Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA


We had a gas crisis in Arizona two months back. The Arizona Republic was full of Letters to the Editor whining about price gougers. Over 600 people had written the Governor's office complaining about stations selling gas for over $3 a gallon and demanding she do something about it. Fat chance. We have a Repubo controlled state government but for once, they weren't to blame for the bickering.

Speaking of fat, it was all reminiscent of the folks who blamed the fast food industry for their chunky bodies. "They couldn't be satisfied selling us a cheeseburger. It had to be a double quarter pounder with cheese, and then meal deals that added supersized fries and drinks." Folks, the basic cheeseburger is still on the menu.

Our free market system is based on supply and demand and creating a need/greed. The former is simple. If there is a short supply of something and demand is high, you can charge a high price and your customers will pay. Creating need/greed is complicated but I'll explain it in tinker toy terms for any sheep who might be reading.

Remember the Beanie Baby craze? Did anyone NEED Beanie Babies? No. Ty marketed them by creating a need. They said they would make only a certain amount of each baby so it would soon become a collector's item. They even published books showing high prices for retired Beanies. (Prices no one would pay.) The sheep bought into it and stores had to limit purchases because people were lining up to buy Beanies as soon as they were introduced. The greed had set in. Hoarding began. Yet no one got rich on Beanies except Ty. Today you can buy hundreds at yard sales for a dime each.

Why were people waiting in line for gas at over $3 a gallon? Because they needed gas. They could have shopped around, phoned stations, found the best price in their area. I saw stations selling at $2.25. But people are creatures of habit. They wanted to buy gas where they always did, but the price was high, so they got angry at the people selling it at over $3. Yo sheep, if no one stopped there to buy, they'd lower their price.

To the fast food junkies - Who's holding a gun to your head? You get to choose what you eat and how you spend your money. If no one purchased meal deals, they'd disappear from the menu. The industry is supplying YOUR demand.

Start putting the blame where it belongs - on your own shoulders. Sheep buy into these things. Like Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
# posted by Marcia Ellen @ 6:57 AM
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