We've all felt the pain at the pump over the past few years. I really felt it driving back and forth from Maine to Massachusetts every day from 2005-2006 for grad school! I decided to see exactly how much more we're paying in relation to what we're making (using federal minimum wage rates). A picture is worth 1000 words, right? The facts will shock you! Someone making minimum wage in 1960 could buy a gallon of milk and gas and still have 20 cents left. Nowadays, they'd be in the red by 30 cents!
I gathered federal wage information from a federal site, the milk and gas prices from Flashback Economy and other sources. Â I then calculated the total inflation from 1960-2011 for milk, gas, and wages, and then what a minimum wage earner would have left over after buying a gallon of each, if anything.