The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do
Publisher: Gildan Media
Date: January 2011
Duration: 9 hours 28 minutes
"What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."
The Price of Everything starts with a pretty simple premise. There is a price behind each choice-individual, collective, or national-that we make. Whether we're deciding whether or not to buy a cheeseburger, go to the doctor, go to college, or go to war, everything has its price. And Porter sets out to explore them all, seeking a broad understanding of how we set prices and how prices change our lives.
But the strange connections and hidden motivations he uncovers are anything but simple. They are unexpected, sometimes shocking, always interesting, and ultimately highly enlightening. Porter has a gift for uncovering the hidden logic of price that drives all our actions. His stated goal takes him in some interesting and rather counterintuitive directions, such as:
Â· Assigning an actual price tag to women and tracking their rising value as a function of economic growth
Â· Comparing the cost-per-vote in corrupt SÃ£o Tomé to the supposedly less-corrupt (and less efficient) campaign spending of U.S. politicians
Â· Explaining why McDonald's burger menu pricing encourages irrational behavior
The Price of Everything will show listeners how prices, both explicit and unspoken, move people and societies. A cosmopolitan journalist with a taste for empirical observation and an appreciation for the social sciences, Porter's wide-eyed approach brings new life to his subject. His broad perspective leads him to draw unexpected connections bridging disparate disciplines and cultures. In this fascinating and elegant narrative, Porter proves just how prices have enormous influence on people, in fact shepherding the flow of our lives.