The Economy and Life

Reading this piece in the Globe today reminded me of my own youth (20s) and how life seemed to offer opportunities galore and riches aplenty back in the 60s.

I held no credit cards. Why? One could walk into a shop, purchase an item, give the clerk your name and sign off on a slip that would then come round in a bill a month later.

I had an unlimited expense account. With no limits set by my employer (a medical foundation) and few tax restrictions on business expenses, I ate at all the best restaurants, travelled 1st class, and treated fellow travelers with cordon bleu meals, fine wines and good booze at meetings anywhere in the States.

Income to expenses. I don't believe I earned more than the median income but was able to purchase the best shoes, bags, hats, coats and rain gear.

Food expenses. In 1968, I could feed a family of two (and a man with an huge appetite) for $20.00 per week (steak three times a week) and fresh strawberries often.

Transportation by taxi was so reasonable in 1970 that I took a yellow every day from Grammercy Park to Rockefeller Center without blinking or watching my wallet.

Here's some data from those days to compare to those of today.

One of the few prices I might check these days is the price of Half 'n Half as I am a big coffee drinker. In the last month the cost of the local product went up more than 30cents.


  1. thanks for the flashback to the 60's, 70's, 80's etc website. That was fun.
    What kind of job did you have that had an unlimited expense account?!

    You go, girl!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Erin.

    I worked for an international medical publishing firm with offices in New York but headquartered in the Netherlands.

    It was one of my best jobs!