Which meant that I could buy 5 gallons of gas for an hour’s work, ignoring tax taken out of my paycheck, etc.
I could buy a cheap fast food meal for about 3.16USD, a bit more than a half hour’s work.
Not going to say how much I get paid now, but let’s call it 12USD/hr for the sake of mathematical simplicity.
Gas is something like 3.50USD a gallon, so it takes 17.5USD to buy five gallons of gas. “Cheap” fast food meals run about 5.65USD now (smallest size available of whatever the cheapest thing is).
I get paid more than twice what I used to when I first started working about 14 years ago, but it takes me more hours at work to earn five gallons of gas than it did when I started working. The price for a cheap-o fast food meal has gone down for me slightly even though it is still pretty damned pricey.
Very little has actually gone down except our real buying power.
For a fast food employee to be making the equivalent entry level pay that I was making 14 years ago on the basis of gas prices, the minimum wage would have to be 17.50USD/hr.
Most client-facing IT workers I know are making less than that.