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Some Things Really Are Cheaper
Sometimes it seems that prices only go up. And for the most part, that is true. But there are a few things that cost less now than they did 10 years ago, when adjusted for inflation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the Consumer Price Index, these include:
Phone service. Competition and expanding service overall have translated into some significant savings for cell phone users. The cost of wireless service is down almost 32 percent over the last 10 years. Even traditional long-distance phone service has dropped, about 23 percent. Deregulation of the phone industry probably accounts for most of that decrease.
Electronics. Cell phones themselves do more and cost less than they did a decade ago. And the same is true for a wide range of electronics, from televisions (down almost 78 percent), to computers (down 88 percent), to things like cameras and games. Much of the decrease is due to competition and the outsourcing of manufacturing to overseas firms with lower labor costs.
Shoes. Despite high-priced sneakers and high-end cowboy boots, the price of footwear overall has dropped about 4 percent. More shoes are made overseas, which helps to drive down costs. And the increase in discount stores also has led to a decrease in costs.
Clothes. The same two factors – more manufacturing overseas and the increase in discount stores – has brought the price of clothes overall down 11 percent in 10 years. The cost of children’s clothing is down even more: more than 23 percent for boys’ clothes and almost 19 percent for girls’.
Cars and trucks. Especially now, with dealers doing just about anything to get vehicles off their lots, there are many bargains to be had when looking for a new car or truck. Prices have dropped almost 7 percent, and manufacturers have added a whole host of new bells and whistles, such as on-board DVD players.
Toys. The cost of toys is down 44 percent over the decade, due mainly to outsourcing overseas. However, as recent problems with toys from China have shown, some of the price drop may have come with a drop in quality and safety.
Watches. The cost of telling time has dropped more than 6 percent, mostly because of the increase in discount stores.