NPR logo

Episode 586: How Stuff Gets Cheaper

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/366793693/366860503" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Episode 586: How Stuff Gets Cheaper

Trade

Episode 586: How Stuff Gets Cheaper

Episode 586: How Stuff Gets Cheaper

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/366793693/366860503" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A HDMI cable used to sell for $50. Today you can buy one for $3.61. aleighn/Flickr hide caption

toggle caption
aleighn/Flickr

A HDMI cable used to sell for $50. Today you can buy one for $3.61.

aleighn/Flickr

We tend to get obsessed with things that get more expensive over time — college tuition, say, or health care. But lots of things have actually gotten cheaper in real terms. Things made by machines. Things like consumer electronics.

Some new gadget comes out with a $1,000 price tag. Two years later it costs $500. There's no law of nature that says this must be so. And yet it happens year after year.

Today on the show, we visit a company called Monoprice. And we go into a room where people sit all day and try to make stuff get cheaper.

Music: Chester French's "Next Big Thing (featuring Pusha T. & Pharrell)." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/Spotify/ Tumblr. Subscribe to the podcast.