The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 November 2007

Living in debasement

The greenback is kinda brown these days, and while government figures go to great lengths to indicate otherwise, the real culprit is not hard to spot:

The 1964 silver dime weighed 0.1 ounce. In 1964, three of them would buy a gallon of gas anywhere in New York. What would they buy today?

Well, according to Kitco, which tracks the prices of precious metals, silver closed on Friday at $14.49 per ounce. Three silver dimes == 0.3 ounces == $4.35 worth of silver. That would buy 1.45 gallons of 2007 gasoline: 45% more than it did in 1964.

Clearly, the real price of gasoline has gone down, not up. The apparent increase in its price is really the deterioration of the dollar, which has been deliberately inflated to pay for the ever-expanding appetite of government.

Not to mention the deterioration of the dime, which is now made of some nickel/copper combination that's worth less than either alone, if only because of the expense of separating the two.

Although the W-2 for the wages of this sin can be found elsewhere in the piece:

For example, a house comparable to the one your Curmudgeon owns, which recently appraised for $400,000, on which he pays $10,000 annually in property taxes, would have cost about $30,000 [in 1964], and would have incurred property taxes of about $450 per year.

The price of this house has risen thirteenfold and change; the taxes have gone up twenty-two times.

Of course, these numbers were recorded in the Vampire State, as Akaky Bashmachkin calls it; your mileage may vary, though probably not enough to make you want to break into song.

Posted at 6:55 AM to Common Cents