Dell Catalogs Then and Now
However, two other points often overlooked:
1. The new products that appear year to year. This catalog from 01 was very light on photography and video, for example.
2. The rapidity with which new technology becomes a mere "add-in." In my current Dell catalog, a 17" LCD is the standard basic included monitor, with high-end systems including a 19" LCD. In May of 2001, there was a "new" item in the monitor section: a 15" LCD monitor for the bargain price of ...... $540. In 4 to 5 years, that same item isn't as good as the "toss-in" on new systems.
You can buy a 15" LCD for just over $200 at Dell today (or $178 at PC Connection), but even their "bargain" systems include a free 15" LCD. For example, you can buy a whole system for $499 that is at least twice as good as what I bought in 5/01 and get included FREE a monitor that cost more in 5/01 than the whole computer including the same monitor does today!
How we account for these improvements in product quality and the falling real cost of such products when we talk about economic well-being remains a tricky business, but there's no doubt about the reality. Real worker compensation may be growing very slowly, but what you can buy with it continues to grow significantly.
comments powered by Disqus
Steven Horwitz - 1/2/2006
Great question Sudha, and I agree with the thrust of your argument. We should be more concerned about what people are able to consume not how much income/wealth they have. The work by Cox and Alm and others on what consumer goods even the poorest Americans own along with other work on longer life expectancies, better health, etc are what really matter for judging how well American workers are doing, and for trying to understand the role the market plays in helping to bring those results about.
Sudha Shenoy - 1/1/2006
"real worker compensation may be growing very slowly but what you can buy with it..."
So _which_ is "real worker compensation"? A sum of money 'deflated' by some perennially out-of-date, crude 'index'? or what people _actually_ buy & use/consume? And what does the former have to do with the latter, anyway?
- Donald Trump Is Wrong on Mosul Attack, Military Experts Say
- Emmett Till memorial sign is riddled with bullet holes and has been repeatedly vandalized
- Posthumous pardons law may see Oscar Wilde exonerated
- Has an Election Ever Been Rigged in U.S. History?
- A short history of white people rigging elections
- Steven Runciman — historian, tease and professional enigma — is the subject of a biography
- Historian Eric Foner: Trump is Logical Conclusion of What the GOP Has Been Doing for Decades
- Ken Burns developing 'The Gene' based on Mukherjee's bestseller
- Does the 'Father' of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing Narrative Really Want to Recant His Words?
- Max Boot wants to know “what the hell happened to my Republican Party?"