"Let Them Watch TV": These data contain price indices for various items for the general urban consumer. Categories include medical services, college tuition, college textbooks, child care, housing, food and beverages, all items (i.e. general CPI), new vehicles, apparel, and televisions. The base period in value was originally the 1982-4 average, but I converted the base period to January 2000. I use these data for in-class discussion about how liberalized trade has made consumer electronics (like TVs) fractions of their past prices. Yet, young adults face mounting costs for college, child-raising, and health care that government policy has failed to address.



A data frame with 2377 observations on the following 3 variables.


a date


a factor for the particular category


the price index. Base: January 2000


Bureau of Labor Statistics, via the blscrapeR package.


Inspiration comes from a blog post titled "Chart of the day (century?): Price changes 1997 to 2017", which was published by the American Enterprise Institute on Feb. 2, 2018.