The graphs were inspired by this tweet from Chris Dixon:
@harryh @paulg government data on inflation is very interesting - best indicator of where innovation is needed. http://t.co/q6FBzB2G3t
— Chris Dixon (@cdixon) March 16, 2015
I made the graphs in Tableau using his linked table, and normalized all results by the overall price index to get real prices.
Detractors might argue that the health care price index doesn't fully reflect quality improvements. But high US health care costs are hard to dispute.
There's other great narratives beyond those highlighted above. Notice musical instruments were eight times more expensive in 1929. That fact, combined with cheaper personal electronics, seems to nicely explain popular music in the second half of the 20th century.