Edited - I had old numbers. Conclusions changed.People should expect and be prepared to pay a reasonable price for a Mustang GT and not expect to be getting 460 HP of RWD, V8 power and relatively modern creature comforts, for anywhere below $30k.
the entrypoint for GT is 37K (2021). The regulatory burden since 2019 is not the same as from 20 years ago. The Ecoboost entrypoint is 29K.
If people bought just 100A/300A the Mustang is still reasonably affordable - 3100hrs at $12/hr, 2500hrs at $15. In 1996 a 'base' GT was $17,600. I was making $7.5/hr at McDonalds after school for a time value of 2300hrs.
17600 in 2021 dollars is 30300 so yes the price has increased faster than "official" gov't inflation. 7K (22%) to account for labor, environment, legal burdens after 25 years is definitely high.
But more so it's the prices of the upgrades that is out of control.