Kevin Drum has just lived through the perfect summary of the modern economy. Two years ago, he brought a Minolta colour laser printer for $1000. over the last few weeks, all the consumables ran out: four ink cartridges, a fuser oil roller, and a drum kit. The cost of replacing all these was $686. A new printer, of the same model, now costs $600 from Amazon, with free shipping.
It’s worth noting that the arithmetic is slightly different with HP inkjets. They come with specially undersized print cartridges when you buy them, so that it isn’t nearly cheaper to buy a new printer (£200) than to replace the cartridges (£50).