Recently we've been hearing politicians such as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) chomping at the bit to put price controls on pharmaceutical drugs, with almost no sense of economics or history about how prices change over time.
In 1926, a nice radio cost $7,175 (in 2019 dollars), and it took up more space than the giant flat screen you probably have in the family room. Speaking of TVs, in 2007, a 50-inch HDTV cost $7,046 (models of the same size and with much better quality go for about $250 today). In the "golden age" of airplane travel, tickets cost at least double today's prices. In 1975, buying and selling stock cost $100 per transaction (it's now less than $5). And calling your aunt in Los Angeles from New York for ten minutes cost $27.75. The same call now is practically free -- 2.3 cents per minute -- or actually free, with a service like Skype. One measly megabyte of computer memory cost $411 million in 1957 -- now the same amount costs less than a single penny.