Archive for economy

Inflation Is Even Worse Than You Think

By | May 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

We all can see when the prices of what we buy go up steadily. But this is only one aspect of inflation. The other aspect is decline in quality.

  • It is impossible to ignore how loosely rolls of toilet paper fit into holders. They used to fit snuggly. Now the rolls have undergone at least their second round of shrinkage. As our behinds get wider, the paper gets narrower. Soon the lines will cross. In former times on the farm, people used old Sears Roebuck catalogues in the outhouse. Now that option no longer exists. Soon toilet paper will become indistinguishable from calculator paper.
  • A famous brand of hotcake syrup was thick and tasty. But it was updated by watering it down till it is almost tasteless and runs off the hotcakes like water.
  • A package of frozen vegetables used to last for days. Now it barely lasts one day. But who looks at the small print to see the actual weight?
  • Cars used to be made of sturdy steel. I dented the fender of my upscale car by shoving it with the palm of my hand – and I am hardly a cage fighter. I would feel safer with heavier-gauge steel and fewer airbags, but no one asks my opinion. I’m just the customer whose life depends on the product.
  • Rubber bands used to last for years. Now they disintegrate in a month or two. Smog is blamed, but smog was much worse in the past.
  • The supermarket used to carry paring knives with handles that were comfortable wood and blades that were full tang. Now the knives have cheap plastic handles and narrow blades that look like they might snap when slicing a crisp apple. Of course, the price is higher.

I’m sure you could come up with other examples. We tend to blame shoddy articles made in China. But many are made in the US or other nations. Thinner, flimsier, weaker, smaller is not limited to any nation. This less obvious form of inflation is international. But at least we can admit it exists and take it into account when we calculate increases in the cost of living. But look on the bright side. If we run out of calculator paper, we can always use toilet paper.

 

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