The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104970   Message #2155353
Posted By: JohnInKansas
22-Sep-07 - 09:06 PM
Thread Name: Country Musicians: Comparing money
Subject: RE: Country Musicians: Comparing money
Wiki has a rather long article about how the Consumer Price Index is/was/might be calculated, but gives only one small chart, far down near the bottom, on historical changes for the US. Sources are linked for "data" for other countries, but comparison is a rather tricky business.

From the chart, the CPI ca. 1927 appears to be given as about 15, and the current era wanders about in the range of 200, so 200/15 = 13.3 gives a factor that could be used for rough conversions between the two time.

A reasonably consistent formula was used in the period 1900 through the early 1960s(?), and the BLS used to show a historical time line going back to about 1800. During, or in the near era of the Kennedy Administration inflation, BLS was pretty much ordered to "obfuscate" so the old formulas were abandoned, and since have been changed so frequently (without useful linking to prior methods) that comparisons over more that a decade are "apples to ardvaarks" sorts of things.

It has been suggested that one might compare congressional salaries for different eras, as they're about the only thing that "keeps up;" but the piling on of perquisites (not reflected in publicly known income) has obscured what a congressman makes so completely that even this kind of comparison is pretty hopeless.