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Looking To The Next 50 Years, What Can We Expect?

What can we expect in the next 50 years? Can we look at our past
history and predict the future from that? Let's do a little
statistical comparisons and see what we can come up with.

In the mid 50's when the minimum wage was begun, it started out
at .50 cents per hour. Today the minimum wage is $5.25 per hour,
a ten fold increase. Projecting that over the next 50 years with
approximately the same inflation rates gives you a minimum wage of
better than $50.00 per hour, with a 40 hour work week, that will give
you over $110,000.00 per year minimum wage. Whew!!!

What about your purchasing power? In the 50's you could buy a
"basic" new car for $1,500.00 to $2,000.00. The same "basic" car
today will cost $15,000.00 to 20,000.00, a tenfold increase in price,
staying with the increase in minimum wage. To project that over the
next 50 years will put the price of your "basic" auto at
$150,000.00 to $200,000.00.

What about housing? I remember some friends buying a new
2 bedroom brick home in 1960 for $15,000.00. That same size
house today will cost between $100,000.00 and $150,000.00,
depending on the location, a seven to ten fold increase. Let's take
the lower rate and projecting that ahead will give you a cost of
$700,000.00 for a simple 2 bedroom brick home.
What hasn't gone up so drastically? Most groceries have gone up
only three fold to five fold, with a few items going up more, making
groceries the best buy on the market. Maybe that is why so many
of us are overweight, have high cholesterol and heart disease.

We have taken a look at the next 50 years based on a historical repeat
of the past 50 years, but history also gives us a totally
different scenero. Let's go back 70 years instead of just 50 years.
This takes us back to the stock market crash of '29.
This means going back to ground zero and starting
everything over from scratch.

So, which will it be? History gives us choices, but will we make the
right one. The world, humanity, is in a constant flux, nothing stands
still. Do we go forward at a slow even pace, rush forward at breakneck
speed, slide backward slowly, or go crashing to the bottom all at once?

The ideal situation to me would be what I call the rocking chair effect,
that is, to go forward slightly, then slide back a little and then go forward
again, making small gains over a longer period of time.

John Watson


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