The Mystery of Inflation : Throughline Gas. Meat. Flights. Houses. The price of things have gone up by as much as nine percent since last year. The same amount of money gets you less stuff. It's inflation: a concept that's easy to feel but hard to understand. Its causes are complex, but it isn't some kind of naturally-occurring phenomenon — and neither are the ways in which governments try to fight it.

The Mystery of Inflation

The Mystery of Inflation

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Francesco Carta fotografo/Getty Images
Crumpled 1 dollar note on a yellow background.
Francesco Carta fotografo/Getty Images

Gas. Meat. Flights. Houses. The price of things have gone up by as much as nine percent since last year: the same amount of money gets you less stuff. It's inflation: a concept that's easy to feel but hard to understand. Its causes are complex, but it isn't some kind of naturally-occurring phenomenon — and neither are the ways in which governments try to fight it.

This week, we look at the history of inflation in the U.S., how we've responded, and who pays the price.