When Coimparing costs of Items in Historical time with current costs, how does one do it???
Does one use the compariosn of Wages of the two different times, or the adjusted value of money, or the base cost of the raw materials then and now, and so on.
It is very difficult to make a comparison, between Historical times.
Wages were lower then (In real terms) as wewre some production costs…others were higher, due to Modern improvements intechnology…EG, in 1942, the manufacture of Rifle calibre ammo in the USA used the "Plate " system, which was very “hand work” intensive, even though “machine assisted” in various points…Today, the SCAMP system is used, with less workers, and higher productivity…( and subsequently Lower costs, in an actual comparison)
If one does the simplistic comparison, what does $40 buy in 1942 (say) one could say, 1,000 rounds of .30/06, or so many hour’s work, or so much gasoline, ( at the price current at that time, etc.) Then to convert that to todays prices, the problems begin, because all the Baselines have changed, some in the same way, others differently. Even comparing the “Value” of money to a fixed standard, such as Gold, can give problems, as the Value of Gold also changes (NO longer a Fixed “Gold Standard”, as it was in 1940-42, when britain paid for ammunition etc, in Gold bars. (Until Lend-lease was proclaimed).
Yes, $40 a thousand seem little, and in the 1940s scheme of things ot was “Little” when compared with the Local values and costs at the time.
But, for a worker to get $40.00, he probably had to work for 10 or more days ( before Tax) so it wasn’t really “Cheap”…Just as a “2012 cost” of $600 a Thou., is not Cheap, either, in absolute terms…What workers, outside of Specialised Mining etc Industries, make $600 a week? ( in the US, that is…I know Aussie Mine workers do get over $1,5-2K clear a week, plus Fly-in Fly-out, and they are only basic truck drivers and mechanics.). Specialists get much more.
A very difficult problem, that of Historical Cost comparison.