Gale Pooley,

Gale Pooley

Hawaii, United States

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Past articles by Gale:

AriZona Iced Tea Has Been 99 Cents in the U.S. for 30 Years

This article originally appeared in Gale Pooley’s Gale Winds Substack. AriZona Beverages began in New York City in the early 1990s the inspiration of Don Vultaggio. The colorful 23-ounce cans have become icons. AriZona doesn’t advertise much. It relies on its creative design to attract attention. “We use packaging and a value story, then a great product inside,” Vultaggio said. “The first time a… → Read More

Peter Thiel’s Pessimism Is (Largely) Mistaken

At a recent conference at Stanford University, the American entrepreneur Peter Thiel poured ice water on the idea that humanity has made much progress in recent decades. Thiel, the brilliant billionaire who helped to start Facebook and PayPal, is famous for saying, “They promised us flying cars, and all we got was 140 characters.” At the Stanford conference, he doubled down on his pessimism,… → Read More

Time Equality Is Increasing Dramatically

The Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson notes that you should “compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who someone else is today.” Since we all get exactly 24 hours a day, and no one can really buy time (otherwise, rich people would never die), it might also be better to compare differences in how we spend our time. Instead of comparing differences in money income between people, we… → Read More

Knowledge Grows When We Consume It

Thanos was right in that there are a finite number of atoms in the universe. But he was dead wrong about resources being finite. Resources are atoms that have been organized in a way that creates value. Resources are “intelligized” atoms. Knowledge is what makes atoms valuable. The number of atoms is finite, but the growth of knowledge is not. As the American economist George Gilder notes, “The… → Read More

Musical Abundance

Thomas Edison developed the original phonograph record in 1877. The first playable records were made from paper pressed between two pieces of tin foil. On March 15, 1949, RCA Victor became the first label to roll out 45 rpm vinyl records. They were smaller and held less music than the popular 78s and were printed in different colors. Rolling Stone notes, “Teenagers of the Fifties took to the… → Read More

The Time Price of Watching Baseball Has Fallen to Seconds

A ticket to a Yankees game in 1923 cost $1.10. Unskilled workers back then were earning 22 cents an hour so it took them five hours of work to earn the money to buy a ticket. Blue-collar workers were earning 44 cents an hour so it only took them 2.5 hours. Today you can buy a live stream package for every Major League Baseball game for $64.99. The season schedule generally consists of 162 games… → Read More

Refrigerator Abundance

An advertisement for a 1956 Frigidaire refrigerator has recently been making the rounds on social media thanks to the appliance’s impressive features, like a removable produce drawer and automatic ice ejector. Hundreds of thousands of people fawned over the product, claiming that it is superior to the ones available today. As often happens, the truth is more complicated. For example, the… → Read More

Cordless Drills on Sale: Buy One, Get 41.8 Free

Technically speaking, the first “cordless” drill was the hand-cranked bit and brace drill, which was invented hundreds of years ago. You can still buy one of these classics at Amazon for around $57. Black and Decker introduced the first battery-powered cordless drill in 1961. “It was a great advance,” Mr. Decker said, “but people weren’t prepared to pay $100 for it.” Blue-collar compensation… → Read More

Even with Gas Prices at Historic High, Your Time Takes You Farther

The top-selling car in 1980 was the Oldsmobile Cutlass. Gas mileage on this vehicle averaged 20 miles per gallon (17 city/23 highway). By 2022, the Honda CR-V claimed that title. The CR-V reported mileage at 31 miles per gallon (28 city/34 highway). This represents an increase of 55 percent over this 41-year period. Mileage has been increasing at a compound rate of around 1 percent a year. Back… → Read More

Are Gas Prices Really the Highest in History?

USA Today recently reported that gas prices are the most expensive that they’ve been in U.S. history, breaking the record from 2008. The U.S. Energy Information Administration notes that the average price of a gallon of gasoline reached $4.22 in April 2022, the highest nominal price ever and 16 cents higher than the previous record of $4.06 in July 2008. But does the nominal money price really… → Read More

The Simon Abundance Index 2022

Does population growth lead to greater resource scarcity, as argued by the English scholar Thomas Malthus and, more recently, by the Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich? Or does population growth coincide with, and perhaps even contribute to resource abundance, as the University of Maryland economist Julian Simon has argued? The Simon Abundance Index (SAI) measures the relationship… → Read More


The pizza chain Little Caesars is raising the price of its famous $5 Hot-N-Ready pizza for the first time in a quarter-century. The staple diet of college students everywhere was first introduced in 1997. This fine chart provided by Professor Jeremy Horpedahl shows the number of pizzas the median U.S. worker could buy if they spent all their weekly earnings on pizza. That’s a nice illustration… → Read More

The Gift of Life Years

We measure life in quality and quantity. Quality can be a challenge because it is different for everyone. Measuring quantity is much easier­—just count how many people there are and multiply that figure by how long those people are expected to live. According to the website OurWorldinData, in 1800, there were 1 billion people on the planet. Today there are over 7.8 billion of us. That website… → Read More

Drills on Sale: Buy One, Get 17 Free

Black & Decker was founded in 1910. They have been selling the one-person drill since 1914. Their inspiration was a Colt pistol with a handgrip and trigger. In 1946, they introduced the first 1/4 -inch home utility drill. It sold for $16.95. In 1961, they launched their first cordless drill. “It was a great advance,” Mr. Decker said, “but people weren’t prepared to pay $100 for it.” Spending… → Read More

Virtualizing Christmas Abundance

It’s hard to believe that the Oculus virtual reality headset is only five years old. Released to the public in 2016 at a price of $599, the original Oculus Rift sported a 1,080 by 1,200 OLED per eye display for a total of 2,592,000 pixels. The Touch — a technically optional but very important component of Oculus— costs $199. The setup also required a gaming PC that cost $1,000 or more. That… → Read More


Americans love toys. While we represent only 4.25 percent of the world’s population, we buy 34.3 percent of the toys sold on the planet. Out of the $95 billion of global toy sales in 2020, U.S. consumers spent approximately $32.6 billion. Why do we buy so many toys? It could be that we love the prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks the price of toys and reports that since 2016 prices… → Read More

The Gift of Flying Home for Christmas

Airports will be busy again this Christmas. According to Kayak data, domestic flight searches are up 155 percent compared to 2020, though they are still 43 percent lower than in 2019. Fortunately, we continue to enjoy the gift of decreasing airfares. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that since 2016, airfares have decreased in price from an index value of 270.9 to 203.8, or 24.8 percent.… → Read More

The Reason We Are So Rich Is That There Are So Many of Us

Many products have high fixed costs and low marginal costs. It costs a lot to develop the product, but it is cheap to make copies. Drugs are a good example. If it costs one billion dollars to develop a new drug, but each copy of the new pill only costs a dollar, how much should you sell it for? The answer depends on the size of the market. If the market is one thousand people, your costs are… → Read More

Paul Ehrlich Ignores Abundance Again

Paul Ehrlich can’t admit when he’s wrong. In his 1968 book, The Population Bomb, Ehrlich predicted that “in the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death” due to unchecked population growth. Instead, people started farming more efficiently. Then, Ehrlich famously lost $576.07 to Julian Simon in 1990 when he made a 10-year bet that five basic metals would increase in price. The… → Read More

The Fastest Learning Curve in History?

The Human Genome Project was an international effort to map the entire three-billion-letter human genome. The project launched in 1990 and concluded its work in 2003 – 50 years after James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA. The U.S. government contributed $3.8 billion toward the project, though the cost of the actual sequencing was lower. Dr. Eric Green, the… → Read More