Gas was pricey back then, too | AspenTimes.com

Gas was pricey back then, too

Dear Editor:During the summer of 1941 I worked in a coil winding works in Pennsylvania. These coils were for radios. But in fact they were a component of what we know now as radar. They were for the new secret weapon for the Army, the Navy and the Marines.The pay was 30 cents per hour and we worked 44 hours per week. An ice cream cone was 5 cents and a hot dog, with everything on it, was 10 cents. Gasoline was six gallons for $1.Thus to purchase six gallons of gas for a car, I had to work for three hours and 20 minutes. If I could use the family 1934 panel truck, I would buy, maybe, 50 cents worth of gas to go on a date. Our home was 1.5 miles from the edge of town and 2.5 miles from the business district where the theaters were located.Today at a wage of $6.50 per hour means that I could purchase two gallons of gas for working one hour. I stated before that it would take me three and one-third hour to purchase six gallons of gas for $1. Today at $6.50 per hour and working three and one-third hours I would earn $21.64. To buy those six gallons at $3.25 per gallon is $19.50. This means you work less time to purchase six gallons today than I did in 1939. So, OK, that $2.14 goes to taxes. Are you employed for $6.50 an hour, 44 hours a week?No, I am not taking into consideration commuting distances, gas guzzling automobiles, repair parts and service, ride sharing and bus service. And I just heard that the Model T (or was it the Model A?) ran 26 miles on a gallon of gas!Today I am not in the job market either as a worker or as an employer. I am retired. But I have yet to meet a worker bee who comes to my home or to whom I call upon as a service person that is earning $6.50 or less an hour. This is a judgment on my part based on the charges that I pay to him/her directly or through his/her employer for services received.P.S.: No, I am not for the obscene profits of any company or the out-of-line remuneration received by executives. Higher taxes on excess profits and sweetheart deals for executives would go far to assure our grandchildren a lesser national debt and possible assurance that Social Security will be there for their parents.A. Frederick UhlerAspen


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