May 22 2009|10.26 AM UTC

Jonathan Rivers

The Summer of ’69 vs. the Summer of ’09

Category: SavingsTags:

Much has changed since the legendary summer of 1969, both socially and economically. To analyze the variance in purchasing power between then and now, we have compared a number of popular consumer products by price that are still relevant today. The figures from 1969 have been adjusted for inflation to give us a better idea of what the actual cost of each item would be in today’s economy. Given the bleak financial outlook which faces us this coming summer, it does us all a bit of good to look back with nostalgia on a time of blissful optimism and free love.

Note: Prices from 1969 are inflation-adjusted!

1969 vs. 2009

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{ 122 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous May 27, 2009 at 11:18 pm

I had to laugh when I read Paul’s comment, May 22

“I never post comments to blog articles, but this one is just too funny!! Everyone wants to be a critic to everyone else…

First 20 comments are yelling about how the prices are wrong and how stupid the author is. Then you make it clear its inflation adjusted.

Next bunch of comments are all telling the first group how stupid they are for not understanding the concept of inflation adjusted numbers. Then you have to make it clear to the 2nd group that the 1st group didn’t have the bold “inflation adjusted numbers” tag in the graphic initially.

… and now you have me – the 3rd group – telling the 2nd group that they are stupid for telling the 1st group that they are stupid for telling the author that he is stupid.

Ah, the internet at its finest!”

Really, I’d been thinking exactly the same thing, though I wasn’t as clever as Paul to think of the third group of people…

What is it about the Internet that makes everyone go bonkers over saying their opinions?


Duh May 28, 2009 at 4:58 pm

All you people are Dolts. Read the headline it specifically says INFLATION ADJUSTED prices. And an ounce of dank(this means dank) does cost, in fact, around $325.


Ray Fafa May 29, 2009 at 8:21 am

Folks, not that the ’69 prices are ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION. This means that as the actual purchasing power of a dollar diminishes over time, the Purchasing power of the dollar in a previous period is ramped up when expressed in terms of today’s dollar.


brooos May 30, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I was a little confused too until I saw that prices were Adjusted for Inflation. It would be great to also see the actual ’69 prices. It would make a nice comparison.


albinodragon91 June 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm

judging by the MASSIVE amount of discontent with the information i’d say that this guy is WAY wrong an some of the stuff… ok maybe alot of stuff


Rhawk187 June 11, 2009 at 8:25 am

I find it funny that most of the people on the board that are talking about the marijuana prices are the same people that can’t figure out what “adjusted for inflation” means.


moog June 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm

It’s sad the “microwave generation” can’t even motivate themselves enough to read a few sentences to understand the information presented in a picture. Sure, a microwave can cook your meal in half the time; but the internet — wonderful tool that it is — won’t make you comprehend in half the time.

Unfortunately, intelligence cannot be adjusted for inflation.


Andy June 11, 2009 at 1:15 pm

“I find it funny that most of the people on the board that are talking about the marijuana prices are the same people that can’t figure out what “adjusted for inflation” means.”

Amen! QFT.


rmark June 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Also need a hedonic adjustment for changes in quality – the VW Routan has near 200 hp, while the late 60′s models had about 70 hp. I suspect the Routan can actually haul the load that will fit into it as opposed to staggering down the road. (always kind of liked a friends 72 van)


Andreas June 15, 2009 at 7:36 am

You drug-addict Americans relish in talk of your pot habit. Thanks to you we suffer narco-violence in Mexico. And don’t give me that “we grow our own in California and B.C. and it’s better” b.s. True, but you still are a bunch of hypocritical drug-addicts.


Lisa June 19, 2009 at 9:29 am

Your Les Paul is misleading as it is an investment instrument. My first real(student)six string cost a whole weeks wages for my dad back in ’69. These days you could pick up ten of them for the average weekly wage and they would be much better quality too.

All the best!


Rob Kohr June 22, 2009 at 10:50 am


You probably would have only had 5 comments on this if the post was originally clear. Each step of improvements created a new flow of comments, and thus grows the popularity of this post.

Keep it up, make some changes, switch some numbers around. This post has some serious potential at having a never ending comment thread.


Vinsanity July 9, 2009 at 7:48 am

For those of you who missed the inflation-adjusted note:

“A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually…” – Rita Mae Brown



Kevin July 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm

TO all those idiots talking about the price being different back then than what it said of course it is. it says “inflation adjusted” that means it takes the price back then and then adds the inflation since then to comapre the prices. gas might have been way under a dollar back then but with inflation it costs just over 2. learn to read then learn economics so you understand what its saying


Insomniac July 25, 2009 at 3:47 am

I read all the posts because I can’t sleep…it’s hobby, I suppose, to read threads comprised mostly of ignorant bullish people that feel empowered by the anonymity of the internet. This was simultaneously the most entertaining and sad example I’ve come across. Thanks to the few people that had something constructive to say about quality differences in the “products of then” versus the “products of now”. Thanks BillShrink for trying to illustrate some simple comparisons that could have excited reasoned and thoughtful comments if it weren’t for the clutter.

“Elaine, do women know about shrinkage?”


Keith August 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I never post on blog entries, but I wanted to point something out. Firstly, nice post.

Secondly, the people pointing out that others don’t read ‘ned 2 lern 2 spel’, hypocritical much?

First half of comments: wrong prices
Second half: ‘omg you idiot read the header’

And yet, after not a soul posted anymore about the prices, tons of posts telling them to read, I think they got it the first time.



Alex August 22, 2009 at 8:20 am

Lol Keith, you’re exactly right. Seems like the first half looked at the picture without reading and the second half posted without reading the comments.


Mike August 27, 2009 at 1:00 am

it does totally say, inflation adjusted, maybe you all should smoke less cheap grass and take some science classes or something to expand your mind.


I CAN READ! October 1, 2009 at 10:15 am

It seems like most of the commentators were high during reading comprehension class! It plainly states in very large letters that the 1969 prices were adjusted for inflation. If you cannot read you should not comment! The world is full of idiots that think they know something and they can’t even read what is right there! Go smoke some more cheap weed and get a job at McDonalds where you do not have to read, just follow the pictures. If you commented on the price of gas being wrong in 1969 you are a total and complete retard.


Mike2 October 18, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Amazing. Great post, but it all of a sudden turned into a social commentary on the complete idiocy of some people. Even if there was not any explicit note that they were adjusted for inflation, one could likely take that it would be implied. Most people with any elementary concept of common sense would understand that a cup of coffee did not cost anything close to a dollar in the 60s, etc.

Second, it futile for us to complain about this, because most of the people who posted the nonsense would never visit this post again to see the comments that point out the idiocy.


Rob November 22, 2009 at 8:53 pm

A gallon of gas $2.03 in 1969 – no way dudes! Gas was less then 40 cents a gallon back then.

Yipes! Dropped a joint in my lap!

(sorry, couldn’t resist – if this post doesn’t prove “the dumbing down of America, I don’t know what does)


allen November 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Inflation adjusted. As in the price what you paid for gas in 1969 with inflation and then comparing that price with today’s price.


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