I’ve mentioned before about my like of Mars Bars and how I’d have one everyday when I was at secondary school. A pint of milk and as many white buttons as my dinner money allowed finished lunch off just fine.
Mars, as a company, were kind of different from the other confectioners. They had a policy of reducing the size of the bar to match a price point rather than whacking the price up. It was a kind of cheat really especially when they started to make the giant Mars bars which were major chocolate hit and then they reduced the size until it was little bigger than a normal Mars bar.
At the moment Mars bars have shrunk a significant amount and the giant one has long since gone due in no small part to the calorie Nazis. Other manufacturers have also jumped on the bandwagon and reduced what you get for your money rather than putting the price up.
Everything now is made to a price point. T-shirts from Gap bought a couple of years apart are not the same quality they seem to contain the same amount of fabric. It’s the same with everything apart from the premium brands who reduce their quality and put the prices up!
You’ll remember quantitive easing? That much used tool by the Bank of England? The idea was to print money and pump it into the economy to get it moving again. But they gave the money to the banks and it didn’t reach the wider populace.
That’s bad enough but what is much, much worse is that printing money leads directly to inflation. Not the paltry 2-3% we see at times but the 20% range that some of us have seen in the past. Inflation pushes prices up and then wages follow.
But if we are now in the Mars bar economy the prices don’t go up or at least they don’t go up by nearly as much. We just get conned into thinking we are buying the same as we did last week or last month when in fact we aren’t. Is this a good thing?
Do we have to keep a check on quantities and quality of what we buy? Looks like we do. Of course, none of what is happening at the moment can be sustained longer term; unless of course something else comes along to distract us.
Maybe the establishment, the political class and rich will ensure a great catastrophe takes place. Like climate change? They didn’t do so well with that apart from convincing those who are easily led or who thought they could use it to bring about societal change, which they so desperately want.
Money talks is a well know saying. What does it actually say? Goodbye. It says goodbye. We are all frantically trying to ensure we say as few goodbyes as possible but we may not be in as much control of that as we think we are.
Since I wrote this the horse meat in burgers thing has been in the news. I can’t help think that it’s linked to trying to keep the prices down by supermarkets and in turn, their suppliers trying to keep their margins up.
I’ll follow this up a bit more in a couple of blog posts time.