Boston Magazine has a sidebar on page 61 of its August 2018 issue.
A nurse in metro Boston earned $11,596 in 1975, about $54,500 in today’s dollars, adjusted via the official CPI. Today the nurse’s median earnings will be $97,136. So the nurse is way better off, right? That’s $42,635 extra.
Median annual rent in boston has supposedly gone from $675 ($3,173 in 2018 money) to $36,012. The 1975 number sounds too low, but there were a lot of slum areas of Boston back then. If we do believe the numbers, nearly all of the nurse’s advance in pay has been captured by a landlord. Professional sports can perhaps capture the rest? A grandstand seat at Fenway Park has gone from $3.75 ($17.63) to $83.
Perhaps explaining why our highways are so jammed, tolls on an example section of the Mass Pike have gone from 70 cents in 1972 ($4.53 today) to $1.20. The cost of a subway ride has gone up only slightly faster than official inflation, from 50 cents in 1975 ($2.35 today) to $2.75.