The father of one of my lifelong friends was an executive with a major auto manufacturer. He was fond of pointing out that, relative to many commodities, automobile prices increase at a very reasonable rate. The unstated problem, of course, is that if the cost of a loaf of bread doubles, it can be hardship, but most families can cut back somewhere to make up the few dollars. If the cost of a car doubles, it's suddenly completely out of reach of a lot of families. He was a smart guy, and I know he could understand this. However, having lived most of his life at considerably above the median income, he had no intuitive grasp of the problem. He could only see one side of the economic equation: the marketing side.