"That you may ruminate"

…On What $25 Will Buy You.

Posted by Steve on March 21, 2009

Apparnetly, $25 won’t just buy you the exact same service that used to be free, it’ll also buy you somebody stealing your stuff while they do what used to be free.

Yes, I realize that checked baggage didn’t used to be “free”, it was just included in the airfare. But, did airfare go down a corresponding $25 when the $25/bag fees went in? No. So, we went from a seat on a plane and a piece of checked luggage costing, say, three hundred dollars to… the same seat and piece of checked luggage costing three hundred twenty-five dollars! That additional charge also doesn’t prevent them from losing (or apparently robbing) your luggage, so it’s pretty clear that the quality of the baggage handling hasn’t improved with the additional charge.

Wonderful: consumers get to pay more for the exact same thing they’d been getting! That’s almost as good as “pay just as much for less”, which is what they’ve started doing with ice cream. Used to be, ice cream came in a half gallon. Then they dropped it to 1.75 quarts; now, a lot of companies have switched to 1.5 quarts (I’m looking at you, Breyer’s and Kroger’s), but not lowered their prices accordingly. As far as I know, the only exception is Blue Bell, which 1) costs a lot and 2) is not available in most states – including mine (unless you’re willing to pay $120 to get 2 gallons shipped to you… I’ll pass).

These things annoy me, but I don’t know what can be done to change them. I mean, asides from eliminating inflation and population growth so that there’s never any more economic change… honestly, I wouldn’t object to eliminating change, once everything gets to a state worth keeping in eternal stasis, but the world is in no such condition yet.

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