The Washington Post in good deal on a digital subscription, from now until 2072

Guess what a digital news subscription might cost in 2072? First, of course, there’s the matter of inflation, a subject of renewed interest these days. In real dollars, $50 today is the equivalent of just $7.70 fifty years ago. In 1972, you could buy a dozen eggs, a pound of steak, and 10 pounds of potatoes for a grand total of $2.93, not the $18.25 they’d run you now. The median price for a new house was $27,000. If the next 50 years are like the last 50, a 2072 Big Mac will cost you $32.46 instead of $5. And then there’s the problem of knowing what digital news subscriptions will look like in half a century.

(Assuming news subscriptions still exist! Assuming news publishers still exist! Assuming we’re still calling it “digital” and not, like, “intercranial” or something! So many assumptions.) Will paying for news be even more of a niche activity than it is today, or will it be as normal as paying for whatever we’re calling the Internet by then?

Fifty years is a long, long, long time. No one has any idea what the market for high-quality news and information will look like then. But The Washington Post would like to offer you, today, an annual digital news subscription for $50 — for the year 2072. At least that’s the premise behind this intriguing subscription offer that arrived in my inbox Sunday: Subscribe to the Post today and they will guarantee you the same price for the next half-century.

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