Hot fried bacon pieces in a cast iron view
Hot fried bacon pieces in a cast iron view

Wealth & Poverty Review Bacon Innovation

Originally published at Substack

In 1919 bacon was 53 cents a pound and blue-collar workers were earning 43 cents an hour. It took these workers 74 minutes to earn the money to buy one pound of bacon. In 2019 bacon was $3.68 a pound and blue-collar workers were earning $32.36 an hour. A pound of bacon cost them 6.6 minutes.

Since 1919, innovation has reduced the “time price” of bacon by 90.7 percent. For the time required to earn one pound of bacon in 1919, a worker would get 10.78 pounds in 2019. We are getting 978 percent more bacon for the same amount of time.

Without human innovation, instead of $3.68 a pound, bacon would cost $39.66. or 978 percent more. The next time you have bacon for breakfast, take a moment to smell the innovation.

Gale Pooley

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth & Poverty
Gale L. Pooley teaches U.S. economic history at Utah Tech University. He has taught economics and statistics at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Alfaisal University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Brigham Young University-Idaho, Boise State University, and the College of Idaho. Dr. Pooley serves on the board of