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Big ideas of 2015: Falling costs

Lower prices are a good thing—so long as they do not fall too far. The health of the global economy in 2015 will depend on whether this balance is reached

Advances in wind and solar power are driving down the price of alternative energy

Everywhere, prices of goods that loom large in the economy are falling—food, communications, energy (see Ed Davey, p18). Even a standard smartphone can fulfill almost all of the functions of a desktop computer (see “The internet of things,” below).

“Vloggers”—video bloggers discussing youth culture—make short videos in their bedrooms for YouTube, for instance. Millions watch the vlogs; the most successful can make…

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