I watch business news and keep up to date on supply chain, human and material resource trends way more than I need to or should. Having said that, I am absolutely convinced that many of the outlandish prices we’re currently being charged for goods and some services are being inflated, not because of increased costs (material, supply chain or people), rather we’re being charged more simply… “because they can”. When I question a cost, I get the canned “supply chain”, “inflation” or “material and staff costs have increased” answer. Funny, because in some instances I’ve checked material prices and resource costs and for those that have increased, they haven’t increased the amount that is being passed on to the consumer. For example, costs may have increased 9%, but I’m being charged 35% more for X product/service?
I’m not an economist, and I’m sure there are micro and macro issues, and I’d bet interest rates are part of the equation, and there are probably debits & credits and price elasticity that are involved somewhere too… and regardless if it’s the republicans or democrats fault, because that’s where every conversation goes now, at the end of the day the simple math just doesn’t add up.
I’ve stopped allowing companies to “gouge” me. I’m not going to pay 35-40% more today than I did 3 months ago just because they can charge it. I may regret this, as prices may increase even more, especially because I live in a town full of people who I’ve determined often times have more money than sense, but for me it’s a matter of principle.
No need to send me charts with sloping curves, explanations about M1 & M2 or economic data disputing my admittedly unscientific hypothesis; honestly, I won’t read them. I’m not so naïve to believe there aren’t some industries that are seeing material, human and other costs rise, but I don’t believe it’s at the level being passed along to consumer(s), and I’ve decided to stop paying a premium just because it’s easy for companies to charge one.
I know that my actions alone will not change the demand curve, nor will I be able to materially impact the much needed lowering of prices, but I can’t in good conscience keep overpaying for goods and services I feel are being unjustifiably inflated.
Maybe a butterfly in Portugal will flap its wings and fix this entire mess…