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 }

Wes May 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Read the title block: Prices are Adjusted for Inflation!


Tom May 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Yeah you’ll be lucky if anybody even read your post David if they didn’t even read the opening paragraph.


gestault May 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm

It would cool to see a computer comparison-personal PC’s hadn’t happened yet but say…servers or hard drive storage…for commercial,military or research facilities…or even electronic equipment like stereo receivers..the adjusted margin would be interesting…


JohnInCA May 22, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Ok, dude… If you pay $200 for an ounce of weed it is probably dirt weed. That price is very accurate for an ounce of “CHRONIC”…. HELLLLLOOOOOO Snoop Dogg? anybody? “No stems no seeds no sticks, some of that real sticky icky icky”


J. Money May 22, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Wait, so these prices ARE inflation-adjusted or AREN’T inflation-ajusted? ;) (i keed, i keed)


Josh May 22, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Uh….People, listen.
Prices are “inflation-adjusted”.

That means that all these things went up in actual cost RELATIVE to inflation. Just imaging that you were making the same dollar amount then as you are now when you look at the 1969 prices.


luke May 22, 2009 at 8:14 pm

in boston and NYC your looking at 200-240 for a z of midz (thats a good deal) and 400+ if your getting trainwreck or northern lights. slices go for 80 so you make that cash back.


WOLFENRAIDER May 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Inflation Adjusted? Everyone knows inflation is a result of fiat based currency systems, kinda makes this whole thing an exercise in stupidity. Or rather points out how stupid we all are for allowing it to happen, because while all this is going on, and you and I are spending more for the same crap, someone else is getting rich because of it.


anon May 22, 2009 at 9:16 pm

It’s funny that ONLY after the green posts do people start mocking the early posters for not noticing the design intent.

Guess you too needed it spelled out for you then?


neil May 22, 2009 at 9:22 pm



sgt pepper May 22, 2009 at 10:20 pm

wtf 325 for an ounce, wow i feel bad for anyone paying those prices, that’s almost double canada lol


Anonymous May 22, 2009 at 10:43 pm

I can’t believe this display of stupidity. Let’s settle this right here.



Props to the burnt out old timer who combined the price of weed argument with a complete inflation adjustment fail: “what do you mean weed cost 140 back in the day??!”


ed May 22, 2009 at 10:55 pm

apparently you were reading the comments? if you’re not sure try reading them again and wait for that feeling of deja vu.


T. Rei May 22, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Note: Prices from 1969 are inflation-adjusted!


And Ganja now and in the NW has gone from like 240 an O to 320+ in the last six months


JayPee May 23, 2009 at 12:12 am

Don’t lose sight of the big picture here folks. Entertaining nevertheless.


James May 23, 2009 at 12:33 am

Agreed David.

Hello people, can you read??

“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.”

I would like to see the literacy difference between ’69 and ’09. From most of these comments I’m sure it would be interesting.


Tom May 23, 2009 at 12:46 am

Why do people feel the need to troll websites, what what’s worse is you look like a fool doing it because you didn’t even read anything you just went strait to the chart.

In my opinion it is stupid to argue over the price of weed. An once in one state (or even town) will vary from the next. There are also tons of different types of weed, obviously no one would ever pay $325 for an once of mids or bushweed, but I think for some dank hydro grown heddies it’s not as outrageous.

Interesting article.


Frank May 23, 2009 at 12:54 am

you might want to add the price of sewer cleaning.
Then $300
Now $49.95


seedsplitter May 23, 2009 at 1:18 am

Ahhh, I love all the pot references on a government site. Awesome.

@Paul…. you nailed it, hella funny!


Worldweaver May 23, 2009 at 1:54 am


“Note: Prices from 1969 are inflation-adjusted!”

I hope this explains the price discrepancies…


bob the builder May 23, 2009 at 2:10 am

some of the comments above just crack me up

wow, amazing how >60% of the ppl here comment on the weed prices alone…


俊君 May 23, 2009 at 2:13 am



Disco May 23, 2009 at 2:15 am

For the pot prize nazis in the room, I suspect the $325 is referring to hydroponically gown “dank”, not Mexican brick weed. In somewhere like the mid-west US where you don’t have access to medicinal sources, it the price can be very high indeed. Even in say, San Francisco, a “legitimate” OZ of the best quality medical buds gets up to around $300.

The key points being 1) there is a wide variety of quality and pricing for illegal substances. 2) the weed back in the 60s was mostly crap, far less strong than what is available today.


bogginator May 23, 2009 at 4:31 am

Stoopid commints shud knot bee posteded.



Maksim May 23, 2009 at 5:00 am

Note: Prices from 1969 are inflation-adjusted!
learn to read! before u start whining about what prices were in 1969.
and if u do not know what inflation is then back to school maybe!


Wind2Energy May 23, 2009 at 5:45 am

Is there a correlation between the people who really know a lot about the price of weed and the ones who don’t understand n the least what”adjusted for inflation” means? Pass me that bong!


Luigi May 23, 2009 at 6:14 am

325 isnt highway robbery if its good, so keep smoking your schwag


Anonymous May 23, 2009 at 6:41 am


Who’s this Arthur then?


Michael May 23, 2009 at 7:01 am

This is why America is economically screwed. More than half of the people commenting on this article didn’t read the fine print and don’t understand the basic of adjustment for inflation.
One intelligent comment mentioned housing. I did the research on this awhile ago (it’s on my blog somewhere) and the number sucks. I think housing costs have gone up 1700%! health care has gone up hundreds of percent as well. Two points on this though:
The average home size in 1969 was around 1000sq ft, it’s now almost 3000sq ft. Americans want bigger!
Health care wasn’t covered by most employers in the 60s, now that it is, costs have gone up tremendously.
One comment on car costs: VW has gotten to be pricey vehicles. Average car costs actually haven’t gone up that much. It’s really housing and healthcare costs that have exploded. Not to mention costs that didn’t exist in 1969: cable, Internet, computers, cell phones, etc.


vinny gee May 23, 2009 at 7:28 am

im from new zealand, and all these prices on here seem reasonable (if you know what inflation-adjusted prices are)

and yeah, the average oz of pot in new zealand is between $250 and $330


Paranimal May 23, 2009 at 7:39 am

of course gas wasnt $2.03in 1969 that is adjusting for inflation, if you took the value of the todays dollar and were to live back then with your current wages, you see people made less money back then but things were also cheaper, now we make more money and things are more expensive… thats what this article is showing!


kok May 23, 2009 at 8:19 am

About 800,000 yen prices at the time of the beginning to sell of the refrigerator in Japan were ($ 8,000), but can buy what do not need to cost 100,000 ($ 1,000) now either.


mikey g May 23, 2009 at 9:10 am

He clearly says at the beginning that these 1969 prices are calculated with inflation considered. So the coffee that was a dime in 1969 was actually probably pretty close to $1.16 if you consider inflation.

Learn some economics.


Anony May 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm

These comments make me sad. Regardless of bold letters or not, nearly everyone in the first group skipped reading most important parts… shows how stupid people are.


Douglas May 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm

What the hell is wrong with you people?

The prices at 1969 are NOT actual prices, they are adjusted for inflation with CPI and 1969 not being a CPI of 1!

If it is not 1, it is not true!
It is a freaking ratio.

Why does almost everyone here fail at reading a graph?


Big CR May 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I’m assuming the all the prices are inflation adjusted guys. Gas was not $2.03 in 1969.


fbg May 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm

It is apparent we live in a nation of illiterate potheads who smoke cheap weed. The commentators who actually remember the prices back in ’69 probably smoked too much weed sprayed with paraquat and laced with PCP.

The information needed to interpret the graphic is is right there on the artwork, you boneheads.


Jason May 23, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Boy there are some really slow people around here… Bill Shrink Guy you are going to have to dumb down your future articles so that these morons get it. By the way guys. It kind of shows that some stuff is more some stuff is less. I took this as a things are not so bad and the good old days are often not as good as they are remembered article.


Aleksey May 23, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Look, you all missing a point … those INFLATION ADJUSTED prices … NOT actual prices from 1969. They have ADJUSTED it to today’s dollar value based on the INFLATION, Get it?! … Duh! … lol Pot heads =)


Lev May 24, 2009 at 12:55 am

I really can’t comment on this because I’d only be commenting on how dumb people are, as opposed to how this rather simple article was misconstrued by all the people who can’t read. All who complained about the 1969 prices didn’t bother to READ the introductory statements. On top of that, you didn’t read the statements which corrected the previous people who bitched. Its not like this is an article from NYT or Scientific American. Or even at the top of the price list, yet again the explanation that this is a price-adjusted-for-inflation comparison.


BillShrink Guy May 24, 2009 at 3:05 am

I think the point on the price is now clearly across, so it isn’t necessary to leave comments reminding people that prices are inflation adjusted anymore…


Julian Phryes May 24, 2009 at 9:58 am

I like the concept of this article, but I think it might be prudent to point out the apples to oranges comparison that are inevitable in such a comparison.

The TV comparison for example – a 24 inch color television was considered large in 1969, it had mono sound and no remote control. The picture was fuzzy, required a rooftop antenae (an additional cost) and typically received only 3-9 channels of over the air programming. You can no longer buy such a TV, so the model you are using for comparison is likely larger – in the 36-48 inch range, higher resolution -high definition, stereo, cable ready, using LCD technology that will not wear out for years. So while the price of a TV has decreased, the actual value has increased.

Cannabis has likewise enjoyed an increase in quality, and is extremely variable in price, ranging from free to those who grow or are close friends with growers, to what the market will bear for those who strive for the finest cannabis available. It is like comparing the price of wines, some people enjoy bottling their own product and with care and knowledge produce an excellent vintage, while others must possess the rarest and most exotic commercial vintages, which have an enomorous margin of profit.

Variables like these make it difficult to assess whether our dollar has become less valuable over time, which is nominally considered fact by economist, hence the “future value of money” equation.

Though you present an interesting topic, I say it can be enhanced by detailing what the features of the products in both eras were/are so that the reader can realize exactly how much more or less their dollar buys. Perhaps a followup is in order, as it seems you have struck a nerve by the number of shrill comments posted here.


readercom May 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I thought astrology really caught on nationwide in the late 1960′s, but I could be wrong, otherwise more folks would catch on that this month we are in a Mercury Retrograde period:
* Communications go awry – phone calls, letters, emails, faxes, conversations are delayed, misinterpreted, blocked. Recheck everything like appointment times, spelling, wording, the words you say.
* Expect problems with messages, books, letters, magazines, documents, neighbors and the near environment.

Sounds like this post and its replied to a Tee.
(and I stopped smoking dope back in 1985)


ljotucson May 25, 2009 at 7:09 am

Remind me not to go shooting with some of you guys, hell hunting would be out of the question.


PB May 27, 2009 at 12:28 am

I’m assuming the all the prices are inflation adjusted guys. Gas was not $2.03 in 1969.


Peter May 27, 2009 at 6:26 am

Has anyone pointed out yet the 1969 prices are inflation adjusted? Oh yeah and my pot costs way less than $325 and ounce.


yourmom May 27, 2009 at 9:08 am

I think it’s funny that everyone is making a big deal about people not reading the part about the prices being inflation adjusted, and not reading everything before they comment. You are making yourselves look like idiots. You have clearly not read the comment where the author of the artical says, they did not add that the prices were inflation adjusted until they saw that everyone was commenting about the prices. So inconclusion, I think all of you need to jump down off your high horses, apologize to all the people you wrongly accused of bing dumbasses, and realize that you are the dumbasses. Thank you for your time.


Larry Hochman May 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm

This may not be the most popular topic for the crowd reading this article, but is anyone willing to look at the earning power we have now, not to mention the increase in the standard of living that’s taken place over the last 40 years? Consider the sheer amount of creature comforts we have. Consider the availability of what were considered luxury items in the late 1960′s, or ones that didn’t even exist. Yes, there is an economy in peril. But doesn’t that inspire some people to improvise, or dig in and worker harder and smarter to make it?


DS May 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm

This is a perfect example of why our country is screwed. No one reads the article correctly and the idiots taking the time to comment don’t even bother looking to see if someone has already made their point. This comment log is a case-study on the selfish blow-hard direction that our country is headed in. Oh my God, I’m part of it now. I suck too.


Bill May 27, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Do people who comment actually read the note that all 1969 prices are inflation adjusted and that it says it is comparing the real value of goods???

I guess they didn’t listen in econ class



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