Grey's, and the relative value of money

I gorged on Grey’s Anatomy. Really gorged, but you know what? I don’t regret a minute of it. It occured to me sometime after the tenth episode I watched in a row that the reason the show works so well for me (and possibly, in general) is that I’m equally engaged by all the storylines. The central character (Meredith Grey) and her conflicts — yes, I really love all that. But I’m not disappointed when the story turns in a different direction, because I want to know more about all the rest of them, too. Not that I like them all; Christina infuriates me but I’m still oddly drawn to her.

Now I’ve got to get down to work, because I’m trying to write a difficult scene. I don’t have so much trouble writing attraction or conflict dialogs, but this kind of pivotal scene where a relationship takes a turn — aiaiaiai.

Robyn just sent me a link that I wish I had had years ago. EH.Net is a joint venture of historical economists at Miami University and Wake Forest, and where exactly where these people when I was writing Dawn on a Distant Shore? Part of what they do is to figure out relative values over time:

Calculate present value of money from 1257-present day
This currency converter produces present-worth values
for money through history, using a wealth of different
systems. It applies to the UK and US, and depending on
the method used, you can get price and value
comparisons all the way back to 1257.

In 2004, $1.00 from 1900 is worth:

$22.37 using the Consumer Price Index
$19.02 using the GDP deflator
$108.01 using the unskilled wage
$149.07 using the GDP per capita
$575.24 using the relative share of GDP

EH.Net also has a feature called Ask the Professor:

Professors who have done research in Economic History are volunteering to assist others interested in learning more about the field.

This makes me happy. For which I will not excuse myself; I am a historical novelist, and we are a nerdy lot.

4 Replies to “Grey's, and the relative value of money”

  1. Wow – that’s amazing. Your Mathematician might even get into that one. I mean, just look at how many different ways there are to value a dollar before you even compare the then and now.

  2. Re: Grey’s Anatomy. Love that show! Love it. Sandra Oh kicks butt! And that George is so cute, someone should snap that boy up. I don’t like the Meredith character so much. She is a bit whiney.

    Patrick Dempsey is dreamy, and he’s from Maine! (My home state.)

    I meant to comment about this when the post first appeared, but didn’t, mainly because this is exactly what I wanted to say the first time, and it wasn’t really adding anything to the conversation. I am commenting now because of your contest – I hope this counts!

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