Living in the US is actually remarkably cheap compared to other places in the world. Measured by purchasing power, the USD in the US is very strong. Inflation lowers the purchasing power of a currency, which makes things cost more of the currency (although as your wage will have increased with inflation, it won't actually be much more expensive for you to buy). Here's a graph of the US CPI (Consumer price index, it represents the relative cost of consumer products). Look at the blue line. Compare this against my conveniently backwards income data (not the same time scale, don't let that catch you out!) and you will see that the two charts follow a similar trend, meaning that trumpets haven't actually become massively more expensive.