The thing that baffles me about this is that money seems to be or should be in short supply reducing people’s spending power and yet prices seem to go higher and higher by the day.
We have been victims of an international recession as much as the mighty US and money is not flowing as much as it might have, which has its spin-offs in loss of jobs, frozen salaries and minimal wage offers as with the PSA, not forgetting , of course, the closure of Caroni Ltd which has further reduced the amount of spending money available.
In such a scenario my layman’s economics tells me that a demand for products drops which means that prices should fall as has happened in the US. But not here! My research shows me that real estate prices in the US, due mostly to the recession and resulting foreclosure, have become phenomenally low in some areas to the tune of US$1000 for a house while here we do not talk about thousands, only millions for the average house. A used car there ranges from US$600 for the average car to US$1200 for a decent SUV.
It’s the same on necessities like pepper which continues to sell at five dollars for four as if the floods are still with us and garlic has moved from five dollars a pound to seventeen dollars as if it has suddenly acquired life saving properties. This blatant price gouging at every level of consumption has become too pervasive in this society and like crime, it must stop!
And the solution is very simple! Sellers cannot maintain unreasonable prices if people refuse to buy or buy less if they must. This is our power as consumers and it is my hope that, like in the US, that if a product goes up unfairly by as much as a penny we must let them know where it would hurt the most, in their pockets.
It’s time that we acquire that kind of sophistication to take control of our lives in a critical area of our existence, and stop the complaceny or the whining and complaining which have almost become cultural.
Dr Errol Benjamin