Category Archives: economics

Odd Economical names

As mentioned before, I occasionally look into the magazine called The Economist (exactly like that, with a capital article).

One of their online features is a little quiz each week, where you have to answer general (or specific) knowledge questions about the news of important things and then know who someone’s picture is.

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Be an up to date farmer (in 1963), part 1 of 2

Browzing through old matter, I found a page from a 1963 magazine, the Farm Journal with some handy advices:

DimmersFJ

A couple of things jump out immediately. First, they had fluorescent light dimmers in 1963? For YEARS I’ve been seeing warnings on dimmer switches I’ve installed that they should never be used on a fluorescent light. Was this really a thing and, if so, what happened to them?

Second, were dimmers really that new in 1963? A dimmer is just a rheostat, which has existed as long as systematic study of electricity has, maybe longer. It’s just a wound coil of wire with a movable contact. In the case of a light dimmer switch, it is usually a circular affair. An industrial example may be seen here.

Another point, potentially hidden, is the price. 16 USD for a dimmer is outrageous today. They are about half that or less for a no-frills rotary dimmer switch, per Home Depot and Lowes. (I’m not linking to them because their websites change so regularly.) Using an economical adjustment for inflation, the highly recommended Measuring worth website, the purchasing power of 16 USD in 1963 is about 124 USD in 2014. That is by no means “inexpensive”, especially for farmers, who are notoriously not high earners.

Finally, the company in question, Hunt, appears to still be around, at least as a brand. It is owned by “Caribe Corporation”, which appears to just be an alternate name of the firm, since I cannot find any other business lines owned by it in a cursory search.

Cheap senior housing in Chicago

From section 18 (!) of the Chicago Tribune of November 27, 1988 comes a piece about the gentrification running seniors on fixed incomes out of town. There were two photographs of local political persons making reflections on the phenomenon:

Badquote
A particularly unfortunate double meaning of the word “cheap” here makes it look like the state representative doesn’t give a **** about seniors and wants them warehoused somewhere. Note that they misspelled her name. It’s Judith Baar Topinka.

Surprizedpolitician
The country treasurer looks like he’s never seen a camera before! “You mean you can make that little thing paint a portrait of me? Shocking!”