Inflation sucks caca shake through a broken sieve, but working against it is the fact that many digital and industrial products are getting so cheap you just can't believe it if you're "of a certain age".
For instance this 50mm 1.8 lens for Nikon, selling new, autofocus and all, for eighty-two dollars.
Granted we don't know yet exactly how good it is, but I'm pretty sure that 1: it's not as good as a $600 lens. 2: It is probably actually pretty good. It's been many years since I've heard of any new lenses which were bad, and those were even just some samples being duds. I would be quite surprised if this lens is not at least as good optically as the kit lenses coming with typical cameras. Not a zoom granted, but then it's faster and may have nice bokeh, background blur for portraits and such.