In general, economists in the U.S. insist there is no real inflation. How do they explain the price gouging going on at the corner gasoline station?
Prices fluctuate for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is wholesale cost of goods. If gasoline has a wholesale price of $3.50, and a retail price of $4.00, then the retail price usually goes up in a corresponding manner from an increase in the wholesale price.
In other words, there’s a mathematical relationship between wholesale and retail.
So, why is the corner gasoline station charging me an extra 20-cents for a refill of Pepsi-Cola? That’s a price increase of nearly 30-percent.
I checked. The wholesale price of Pepsi-Cola fountain cannisters did not go up by 10-percent, or 20-percent, or whatever. In fact, it didn’t go up at all. Yet, the corner gasoline station decided to increase the retail price for a refill of Pepsi-Cola by 20-cents.
I’m outraged. And thirsty.
This kind of price gouging puts a serious dent in my cola drinking capability during a week. Hey, a budget is a budget. Am I going to be forced to resort to buying Pepsi Cubes and drink from cans? Perish that thought.
To be fair, Pepsi-Cola is less expensive by the can than by the fountain drink, including the discount on refills. The refill process is simple. Buy one 32 ounce or 44 ounce soft drink in the gasoline station’s logo plastic drinking cups at the regular retail price, and the refills are offered at a discount.
A discount that costs 20-cents per refill more today than it did yesterday.
Did I mention that I’m outraged? Cans are an inconvenient and less satisfying option. True, the cola taste is good, especially after the cans have been refrigerated for at least 24 hours.
However, cans also cost an extra 5-cents due to the local recycling laws. Yes, the cost comes back but only when the cans are recycled. A plastic cup refill can be used until it breaks, sometimes for years.
Then there’s the whole issue with crushed ice, a free addition at the Pepsi dispenser in the corner gasoline station. The ice is a rough crushed ice, perfect for nursing and crunching, sometimes for over an hour after purchase.
Pepsi in cans requires a separate purchase of crushed ice, destroying completely the can cost savings, and the value of having ice that is pre-crushed.
Inflation, or no inflation? The economists have it wrong. There is inflation and it has struck me down and ruined my day.