Monday, May 30, 2022

Consumerism vs Inflation

It is not about who has the biggest sale -  it is about remembering (Rhonda)

Thank You.

We now return to our regularly scheduled rant.

We are all acutely aware of how inflation is wreaking havoc with our paychecks and discretionary spending. The blame lies in many areas:  Covid-related pent-up demand, unnecessary regressive tariffs, supply chain disruptions, and baby-boomers enjoying our last hoorah; after all, you can’t take it with you. There may even be a shot of Biden inadequacy that is currently conspicuous. 

Whatever the reason, we have not seen the likes of this in decades.  For those that can afford it, an annoyance.  For those at the lower-income threshold, devastation resulting in many difficult decisions. 

The available tools are simple economics 101 - Again, affecting the least able to cope.  

Short-term there may be one simple thing we can collectively do.  

No one loves shopping and new fashion better than I. There are times I am powerless when seeing and desiring a new top, skirt dress, and ___________; you fill in the blank for your obsession. It is part of being transgender to see a beautiful, well-put-together woman at the mall and think how that outfit would look if we were wearing it. Thus, the obsession to find and own it (outfit not her).

Just last week I went into the Tommy Bahama store in my local mall. Their fashions fit my new casual style and the tropical-look that is so prevalent here in South Florida.  I have several dresses for there. That day's purchase, the top shown below:  The linen top I liked is described this way

Our lightweight Linnea linen drapes beautifully, creating a sophisticated silhouette complemented by a chic tie front that brings your entire outfit together. 100% linen”. 

There is no question it is cute and the small fit me well in all the right places. (vanity sizing)  It looks great and impulsively, I bought it. 

The price $84.50. When I returned home a severe case of “buyers remorse” set it.  Can I afford it - yes.  However, that price for something so casual, and basic is unjustifiable.  So, I am returning it. 

There was one other experience I had that very same morning that drives home my rant. I love to have a cup of hot tea in the morning (my coffee alternative). While waiting for the mall stores to open, I ordered a small hot tea at Starbucks. I was given a small cup of hot water and a teabag.  $3.18. Even taking into account their enormous overhead, still three dollars for a teabag?  Buying a box of 100 or more at my local grocery runs about that same price or $4.04 Amazon.  Will I purchase hot tea at Starbucks again? Unjustifiable!

I would like to think that some of the inflation is caused by retailers having to pay covid returning retail workers a living wage. I know personally for my part-time retail job, this is not the case. Also Starbucks workers are seeking union representation to have better working condition and pay. (In the past eight months... close to 250 other Starbucks stores have followed, driving a surge in union election petitions not seen since 2015.)

There are many consumables we have few options other than shopping for the best price. Our only collective, short-term, option is just say “NO” to nonessentials when a price is unjustifiable. Maybe the merchants / corporations will get the message?  

Over simplistic I know. Your comments please.


  1. Not Buying stuff is not only good for limiting inflation, it's good for the environment as well. As much as I love clothes, I am cutting way back on purchases. I will spend my limited resources on life experiences.


    1. Velma comments.
      ECONOMICS 201+ ect...
      For a quick read for a more reasonable perspective....
      Basically there are 1.6 Billion more folks on 'the third rock from the sun' and most have the internet, and they see what you have and they ALL want a 'Middle Class, American lifestyle'. NOBODY wants the trash, the smog, or scrap plastic.
      The unwritten rules of economics:
      1. There is a real world cost for all goods and services. And NOBODY WANTS TO PAY, Everyone wants a discount.
      2. Stick the 'other guy' with the bill.
      3 YOU are the 'other' guy.

      From Ghandi:
      In Hind Swaraj he described the quest for material goods and the endless multiplication of wants as “Satanic.” If India were to follow the industrialism and economic imperialism of the West, he warned, it would “strip the world bare like locusts.”
      How about a read on real forces of inflation: Skip the graphs...

      About that cup of tea...... Yeah, but the nice folks at Starbucks also want to have a life, not just serve you tea.
      Oh! Wait-- Perhaps the 'Starbuckers' (Walmarters') (Amazoners') could live "10 to a two room shack 'out behind the mall'... That would surely keep prices down....
      AND if they start to protest perhaps TRUMP2024 will "Just shoot 'them' in the legs,,"
      As for Tommy Bahama, these items are priced 'For the MARKET' --That means Tommy 'knows you, and your wealth, and where you live (Palm Beach) and how much he can screw you for..
      My wifes Rousuvastatin generic is $0.05/per online. The retail original is $300.00 / 30. The original costs more to produce? Bullshit.
      We used to buy 'Ralph Lauren POLOS from the manufacturer (yes, made in USA--circa 1980) in South Carolina for under $25.00. Retail was well over $60.00.
      One of the great unwritten rules of THE MARKET...
      SHOULD YOU....
      RUN LIKE HELL...


  2. Amen, sister!
    - Juliet