Welcome to the end of the week! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this weeks roundup in another edition of Happy Hour.
Much has been discussed lately about a lack of rising income. Higher wages is typically a sign of an improving economy, which we haven’t seen yet. As FiveThirtyEight points out, income has actually fallen for the average middle class worker over the past 15 years.
I doubt it’s a coincidence that incomes have stagnated at the same time the internet technology disruption has commoditized many products and services.
Yes, the cost of many things have risen since 2000. Most notably food. But some higher prices have been offset by better performance – gasoline is higher, but your cars MPG is too. College education is higher, so too are the amounts of scholarships and grants.
Still, the price of other things have fallen or stayed flat despite inflation. Music and books are now a commodity business. An album on iTunes costs the same as a CD I bought in ’96. Thank you Steve Jobs. Books are the same thanks to Amazon.
The cost of clothes hasn’t changed much either. Even the financial industry is transforming as we speak – the cost of investing has crashed for those who choose to take advantage of it.
Technology has always been a price deflater. TVs and computers are in a constant free fall. Not only are prices lower, you’re getting more for your buck. Why would that change? And what’s next? The car industry? Medicine and healthcare? Food production?
It’s not just the internet. The rise of Walmart has forced every company to reimagine the supply chain and lower costs for everyone.
While income has been stagnant for the past 15 years, not all costs have outpaced it. Technology and the internet of things has had a bigger impact on our wallets than anyone imagined and the next industry change is only a dream away.
- Iron Rules of Money – M. Housel
- Stock Buybacks: They are Big, They are Back and They Scare Some People! – Musing on Markets
- Here’s What will Happen to Stocks Before and After Rates Rise – Marketwatch
- Swedroe: Stock Performance In A Recession – ETF.com
- 22 Maps and Charts that will Surprise You – Vox