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# What was the value of \$200 in 1963 worth today?

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Mike Davis, in his 2018 book The JFK Assassination Witness Index, gives interesting information on Lee Harvey Oswald’s relationship to the FBI.  On pages 92 and 93 he discusses a Top Secret meeting of the Warren Commission on January 27, 1964.  Attending the meeting were Warren, Russell, Cooper, Boggs, McCloy, Dulles, and Ford absent.  Lee Rankin was also there.

The meeting concerned information given to the Commission by Waggoner Carr, Texas Attorney General.  This was information that came out during the Jack Ruby trial concerning Oswald being an undercover agent, or a paid informant for the FBI with a FBI informant number of 179.  Carr said this information came from a source he trusted and had complete faith in.

This information was that Oswald was a paid informer for the FBI beginning in September 1962.  He was paid \$200 per month.  And, that’s the point I want to discuss.

The point I want to make is Oswald was never poor in Russia and afterwards when he returned to the US.  He certainly wasn’t rich.  But, he was not the poverty stricken, ragtag fellow the Official Story folks made him out to be with poor starving Marina and family while he wandered through a procession of low wage jobs.

In Russia Oswald was given a lot of money (by Russian standards) which made him fairly wealthy and powerful as a supervisor in the Experimental Shop of the Minsk Radio factory.  But, he also acquired a 30 agent KGB entourage of spies keeping track of him.

In the US He was given the \$200 dollars from the FBI, plus money from any low paying job he had at various times.  This says nothing of a possible CIA/ONI salary.

My contention is that Oswald was framed by the authorities as a poor uneducated loser who assassinated a president.  He was framed as a poor, out of touch with society, and a psychotic loser when he was the opposite.

Consider the following information about the value of \$200 in 1963.

The Output Measure

\$200 in 1963 would be the same proportion of output as measured by GDP that \$7,131.41 is today.

For the definitions of the indexes go to The Seven Indexes Used.

We present here specific "Definitions of Relative Worth" for the combinations of each of the seven indexes applied to each of the three types of items.

 Item Measure Commodity Income or Wealth Project Price Index real price\$1,783.17 real wage or real wealth\$1,783.17 real cost\$1,366.51 Compensation labor value\$2,147.40 or \$2,853.71income value\$4,076.69 relative labor earnings\$2,147.40 or \$2,853.71relative income\$4,076.69 labor cost\$2,147.40 or \$2,853.71 Household Expenditures real value in consumption\$2,127.37 household purchasing power\$2,127.37 household cost\$2,127.37 Output economic share\$7,131.41 relative output\$7,131.41 economy cost\$7,131.41

For more on the definitions go to Definitions of Relative Worth.

The numbers presented here change often during the year and will not be available at a later date. For scholarly publications it is recommended the results from Seven Ways Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount be used as they can be reproduced at a later time.

For additional assistance, see Choosing the Best Measure of Relative Worth, the Tutorials, or the essay Measures of Worth.

If that later figure is accurate it explains why Marina never looks poor and distressed.  If I am recalling correctly Oswald's financial information was hidden from the public and still is?

Just as a quick inflation measure over time I use the postage stamp.  It is a fair approximate average.  Stamps cost 5 cents in 1963 and 55 cents today.  That's a factor of 11.  11 X \$200 = \$2200.  That is a close approximation of the middle values of the table above.

Edited by John Butler
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51 minutes ago, John Butler said:

He certainly wasn’t rich.  But, he was not the poverty stricken, ragtag fellow the Official Story folks made him out to be with poor starving Marina and family while he wandered through a procession of low wage jobs.

Oh really? Do you have a SHRED of evidence to support this contention? Virtually EVERY witness who knew the Oswalds after they moved back to Texas from the Soviet Union testified to their poverty.

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1 hour ago, Jonathan Cohen said:

Oh really? Do you have a SHRED of evidence to support this contention? Virtually EVERY witness who knew the Oswalds after they moved back to Texas from the Soviet Union testified to their poverty.

If you can't accept the above then there is nothing I can do for you.

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Right. So as usual, you have no actual EVIDENCE to support your theories. Waggoner Carr may have believed whatever he was told about Oswald being a paid FBI informant, but there is no documentary EVIDENCE to support that claim. Conversely, there is AMPLE first-hand evidence from those who knew the Oswalds in Texas after they returned from Russia that they were barely able to survive on Oswald's meager income. The White Russian community took pity on them for this precise reason. I'd like to know where you think Oswald was hiding the riches he pocketed as an FBI informant. What did he use this money for? Why didn't he leave more of that money behind for Marina on the morning of the assassination? And if he was so wealthy, why did he profess to only have \$60 to his name in the note he wrote the night of General Walker's assassination attempt, and that the Red Cross would be available to help Marina if he was "taken prisoner" and sent to the "city jail" ?

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Let's see?  The WC was not concerned that folks such as reporters were talking about Oswald being an FBI agent.  It wasn't a big concern.  There was no Top Secret meeting to discuss it.  All the members were like Ford and didn't attend.  Waggoner Carr, a staunch WC advocate, was just a xxxx.  Who would believe him?  Oswald was not Agent no. 179 or 172.  No one told Carr about the FBI and Oswald.  \$200 was an insignificant amount of money in 1963.

Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade, Special Counsel to the Attorney General Leon Jaworsky, and Dallas Assistant District Attorney Bill Alexander rushed to Washington to spread more false rumors about Oswald, the FBI informant.  Dallas County Deputy Sheriff Sweatt didn't tell SS Agent Moore anything about agent Oswald.  Hudkins, a reporter from the Houston Post, didn't spread that information to all the reporters in the area.

I guess there was no documentary EVIDENCE available in this situation.  Nah, I think there was.  Solid evidence that this was a concern of the WC.  As far as Oswald and secret money from the FBI was concerned, he kept it secret.  Oswald knew his spy craft.  He knew how to keep secrets.  He went to his death without revealing who he was.  Oswald was not a low level agent or a wannabe agent.  He was always involved with high level spy skullduggery.

Edited by John Butler
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The Warren Commission meeting about Waggoner carr is in the executive sessions of the Warren Commission report. The sessions are listed by the date they occurred so it will be easy to find January 27th. They took the report seriously.

One reason I would doubt that Oswald was a high-level spy is that I assume they would set up a low-level person as a patsy. The more sophisticated they are the greater chance they will catch on to being set up.

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Chris,

Oswald's military career was all about radar and the U2.  Then, he is in Russia giving the Russians information on radar and the U2 primarily to shoot down the U2..  That's why he was sent there to disrupt any talks or agreements for peace between Eisenhower and Khruschchev in 1960.  The next part of Oswald's life is complicated and somewhat difficult to understand.   He may have been interacting with the Cubans to sniff out Cuban plots in New Orleans and in Dallas involving Kennedy, other wise why     fool around with the Cuban exiles?  Cuba was a dead issue to the MIE complex and they wanted a more profitable war than Cuba.  Viet Nam.  That's speculation on my part, but others also consider this.  Next is the patsy phase for Oswald.  He was being set up for this in New Orleans and Dallas.  HIs stint at Jaggers, Childe, and Stovall was a prep for some sort of action involving Cuba.

I personally think that Oswald failed in some way in Russia or in New Orleans and his masters begin to think of him as disposable.  Or, it could possibly result from Margarite saying he was a spy, or government agent.

Edited by John Butler
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According to the inflation calculator I used, \$200 a month in 1963 projects out to \$1713 and change in 2021, or about \$20,000+ a year. That would be the equivalent of someone making under \$10 an hour today at a full-time 40-hour-a-week job.

And \$10 an hour today is poverty-level.

Now, if Ozzie was making \$1.25 an hour in 1963, that would figure to just over \$11 an hour...for the times he was working.

Anyone know what Texas unemployment paid in 1963?

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2 hours ago, Mark Knight said:

According to the inflation calculator I used, \$200 a month in 1963 projects out to \$1713 and change in 2021, or about \$20,000+ a year. That would be the equivalent of someone making under \$10 an hour today at a full-time 40-hour-a-week job.

And \$10 an hour today is poverty-level.

Now, if Ozzie was making \$1.25 an hour in 1963, that would figure to just over \$11 an hour...for the times he was working.

Anyone know what Texas unemployment paid in 1963?

Mark,

I had not realized the poverty level had risen so high.  I haven't been paying attention.  The only figures I know is from the VA.  If you are 100% disabled then you can work until you reach about \$13,000 or so without running afoul of VA guidelines.

This is from the feds.  I highlighted the poverty level for a family of 3 and later 4.  That's what Oswald's family was like in 1963:

2021 Federal Poverty Guidelines Chart

The HHS issues poverty guidelines for each household size. For example, the poverty level for a household of four in 2021 is an annual income of \$26,500. To get the poverty level for larger families, add \$4,540 for each additional person in the household. For smaller families, subtract \$4,540 per person. Guidelines for Alaska and Hawaii are higher since it's more expensive to live there. The chart below calculates it for you:1﻿﻿﻿﻿

 Number of People in Household 48 States & DC Alaska Hawaii One \$12,880 \$16,090 \$14,820 Two \$17,420 \$21,770 \$20,040 Three \$21,960 \$27,450 \$25,260 Four \$26,500 \$33,130 \$30,480 Five \$31,040 \$38,810 \$35,700 Six \$35,580 \$44,490 \$40,920 Seven \$40,120 \$50,170 \$46,140 Eight \$44,600 \$55,850 \$51,360 For nine or more, add this amount for each additional person \$4,540 \$5,680 \$5,220

Oswald was unemployed for a great deal of the year in 1963.  Let's assume he obtained his \$200 per month from the FBI.  That's \$2400 per year.  And, lets assume that he was getting \$1.25 minimum wage for the work he was doing for a half of the year at a 40 hour per week job.  That is \$50.00 per week or roughly \$200.00 per month.  Or about \$1200 dollars per year or maybe less.  This doesn't take into consideration any unemployment pay or a salary as a spy for the CIA/ONI.

That would give him about \$3600 for the whole year of 1963.  Inflation calculated:

This would be a value of \$32, 118.00 shown for a year.  Without unemployment and a FBI informant fee Oswald would not even have met the poverty level.

And, that is what we were supposed to see.  Oswald living off concerned acquaintances, not friends or relatives.  I think the whole story is unbelievable.

Edited by John Butler
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8 hours ago, John Butler said:

Without unemployment and a FBI informant fee Oswald would not even have met the poverty level.

And, that is what we were supposed to see.  Oswald living off concerned acquaintances, not friends or relatives.  I think the whole story is unbelievable.

Not only is it believable, it is supported by a wealth of primary source, documentary evidence and numerous witness statements from people who knew the Oswalds well during this period of time. That's more than can be said for your conjecture about Oswald's lucrative career as a spy.

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7 hours ago, Jonathan Cohen said:

Not only is it believable, it is supported by a wealth of primary source, documentary evidence and numerous witness statements from people who knew the Oswalds well during this period of time. That's more than can be said for your conjecture about Oswald's lucrative career as a spy.

Only if you religiously believe what the WC says.