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How Stuff Gets Cheaper (Classic)

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How Stuff Gets Cheaper (Classic)

How Stuff Gets Cheaper (Classic)

How Stuff Gets Cheaper (Classic)

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1004857510/1004904037" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
aleighn/Flickr
HDMI cables used to cost $50. Now they sell for less than $5.
aleighn/Flickr

Note: This episode originally ran in 2014.

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.

On today's classic episode, 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: "Amber Lights" and "Slide by Slide."

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