Gold Tells The Truth (Updated)

Good tweet here.  Annual average earnings from work in the US bought 143 oz. of gold in 1959.  There has been a steady decline ever since, until today when average annual earnings from work buy 34 oz. of gold.

That would indicate an almost 80% decline in real wages since 1959.  Does that seem about right?

Update:  Though it’s rich with irony that this is commentary largely from Wells-Fargo, it’s kind of related.  BLS data, of course, to the extent it can be trusted at all tracks the more near term fluctuations, at least the data that is widely reported in the press.  But gold points to a more worrisome longer term trend.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Gold Tells The Truth (Updated)

  1. CJR

    A good way to check would be to compare average living standards and life expectancy for the subject years. I’m sure ’59 was sweet, but you couldn’t surf the web with extra gold, nor use it to get a lung transplant, fly cross country in 4:30 for not much money, etc . . . so it’s not a foregone conclusion folks were better off with the average income of 1959. 5 times better off sounds like a wild stretch to me. It might be closer to say “Gold Is Not Completely Dishonest, But It Doesn’t Know Everything.” — your loyal cousin

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    • Exaggeration for effect. Plus, I write terrible blog post titles, along with occasionally terrible blog posts.

      Even so, I think there’s more going on than the price of this or that consumer item, or even exotic and highly overrated medical treatments. If you were measuring what might be termed economic freedom for most people, I think an 80% reduction would fit reality pretty well.

      But then not remembering 1959 personally, I can only go by second hand sources. Not all of which are entirely reliable.

      Thanks for the comment. Nice to hear from you.

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