For a British magazine, The Economist uses a very American method to measure costs over time: the Big Mac Index, first developed in 1986.
The Index uses the price of the McDonald's staple to calculate inflation by country, by year. In 1993, Americans paid $2.28 for a Big Mac. In 2015, the same sandwich costs Americans $4.79, a 110 percent increase in the last 22 years.
But not all prices have gone up in the last two decades: 1993 was the last time Congress raised the gas tax, to 18 cents a gallon. As former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood tells The Takeaway, that's a problem for the nation's crumbling transportation infrastructure.
Before his time in President Obama's cabinet, LaHood served 14 years as a Republican congressman from Illinois. His new memoir, "Seeking Bipartisanship: My Life in Politics," reflects on years in politics, and celebrates bipartisanship, a trait he finds to be woefully lacking in Congress today.
What you'll learn from this segment:
- Why a Republican like Ray LaHood was drafted into the Obama Administraiton.
- What role transportation has played in America's economic recovery in the last few years.
- How he views the current political climate in Washington, D.C.