Thursday, March 31, 2005

Inflationmaster

Inflationmaster is one of my favorite programs! I love it because I can use it at the drop of a hat to provide me with some context for what I am hearing, learning, or seeing. Here's how it works:

1. Enter a year between 1800 and 2004 (ie: 1850)
2. Enter an amount of money (ie: $325)
3. Enter a second year between 1800 and 2004 (ie: 2004)
4. Calculate

In this case, I had read (National Oregon Trail Center) that it cost $100 for a wagon in the 1850s and another $225 for three oxen. Based on the actual rates of inflation, that's $7,211 by 2004 standards! And, that's just for the oxen and the wagon. So, ask yourself: what kind of people came across the Oregon trail with wagons and oxen?

Need I say more? This program rocks!

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