A lot, duh.

I’m thinking in particular, well, sorta particular, about the increasing importance of money. I don’t yet know how to prove it systematically and thoroughly but it’s true and I think relatively obvious that this happened in the US over the 19th century — More and more of people’s wants and needs came to be satisfied via stuff gotten through purchase. That is, the stuff that people used to meet their wants and needs were increasingly commodified over the 19th century. This means a rising cost of living, in terms of money, regardless of whether or not prices for specific goods went up and regardless of whether or not wages rose, because people had to purchase more stuff. This spread the wage bundle out. It also made access to money more important — the larger the portion of one’s life requires one to make purchases, the more important money is. I’d like to be able to show all this in much detail.

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