The inflation is low until we look at how the inflation is calculated and how quality of life deteriorates. The dollar has lost 84% of its purchasing power from 1949 to 1995. In old movies like The Grapes of Wrath (1940), I could be wrong but I think even with a cent the protagonists were buying food. In The Wrong Man (1956) same thing, the amount of money used to go to the dentist was not in par with nowadays. The most striking example I have heard was with the Japanese currency. 100 JPY to go from Manchuria to Kobe by boat after the Second World War (numbers I got from an interview with Mifune Toshiro, an actor). Nowadays 100 JPY is worth less than $1.