemic hunger of decades past (hundreds of thousands, if not a million or more died of starvation in the upheavals of the recent past), that is thankfully long gone, but the change in young people's eating habits today is hard to miss.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:14 PM   #87
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All right! So, I did not imagine it. There's poverty, and then there's hunger. The first is relative - if you drive a Pinto next to a Rolls Royce you would feel poor - but hunger is absolute.

If only the sub-Saharan people get to eat like the Cambodians now... Still, the world does get better, including the old USA of course, despite our longing for the past which was not really that swell.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:43 AM   #88
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I worked on my dad's farm in high school and just after, and got paid $5 an hour, and a raise to $6 when I got married at 22. Heck yeah I remember what I got paid!

You buck and a quarter folks must be older than me, lol! My mom told me just the other day that she changed nursing jobs when I was in elementary school because the new job (12 hour shifts at the ER) paid $5.50 instead of $5 an hour.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:50 AM   #89
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You buck and a quarter folks must be older than me, lol!
Sigh. Your day will come - if some old curmudgeon doesn't run you over with his walker first...

OK, I'll play. My first 'real' job was working at Safeway in 1963. What I was paid depended on what I was doing - $1.25/hr (min wage) for stocking shelves but only$1.00/hr for bagging groceries, since that wasn't considered to be interstate commerce.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:57 AM   #90
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I've noticed that many elderly get stuck in the past on the prices of things. My grandmother... an uncle... numerous others.

I remember a saying I heard when I was early in my career and in the back of my mind was targeting getting to an annual salary of $50,000. The saying was something along the lines of "when I was you I thought if I earned $50,000 that I would be on "Easy Street"... then when I got there, I discovered that they moved the street!"

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Old 11-12-2015, 07:21 AM   #91
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Delivering the morning paper back in '62, I got $0.005 per delivery when the office collected, $0.015 (3 times as much!) when I collected weekly, and a whopping $0.05 for the Sunday paper. Plus lots of tips. Paid for my first year of college. Also funded my music habits. I love rock and roll, so I always had enough to put another dime the jukebox, baby.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:46 AM   #92
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How do people remember, to the penny, what they got paid in their first job? I was a bag-boy in high school and I don't have a clue what I got paid, not a clue. But I'm not making it up because it's on my SS statement
because I was surprised and angry they paid LESS than minimum wage.

Actually my first job was at Seaworld and I made the full 2.90/hour of minimum wage. I also got the joy of wearing a really ugly powder blue double knit uniform that made my skin crawl.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:14 AM   #93
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Delivering the morning paper back in '62, I got $0.005 per delivery when the office collected, $0.015 (3 times as much!) when I collected weekly, and a whopping $0.05 for the Sunday paper. Plus lots of tips. Paid for my first year of college. Also funded my music habits. I love rock and roll, so I always had enough to put another dime the jukebox, baby.
It's too bad that the newspaper delivery biz, to the degree it exists at all anymore, is being done by adults in cars. I pedaled my bike delivering papers for a few years, and collected from my customers monthly. Collecting was not a joy.
1) Lady, if you don't have a loose $3.25 to pay the paperboy, maybe you guys are cutting things a little close and should cancel the newspaper and feed the kids instead.
2) Do I have change for a fifty dollar bill? That's more than I make in a month. Do you have change for a thousand dollar bill? Probably not. Same thing.

But working that hard for the money and running a small business (buying the papers wholesale and selling them at retail) taught me some lessons that stuck.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:23 AM   #94
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I did several part time jobs as a kid that were right around minimum wage $2.10-2.35. There were a couple later that were close post high school.

I think the best was running auto parts. Paid 30 cents an hour over minimum wage and we came in 15 minutes early 5 days a week to get an extra 2 hours at overtime(overtime what was that). Plus free health care, not that I thought much about it then. Of course we were also encouraged(as in "If you want this job you will") to give our fair share to UW.

The weirdest was with my DB at our mill. Everything was hand to mouth, if we didn't sell lumber there was no pay. There was no pay scale if we sold a load of RR ties for a $500 we each got $200 and bought $100 fuel. More than once DB would pay me and halfway through the week take any remaining back!

In 1978 DW and I moved 1500 miles away from home so we could possibly make 20k a year combined.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:27 AM   #95
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Graduated College in 1978. I went to work for JC Penney's for about $3.00 per hour and commission. I interviewed with mega corp and started in Jan. 1979 for $11,000 per year. (about $5.00 bucks per hour).
This was a slight pay cut from Penney's but I got a company car and worked a straight 40 hour week.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:35 AM   #96
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Caused (in part), perhaps, by some of the agro-technology and food processing advances that were put in place to stave off having to eat Soylent Green to survive. We have plenty of calories, but they're not necessarily the best ones for us.

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And remember in the 1970s too, when we were supposed to be running out of oil and food by the turn of the century? World hunger was going to be the ruin of us, and now we have a worldwide obesity crisis.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:02 AM   #97
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I've noticed that many elderly get stuck in the past on the prices of things. My grandmother... an uncle... numerous others.

I remember a saying I heard when I was early in my career and in the back of my mind was targeting getting to an annual salary of $50,000. The saying was something along the lines of "when I was you I thought if I earned $50,000 that I would be on "Easy Street"... then when I got there, I discovered that they moved the street!"

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When I almost hit $50K in 2009 I wondered how anyone spent that much money. I maxed my 401K and Roth and paid down the principle on my mortgage. To me, $50K/yr is easy street. I may have been able to retire completely before I turned 40 if I kept that job. Instead I quit that job and work very part time but will have to work part time for a couple more decades.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:23 AM   #98
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I think the US may be the only country that has or had odd jobs for kids, or even young adults or college students. The first time I made any money myself was after I came to the US.

This tradition of kids delivering newspaper or even HS students working after-school jobs is dying out, I think.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:39 AM   #99
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I came of age in the 80s. For kids back then, what you wore was the dividing line between the haves and have nots. Jordache jeans were $40 and Reebok high-tops were $50 (which was a lot back then!).

During HS, minimum wage was $3.35/hr. I loved working though and having my own money. I worked 20-25 hours a week during HS (more during the summer).

When I graduated from college in the early 90's, my first job paid $8.50/hr, but I had the option of working a bit of overtime as well (5-7 hours). I was able to support myself easily. Here were my monthly expenses:

Studio Apt (heat and water included): 350
Car Payment: 150
Car Insurance: 149
Phone: 22
Electric: 15
Student Loan: 60

I put a small amount away in a 401K and my health insurance was super cheap back then. The remaining went to food, gas, going out and the occasional outfit. After a year, I got a big raise and my career started taking off, but my expenses didn't change too much. Life was pretty good.

I live in the same city and that same studio apartment is about $600/mo today. My car insurance is a lot cheaper today though!
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:44 AM   #100
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I think the US may be the only country that has or had odd jobs for kids, or even young adults or college students. The first time I made any money myself was after I came to the US.

This tradition of kids delivering newspaper or even HS students working after-school jobs is dying out, I think.
It seems odd to me that HS kids aren't working as much today. Don't they need money for phones and clothes and all the normal teenage stuff? Or do their parents pay for everything? I started babysitting at 11 and built up a pretty good business. I got a job when I was 15 and worked 20-25 hours during the HS years. My grades didn't suffer and I was still involved in extra-curriculars.

Maybe I'll feel differently in five years when my own child hits that age. I dunno. I always thought working allowed me to organize my time better. I liked having my own money and feeling more independent.
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