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Saturday, April 19, 2008

$4.19 Nation

A while back we blogged in horror about the fact that a loaf of bread was going for $4.19 at our local independent grocery store. But now, it seems that $4.19 has become the price of all sorts of stuff that used to be a lot cheaper. Yesterday at Fred Meyer, we looked at a six-pack of Canada Dry ginger ale, and sure enough -- $4.19. And of course, gasoline will soon be there, probably by mid-June. The beat-up American consumer just keeps taking it in the wallet.

Comments (29)

We all owe President Bush a tremendous debt of thanks for these last 7 years. Nothing is more precious than time and President Bush has managed to make these 7 years feel like a century. The image I have now is of Uncle Sam beaten, gagged, and tied to a chair as the Bush/Cheney gang ransacks the house for any last valuables before hopefully being chased out of office by what's left of our Constitution. And even that merciful departure is not for sure. While these criminals have lectured us on their profound devotion to America they've managed to destroy almost everything but the economy, and that's what's happening now. When you see that oil has gone from 20 dollars a barrel to 120, the only question is how come prices haven't gone up even more - but that's coming. Every possible trick is in play right now by these cretins to keep appearances through this year. Only then will the full brunt of their misdeeds land on America - even as the GOP machine gears up to tell us that it was all a magnificent glorious win.

Well at least Bush stopped blowing up buildings.

Can't we all just get along?

See you at CGW.

Speaking of Fred Meyer prices...a couple weeks ago, I saw a 12-pack of Mt. Dew bottles there tagged at a "regular price" of $12...but on sale that week for $7.50. Then I saw the same 12-pack of bottles at Target was under $5, not on sale.

Freds is just expensive.

If it's not "on sale" at Fred Meyer, you have to be careful. Items "on sale" usually come in at a decent price, though.

Sometimes they make you buy two of the item to get the right price. But hey, if it's something you use a lot of, and you have room to store the second one, you go for it.

IT'S ALL BUSH'S FAULT!!! LOL! Bill, you crack me up!

Ponder for a moment the power you've assigned to this man. For one man to completely dominate, control and manipulate the entire private, public and political infrastructure of this great, diverse and dynamic country, all for his own personal gain, he must be brilliant beyond anyone's imagination....

Oh, wait....I thought he was as dumb as a box of rocks.

It doesn't take intelligence to do this, James - only power, and a willing, greedy, and unscrupilous staff to carry it out.

Is Peak Oil all Bush/Cheney's fault now?

It's got nothing to do with global demand exceeding global supply, or rising standards of living in Chindia et al?

Bush doesn't control world commodity cycles, but he deserves some blame for the declining value of the U.S. Dollar (not to mention Clinton's passage of NAFTA). Also blame the U.S. Congress for corporate tax rates that are higher than Germany or France (not to mention a raft of less developed countries), and their instransigence on opening up oil rich coastal waters to new oil and natural gas exploration.

Further to Bill's comment:

You forgot to mention that Lady Liberty is also bound, gagged, bloody, beaten and gang defiled on the master bath floor.

I am sorry for the imagery, but it's true.

Curiously, the date of this article is also 4/19.

If you think that is bad, go to Vancouver, BC where a six pack of BUD's will set you back $11 CAD! That's what you get when the left wingers are in control. Vote for Obama and you can expect them same, here in the US.

R. James, I see your point about George W. and I sense a winning Republican position for the Fall: "There's no way our guy screwed things up this badly. One man just doesn't have the power to make this big a mess." I like it, and believe me, it hurts me to acknowledge this no-talent little dry-drunk could cause this much havoc. Of course, there's a huge apparatus behind him starting with Dick Cheney. I believe it's a Neo-Con thing.
And if you don't think Iraq affected the oil markets, perhaps you'll get it if we go into Iran. Or not. I sense a true believer here. You know: George equals Messiah.
And maybe you don't think our economic policies have hurt the dollar any, which is part of the oil-buying problem.
I know, let's just get this over with and say George W. is our Winston Churchill. Remember when GOP leaders tried floating that? And the reason 98% of historians see him as a massive failure, is because his brilliance won't become clear for another 50 years. Got it.

Sometimes they make you buy two of the item to get the right price. Actually, try buying one; you'll be charged half of the twofer price, even at a U-Scan.

I'm sure I closed the italics, put in a return, too...

Lady Liberty is also bound, gagged, bloody, beaten and gang defiled on the master bath floor

But it's ok. She's French.

Back to Fred "slightly better than Safeway" Meyer: I disagree with the comment about their on-sale items. Approx. 90% of the times I've bought something "on sale" by them I've realized that there was something wrong with it -- too much water in the tuna, nearly out dated, bad packaging, dry oranges, discoloration, whatever. I find it again and again (after getting home of course).

I'm sure they just try to get rid of whatever they're getting quality complaints on. Which makes shopping the sales at Freds the equivalent of going to Big Lots or the Dollar Store.

Except that at Freds you also get to pay 5$ for soup bones and $12/lb for thawed out, polluted China Sea fish meat...and you can buy a $40 Barolo that been kept nice and warm in their warehouse for a few weeks....grrr..sorry, it's my neighborhood store, it's either there or get in my car for groceries...

You're shopping Freddies all wrong. By the time I get to Freddies all the stuff that is on sale is sold out. You need to shop on Sundays like I do.

Greg C

Bill McD's foaming at the mouth has been fun to read this morning. Kinda like how Hillary's folks have been foaming at the mouth how bad Obama is. And also how Obama's folks have been foaming at the mouth how bad Hillary's been.

So, do we now have HDS and ODS, to match Bill's BDS?

Obama raising taxes sure will help...

You have to watch those two-for-one deals. Sometimes it will come up at half if you only buy one, but more and more the teeny-tiny print says "must buy two." Not that buying two is a bad thing if you have room, as Jack said.

It's kind of entertaining that $4.19 is now a "magic" number of some kind.

Actually, try buying one; you'll be charged half of the twofer price, even at a U-Scan.

Not yesterday. The U-Scan blipped in charges for both items, and only when you hit "Pay Now" at the end did it take off the price of one. I know because I made them explain this to me after second blip, before I went anywhere further with the order.

I'm sure I closed the italics

You hit "?" instead of ">". I will fix it.

I'll have a doctor check it out tomorrow morning. This sounds serious.

Uh... Bill... Al Gore still lost in 2000.

Today's conjecture is that nutshell-skull rightwingers have the temerity to blotto their Dittohead, or vice versa, on this blog here, (whereas they would stand mute of saying such things in any Halls of Policy, or vice versa), because here is misperceived as harbor from expense of slapstick comedy at their butt of. Just saying ... LOLOMOCK (Laughing Out Loud Over My Spittake-drenched Comedy Keyboard).

Mister Tee: Bushbutcher "...deserves some blame for the declining value of the U.S. Dollar (not to mention Clinton's passage of NAFTA). Don't mention it. Nor mention Nixxon abrogating Brenton Woods dollar-pegged Agreement, nor Raygun's signing over Social Security Trust funds as collateral securing loans from solvent (read: 'Sino') other countries.

Instead, the topic is: Why Things Cost $19.95 - What are the psychological "rules" of bartering?, By Wray Herbert, April, 2008.

Clever thinking and good comedy. It is funny for a lot of reasons, and one is that ... violates every psychological “rule” for how we negotiate price and value with one another. ... we employ some sophisticated cognitive tools to weigh offers, fashion responses, and so forth — all the to-and-fro in getting to an agreement.

But how does life’s dickering play out in the brain? And is it a trustworthy tool for getting what we want? Psychologists have been studying cognitive bartering for some time, and several basics are well established. For example, an opening “bid” of any sort is usually perceived as a mental anchor, a starting point for the psychological jockeying to follow. If we perceive an opening bid as fundamentally inaccurate or unfair, we reject it by countering with something in another ballpark altogether. But what about less dramatic counter offers? What makes us settle on a response?

... marketing professors ... suspected that something fundamental might be going on, that some characteristic of the opening bid itself might influence the way the brain thinks about value and shapes bidding behavior.

... three scenarios involving different retail prices: one group of buyers was given a price of $5,000, another was given a price of $4,988, and the third was told $5,012. When all the buyers were asked to estimate the wholesale price, those with the $5,000 price tag in their head guessed much lower than those contemplating the more precise retail prices. That is, they moved farther away from the mental anchor. What is more, those who started with the round number as their mental anchor were much more likely to ....

What if they priced a 6-pack at 6 bucks -- wouldn't they gross more revenue? What if taxes were an even 10 percent, instead of 8.6 percent or 17.2 percent; and why is gas 3 dollars and 43.9 cents -- shouldn't that be 43.99 cents?

I've been toying with shrinking the taxes which pay for all public employees (read: 'Government') until we can watch the Pentagon become the Square become the Trinity become the Line over/under and then the Point to drown in the Tidal Basin. (Read: Military is just public employees like Mayors -- fit for partisan ridicule or what-have-you.)

The UnSafeway on MLK and Ainsworth has marked down their meat to 1/2 price when it starts to go bad for years. I know, because I've been in there buying it...you just cook it for a really, really long time...I've probably saved thousands of dollars this way.

Incidentally, this is the only Safeway I've seen do this to the point that meat starting to turn odd colors of green is still for sale.

Years ago, this pile of discount meat used to just sit there for quite a while before those of us with thin wallets and cast-iron stomachs scarfed it up. Nowadays, it sells out within hours.

Tenskey: do you grow your own, or buy it?

If it's not home grown, any idea of the source country or seed varietal?

Because I've been getting ripped off.


The Fred Meyer I shop at also has the discount meat section at the far end of the meat aisle. I've shopped there before. It ain't pretty.

But I've also seen some higher end stores sell meat in the regular section that had turned gray when pulled from the fridge the next day.

When eating in America, it's best to focus on something other than the quality and safety of the food going into your mouth.

I guess $4.19 gas puts the kibosh on all the fulminating that happened when the Prius first became popular: you know, the extra couple grand would never pay off over the life of the car because gas was, and would always be, less than $2.00 per gallon.

Oh - let's nor forget that wondeful "fuel" ethanol and the nice fat subsidies all those producers get. An article on www.Bloomberg.com points out that virtually all the additional corn production worldwide is going into ethanol at a time when there are worldwide food shortages. And you wonder why anything with corn in it costs more right now; not to mention every 1% of ethanol added to gasoline reduces your mileage by 1% as well.

Jack, I hope this doesn't mean that Fred Meyer will up its $4 prescription drug program to $4.19. Of course, even if it did, that would still represent a huge savings for most people over what they had been paying.(And don't tell anyone, but I think Fred Meyer lowered its prices in response to Wal-Mart's $4 prescription drug program, which is reported to have saved consumers nationwide over $1 billion in the last 18 months.)

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