Sociologist Joseph Cohen of Queens University is fond of saying that “America is a place where luxuries are cheap and necessities costly.”
recent chart from economist Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, illustrates this well. Since 1996, the prices of food and housing have increased by close to 60 percent, faster than the pace of inflation. Costs of health care and child care have more than doubled. The prices of textbooks and higher education nearly tripled.
On the other hand, the prices of things like mobile phone service, toys, software and televisions have plummeted over the same period.