Oh, those wondrous markets

Mark J. Perry posted the following chart:

Hours Worked to Purchase Household Goods

So what’s the deal with mattresses? They’ve hardly gone down at all, and I’d like to buy a new one. I was thinking “Well, we can’t outsource the manufacturing, they’re too bulky.” But hell, they make refrigerators in China and ship them here, so it can’t be that, can it?

(Seen at Side-Lines on American Digest.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    6 March 2009 · 8:20 pm

    It would also be interesting to see an amortization based on how long things last. I know lots of people who claim “stuff was more expensive back then, but it LASTED better” but I’ve never seen any real data to back that up.

    I don’t know about the mattresses. Could it be a false pattern because there are more higher-end mattresses (like the Dux bed and such) being produced now, raising the average cost?

  2. CGHill »

    6 March 2009 · 9:17 pm

    Those $5000 beds are a trifle above my pay grade.

    I was thinking maybe a lack of automation in the production process, until I happened upon this.

  3. hatless in hattiesburg »

    7 March 2009 · 2:17 am

    to paraphrase a bad old joke: ” if you sleep on a chinese mattress, you’ll be tired two hours later.”

  4. MIkeSwi... »

    7 March 2009 · 3:10 am

    Those are consumer goods. What would a chart look like for a night in the hospital? Health insurance? Pharmaceuticals? Insurance premiums? Month’s average rent? Average mortgage payment? (however you would define that). Average car payment. Food for family of four, etc…. You know, the things you can live without as long as we have these throwaway made overseas cheap consumer goods.

  5. John Owen Butler »

    7 March 2009 · 9:03 am

    Are the modern 4 drawer dressers those cheapo composite Walmart/KMart/Target specials? The 1950 model would have been real wood, at least.

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