The rise of household appliances transformed lives, dramatically decreasing the number of hours per week devoted to doing laundry, preparing meals, and cleaning. Not only do these devices that you might take for granted, such as the dishwasher, save time, but they have also become more affordable. When cost is measured in hours of labor, the free market has reduced a dishwasher's cost by 61%.
Markets tend to bring down prices, meaning that many material goods are essentially "on sale" when compared to 1979. Explore the data.
Chelsea Follett is the managing editor of HumanProgress.org.