Popsicle Math

My summer job between grades in high school involved pushing an ice cream cart around the neighborhood where I lived, dispensing Popsicles, Fudgesicles, Creamsicles, and banana pop-ups.  Kids would flock to my magic bell and pay for the goodies with handfuls of change.  Upon returning home I would diligently sort out the Mercury dimes, buffalo nickels, Walking Liberty halves, and occasional Standing Liberty quarters.  A dime went a long way back then.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed the proliferating popularity of discount stores.  Specifically the author highlighted new openings.  Dollar General said they hope to add 635 new stores this year to the roughly 11,000 currently operating.  Dollar Tree is planning to add 200, bringing their total up to some 4,400 and Family Dollar wants to add 500 to their current 7,000 locations.  There certainly appears to be quite a demand for bargain priced merchandise here on the old sod these days.  Can we say a buck goes a long way?

Here’s the point.  Back in the day, pre-1965 that is, I could take ten dimes and buy a silver dollar.  I could also go shopping at the local Woolworth or Kresge, then called five and dimes.  Today I can sell that same silver dime for a tad over two dollars.  That means the 99 Cents store is actually selling goods for a nickel when adjusted for inflation.  I hope we never see the day when dollars are a dime a dozen.