Then and now: comparative living costs.

Author:Ayoob, Massad
Position:Lethal force

In the year 1986, average income in this country was $22,463 per year, and a new car cost an average of $9,281. Gasoline sold for 89 cents a gallon. A gallon of whole milk was $2.19, eggs were 63 cents a dozen, and freshly ground hamburger went for $1.20 per pound. Ground coffee was $2.45 a pound (15.3 cents per ounce). A movie ticket cost $2.75. A first-class postage stamp cost 24 cents. The average price for a new house was $89,463.

Now, 25 years later, that postage stamp costs 44 cents, nearly double. The cheapest ground beef I could find on sale today was $3.69 a pound, which is almost triple the 1986 price. The same store had eggs for $1.64 per dozen, a 260-percent increase over the last quarter century. Milk was $3.95 a gallon, up about 80 percent, and coffee is now about 54 cents per...

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