Here are a few teasers:
- In 1947, Americans spent 42% of their income on food and clothing; in 2007, we spent only 16%.
- In 1967, 26% of food spending went to farmers; in 2007, that was down to only 14% (1947 figures are not available for everything Rose tracked).
- Transportation accounts for only a little less now than in 1947: 8.5% compared to 9.3%, BUT...
- Manufacturing the cars takes only 3% of our transportation dollars compared to 7% in 1967.
- Health care is soaking up the largest shift in dollar-flow: from about 5% in 1947 to 18% in 2007.
- Advertisers, lawyers, and other "business service" people took 15% of our food dollars in 2007, compared to the 14% that went to those who actually produce the food.
- In transportation, 24% of our 2007 money went overseas for imported oil and vehicles, compared to only 7% in 1967; and auto retailers (sales and service) declined from 41% in 1967 to only 26% of our transportation dollars in 2007.
- Legal and insurance fees for transportation jumped from 9% to 21% in the same period.
- Stephen J. Rose, "How We Spend and what that tells us about the economy". The Atlantic, April 2012, pp. 46-7. (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/04/how-we-spend/8906/)