No More Crap On-A-Stick And Calling It A Lollipop: Inflation Is Killing The Deplorables & Everyone Else…(3 Attacks…)

Monday, April 29, 2019
By Paul Martin
April 29, 2019

SD Outlook: In this busy week, both the Fed and Trump will have many chances to remind us that the crap we’re being fed is actually steak. Here’s why…

I’ve been noticing a crap-ton of price inflation everywhere I go, and on everything I buy.

No pun intended.

Where I live, the cost of a monthly bus pass has gone from $50 to $60 (I don’t ride the bus, but if I did that would be a substantial hit to the wallet for transportation), and transportation is something which, whether we use public or private transportation, we all must pay for regularly, and now riders using the monthly bus pass must pay 20% more per month.

Yet Inflation’s low?

The cost of internet service is increasing by $10 a month beginning in May. In my opinion, internet is not a “nice to have” but a “must have”, and where I live, an increase in $10 per month is another substantial hit to the wallet that we all must pay for regularly, and now, depending on what speeds a person purchases, this could be a more than 20% increase that must be shelled out monthly.

Yet Inflation’s low?

My wife’s worker-contribution to her health insurance coverage is increasing by $10 per month, and I have to admit, I don’t recall the specifics, only to bring up a recent example, so it could be a $10 weekly increase or a $10 bi-monthly increase just as well, but more importantly, my point here is that there is really no way to say, “I’m not payin’ that” because when you have kids and when you yourself are a pretty healthy yet actively-concerned and engaged forty-something, doctor visits are a fact of life, and they’re downright expensive with no insurance.

Yet Inflation’s low?

There have been a few more examples of inflation over the past couple of weeks that I’ve noticed, and it is interesting because two of them are “derivatives” of inflation, commonly called “forced obsolescence” and “shrinkflation”.

First, for the regular old “price inflation”, we just got an email that Netflix is hiking again, and the hike will begin on our next bill. We’ve subscribed to Netflix for several years now, but only ever to the streaming service, and I think it started off at $7.99 per month. Again, my memory is spotty on exactly how much, but Netflix will now either cost $12.99 or $13.99 plus tax (crappy memory, but it’s not like we’re going to cancel anyway). Now I get it, Netflix is not a “must have”, and while it is not, this is representative of what is killing the Deplorables.

Yet Inflation’s low?

In other words, at everywhere you turn, and everywhere you look, and on pretty much anything you would buy, with the only exception being silver, ironically, everybody wants an extra $10 here and an extra $10 there.

It used to be called being “nickle-and-dimed to death”, but since the US dollar is literally hyper-inflating in front of our very eyes, the idiom must be updated for the 21st century to “Being ten-and-twentied to death”.

Yet Inflation’s low?

On to the inflation derivatives.

First an example of shrinkflation.

This used to be a term reserved to describe food, as in at one point we all bought 16 ounces (one pound) of savory crackers. Then the box contained 14.9 ounces. I’m pretty sure the box is now 10.XX ounces, and the 16 ounce size, at a much higher price, is now called “family size”, or something stupid like that. But that’s not my point – my point is that many goods become subjected to shrinkflation that aren’t even food. Have you noticed how less thick and less wide toilet paper has become? Or my personal favorite, which I just discovered recently, Zest bath soap, as in the bars, seem to have brand new molds because that a bar of soap is now thinner in the middle than the bar is on the ends (think of a dog bone treat). Shrinkflation is particularly bad because you get less for the same price, and it does seem, to me anyway, anecdotally, that prices are starting to creep-up even as product continues to be removed,

Yet inflation’s low?

Finally, I’d like to talk about “forced obsolescence”.

A few years back we bought a cordless power-tool set from Home Depot. The 18-volt rechargeable batteries will no longer hold a charge or charge to a level that is useful. One of the selling points of this cordless power-tool kit is that you use one battery across the spectrum of power tools. As such, most people would have two batteries and one charging unit, like we did, so a fresh battery is always ready for use when using the tools for an extended period of time, or when using more than one tool at a time.

So I head over to my local Home Depot to buy a couple of new batteries because I’ve got some manly projects I’ve been putting off, and what do I find? Well, besides not one single employee to assist me after looking all over the power tool battery section for ten minutes. I find that Home Depot no longer carries this battery. If I want to keep using the power tools, I will need to upgrade to a new battery AND a new charger. The two batteries cost $118 (in a 2-pack, which we would need), and I didn’t even price the charger because, I mean, dang, I bought the stupid tool set from the “selling point” that I could come back and buy replacement batteries when I needed to. We’re only talking a few years ago, yet this blatant, in your face, “upgrade or die” mentality is killing the Deplorables. And here’s the thing – those batteries aren’t even being made anymore, so even if I did find some “new old-stock” batteries, they will be not just over-price, but the batteries will also be of lesser reliability due to the “just sitting around” factor. Furthermore, even if I did find two overpriced batteries, what would the chances be of me finding them again in a few more years when I would repeat the process? The tools are in fine shape, but that forced obsolescence forces you to pay up, almost as if the whole concept was “we’re gonna sell you this set, and we’ll tell you that you can replace components and parts as needed, but when you actually need to, we’ll screw you by forcing you to buy new components and parts because we will have never intended to actually follow-through on what we said anyway”.

Yet Inflation’s low?

Inflation is killing the Deplorables.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to ask “inflation’s low”.

I meant to ask “Inflation’s VERY LOW”.

Because of, well, this:

The Rest…HERE

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