As someone who works in what is now called a legacy industry, that is, the newspaper business, I found it more than a little amusing to think that those of us who still are associated with the printed page might also consider ourselves vendors of luxury goods.
How do I come to that conclusion?
I was checking the price of precious metals in my usual fashion. Silver is at $18.72 an ounce. That means that any old .900 fine silver coin is worth 13.38 times face value.
I have made calculations like this many times over the years, but for some reason, this time it pushed my memory in a strange direction.
When I began delivering newspapers in 1966, I charged my customers 35 cents a week. That covered five regular daily issues plus the Sunday paper, which I delivered to my customers late Saturday afternoon.
If you bought an individual copy, the price was 10 cents each.
If you multiply that by the silver value of that old dime, it means you would pay $1.38 for an equivalent copy today.
If you have recently purchased a national newspaper on the newsstand, a price of $2 is the current price.
That means newspapers have risen in value far more than the price of silver.
Does that mean they are becoming something of a luxury good?
I would rather think that to be true than think it is a mark of obsolescence.