Local propaganda almost always serves to screw the little guy. With rare exception, it never fails to do so.
“Hey! What about me?”, screams the local electric company CEO. “We really need to double the monthly service charge for our local residents to manage our costs. But let’s also throw in a double digit rate reduction for those who use a lot of energy. Like the billionaire and his businesses. After all, they create the jobs out here!”
And the story drones on. The trash company that owns a multitude of companies that have virtually nothing to do with trash, wants to hike your bill. Because they need to hit their numbers. Just like everybody else. The insurance company. The gas company. The local government. The state government. Heck, every local monopolist and oligopoly is thrusting their well oiled lobbyist machines right at your shrinking wallet.
Guess who else is doing it now? The auto parts stores.
I now pay as much for conventional motor oil as I did for synthetic just a few years ago. Battery prices have nearly doubled. Items that used to only come in small containers, such as brake fluid and power steering fluid, are now heavily marketed in containers bigger than your head. For just a mere few cents of extra liquid the nationwide auto parts chain can improve their profits by “Big Gulp” margins.
Who pays? You do. Not to mention your shrinking shelf space in the garage.
This tactic of suckering in the consumer with the allure of the large item is nothing new. During my last visit to ‘Cheap Discount Auto Parts Emporium’ I could have sworn I heard the intercom speaker blare out the following in their classic phony, cheesy shopping voice.
“Attention customers! Need to tackle a big job? Why just buy the Titanic version of our bountiful fluids! The more you spend, the more you save!”
Then the voice got slightly more sinister.
“Just make extra sure you don’t kick over that bottle while doing it Mister D I Y. In which case we also have a gallon of driveway cleaner for only $19.99. Oh, and before you forget, since your tranny is also going south, please make sure you also buy 10 small quarts of our store brand transmission fluid instead of two large containers. We’re hiding those in the back for our commercial customers. Have a nice day!”
And they are hiding them in the back for now. When I asked our store manager for the five quart containers of the store brand tranny fluid, she couldn’t locate them. Anywhere.
They turned out to be in the back room along with all the other discontinued items.
Folks, if this keeps up we’ll have to rid ourselves of all those wonderful cheap beaters. Apparently it costs too much money to be cheap these days.