Understanding inflation and its effects is vital for everyone participating in the economy, which is, well, everyone. Just like how the residents of Westview didn’t know that they were living in Wanda’s world, our MCU fans didn’t know they were about to learn so much about inflation.
In its most basic form, inflation is just the increase in the level of prices that translates into a decline in the purchasing power of money. Simple, really. When Wanda started to lose her grip on Westview at first, the milk Wanda uses is almond and switches to a carton and finally, a glass bottle. These are all the same volume, but their prices are wildly different. Ignoring that almond milk isn’t cow milk, for a second, the price of a gallon of almond milk is $3.75 cents, while the price of a gallon of milk in 1985 was only $1.70. Back in 1950, represented by the glass bottle, that same gallon would’ve only cost you 89 cents.
Inflation often occurs when there is too much money chasing too few goods. Consumers hate inflation, because nobody likes paying more for the same thing and seeing their savings become worth, well, less. Inflation is measured by the consumer price index or CPI, a weighted average of the prices of various goods and services, including primarily; food, shelter, transportation, and household expenses. This basket of goods and services is intended to represent the experience of a typical consumer. The weights are based on usage habits and adjusted every two years in Canada and every five years in the US. It’s a bit harder to fully notice inflation on a yearly basis, but when comparing prices from different decades, the jumps are far more drastic.
When watching WandaVision, it’s interesting to imagine that as the show progresses through the decades, the inflation rate in Westview would be going up as well. If we calculate inflation over the decades in the show, the rate in Westview would be a whopping 30% per week. While, it’s not addressed, at that rate of inflation vision’s job at the data processing office would be inadequate to support a family of four by the time they make it to the seventies, Ultimately, inflation means different things to different people. Since we don’t live in the bubble of Westview, it’s important to understand what inflation is and how it can affect you.