Friday, August 08, 2008

As I was just saying....

I was just talking about all the stupid explanations for "what's wrong" and the template answers that "activists" have for things and how these ideas spread.

Look at the bull-crud people will buy into! I think I remember colored bell peppers being much less expensive in the past than they have been in the past 3 or so years. And I've been meaning to type in to Google "why are bell peppers so expensive" just to see what comes up.

And I just did.

Yahoo has this "Yahoo Answers" web service where you go out and ask a question and then anybody can answer it and then people vote on the answers and I think the asker can close comments once he/she thinks the question has been satisfactorily answered.

Now my guess as to why they are much more expensive than green peppers was that it takes longer to grow them because you have to wait for them to ripen. Hence they are more expensive to grow and I'm sure that's part of it. Why they've jumped in price in the last several years I suspect has something to do with demand.

But here's a couple of the answers that were left to a person asking why yellow bell peppers are more expensive than green ones:

They are priced SO high since forever..!No one buys them and the ones who do,, just support the "fair market nonsense"If the store sells ,,, one,, Justifacation ..and if not the store claims the loss on their proffit for taxes..
Aside from this person obviously gettting a commission based on how many commas he uses ("Justafication" for his income, I suppose), it is also clear that this person has no concept how pricing, supply and demand -- actually works. He has bought into the socialist perspective that there's some sort of natural "fair market price" that is independent of production costs and supply and demand. In other words, he buys into socialism. Sadly, he doesn't even make any sense saying that "nobody" buys them, "and the ones who do..." --- huh?

With apologies to The Blog That "Nobody" Reads (which is obviously a joke now since lots of people read it and it was a self-depricating joke to begin with) -- either nobody buys them or some people do. Mike (the commenter) clearly doesn't understand taxes, either, as you don't subtract a tax write-off from your tax bill, you subtract it from your taxable income -- which means you probably save, what, a third of what you lost by claiming it as loss. Or whatever your tax rate is. It would be better to sell the pepper at a bit of a loss than to charge so much for it that it never sells.

But that's what these "activist" types teach people to believe. Business is bad, profit is bad. Anybody making a profit is screwing the little guy. It's bullshit.

And that wasn't the only answer that went that way. Here's another:

That's interesting, here in the UK all the major supermarkets that I use charge the same price.Sometimes large corporations just charge what they can get away with. If consumers are used to a higher price for one thing over another they will continue to charge extra, just because they can!

Yeah, like Power to the People, man!

If people pay a certain amount for a good or service, it is worth it to that person. If you can't get enough people to buy your product at the price you are asking, you lose money and you need to figure out a way to lower your price. If you're making enough money at it -- you don't.

And if somebody else figures out how to product that product at a better price, people will start buying it from them instead of you. And now you either need to figure out how you can lower your price and stay in business, or you go into another business.

That's how capitalism works in a free-market system. It drives prices down. It drives efficiency up. Which increases everybody's standard of living as we spend less time meeting our basic needs and more time persuing leisure or things we want above and beyond our basic needs.

That little iPhone you got there you're so proud of? Probably wouldn't exist for another thousand years if it weren't for such a system. And even if it did it'd likely be way to expensive for your average Joe.

As it is, it's still too expensive for me. It's not worth the price to me. So I didn't buy one. Nobody's screwing me over.

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