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Truman's Buck Stops Here

I was born in the summer of 1952. Yup, that was a while ago.

The per-kilowatt-hour price of electricity averaged about one and two-thirds cents halfway through that last year of the Harry Truman Administration. This summer, sixty-seven years later, the average price of electricity is around eight times higher, about thirteen cents.

But all consumer goods and services cost more now. On average, nearly ten times more. The Consumer Price Index is 9.7 times greater this summer than in the summer of 1952.

If electricity increased in line with the CPI, its average price this summer would be sixteen cents. It’s not that high though. As we said it’s about thirteen cents.

What does all this mean? Over the course of my lifetime, electricity now feels more economical to consumers than it did when Elizabeth II became Queen of England, Singin’ in the Rain premiered at Radio City Music Hall, and Mr. Potato Head was introduced at toy stores.