Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pay more, and get less!

Ever notice that what be buy nowadays isn't like it used to be? We've all seen the cost of living go up steadily over the years. From apples to automobiles, prices have climbed, in some cases, beyond what the average person can afford. I guess this is progress, but now that we're living on a fixed income, it's time for some serious discussion of the subject.

What started this whole train of thought was an estate sale we did last December. The sale was held in a condo in a neighboring town, which in itself, is not unusual. What was amazing, is that the condo had been sealed up since the early 1980's, with everything left as if the people would be back in a moment or so. There were no perishables in the house, but everything else provided a trip intro the past.
The couple that had owned the home, had several others, so this was like a vacation getaway for them. They bought things at the local stores, and in many cases, never even took them out of the boxes. I was amazed at how much prices had gone up on many items!
For example, a roll of Aluminum Foil is a pretty basic thing to find around a home. However, a 1970's roll of the "heavy duty" stuff is at least three times as thick as the current offerings. The price was also 80 cents less than the same item\brand today. Do we get what we pay for? I think not.

However, what really got me to thinking, was literally nothing to sneeze at! It was a few boxes of Puffs tissues. They were the "designer" ones that you see in the stores in the little square boxes. They had been sitting in the bottom of a closet since the 1970's, and smelled of mothballs (as did the whole condo).
The tissues in the still unopened boxes were priced at 85 cents for a box of 100 ct. Fast forward to today, where the same box of Puffs contains 72 tissues, and costs $1.30 or more. Living here in the Ozarks, I've discovered a truckload of allergies I never knew I had. I go through at least a box of Kleenex a week.

And that's the point of this whole tirade. We have been loyally buying products over the years, and paying more and more over time, while getting less and less.
Wages in America have not gone up as fast as the cost of living, and we're slowly finding ourselves unable to buy the things we used to. While it may seem unimportant that the cost of Kleenex has gone up, think about the cost of an automobile, and the gas it takes to run it. That's at the far end of the consumer spectrum. We ourselves, can no longer afford a new car, and can barely afford the cost of gas and repairs for our old one.
Consumers have been getting a bad deal, and it's showing no signs of letting up any time soon.

Thanks a lot, corporate America!

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