Competition Has Driven Technology Prices Down for Consumers

1964 christmas

Economist Mark J. Perry at the American Enterprise Institute provided a piece showing the technology marketplace and how competition helps not only bring more products to the marketplace but also cheaper pricing.

Pictured above are some color TVs from the 627-page 1964 Sears Christmas Catalog, available here at the WishbookWeb website along with many other Christmas catalogs from 1933 to 1988. The original prices are listed ($750 for the Sears Silvertone entertainment center and $800 for the more expensive one), and those prices are also shown converted to today’s 2014 dollars using the BLS Inflation Calculator: $5,700 for the basic 21-inch color TV model and $6,100 for the more expensive model.

Click on this link to see what he found you can buy with the amount of money in todays dollars from the televisions listed above.

He also leaves on this final note and one reason why the U.S. is still one of the greatest economic innovators the world has ever seen.

As much as we might complain about a slow economic recovery, the decline of the middle class, stagnant median household income, rising income inequality and a dysfunctional Congress, we have a lot to be thankful for, and we’ve made a lot of economic progress in the last 50 years as the example above illustrates, thanks to the “magic and miracle of the marketplace.”

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