I mean, that’s 4 years of our lives taken! 4 years of opportunities that were more challenging because they wanted a number on a computer to go up! 4 years of feeling worse than necessary about my finances and management of them and general personhood because i felt like i couldn’t afford anything because everything was priced egregiously!

And now they’re saying ‘oh well we fixed it now’. Fuck you!!! Get over yourselves! Holy shit, I can’t wait to happily be friends with the giant corporations again!! Just the arrogance that we’re happy to once again be at their beck and call because they changed the numbers they could’ve always changed. Sickening.

And I feel like I have a brain disease because i’ve been worrying and posting for years about how disgusting it is that they’re just cranking the numbers up to see what’ll happen and obviously no one will stop them because this is an oligarchy — and i kept getting well-ackshullyied into the ground by esteemed logical posters explaining how supply chains work. Well look at this shit you motherfuckers!

Just the amount of incredibly deep and sophisticated social engineering is so disgusting:

It’s a savvy play for shifting perceptions of value, crucial for consumers in the decision-making process of where to shop for bread and eggs. Customers benefit by saving some money; retailers possibly benefit even more by being known as the company that magnanimously trimmed prices.

Go to hell, stop shifting my value perception. I should be able to decide what I feel about milk or zucchini. When I think about a croissant I should be thinking about France, not Target pricing strategies.

Most importantly, the theater of making grand pronouncements about lower prices is great for retailers’ reputations. Forget about all the price hikes grocery retailers and food brands implemented in the last few years — now companies would like consumers to focus on the savings they’re offering. “They’re all leaning into this inflation-oriented messaging,” says Stambor, which he notes is interesting because food inflation isn’t high at the moment. It’s the accumulation of past inflation that we’re still feeling the sting of; the prices just didn’t come down.

And we’re meant to thank them for this! I hope to god they can’t put the genie back in the bottle with this. I won’t forget 2020, I’ll hate these bloodsuckers til the day I die.

  • @[email protected]
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    2 months ago

    It turns out the supply & demand story of economics is basically horseshit, and if you look at how the economy works scientifically - which in this case just means paying attention to what actually happens and letting that shape your theories rather than demanding that your theories are correct and patching them ad-hoc to pretend you were always right - then essentially inflation is caused by price setters just hiking prices.

    https://strangematters.coop/supply-chain-theory-of-inflation/

    This is a decent interview with the authors where they also talk about how orthodox economists gatekeep their theories and launder other’s theories so they never have to admit they were wrong:

    https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-it-could-happen-here-30717896/episode/the-imf-admits-we-were-right-121530013/

    So yeah, you’re not crazy, it is just corporations using their price setting powers to shit on us, and economists giving them cover.

    • @Kyrgizion
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      252 months ago

      If we still had “real” competition, this wouldn’t have happened. Even during the pandemic competition would’ve/should’ve kept prices normal-ish. But of course we all know this isn’t how it works. Turns out that if a dozen or so companies own the grand majority of whatever their industry is, they behave like monopolists. Who could’ve possibly predicted such a thing?

      There was this bearded fellow in the 1800’s, but I’m sure he had no idea what he was talking about.

      • @[email protected]
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        62 months ago

        This is another story that orthodox economics tells, but the supply chain model takes competition into account and appears to operate in its presence.

        Monopoly is a problem, but even the story that competition keeps prices down is a false one.

      • @secretlyaddictedtolinux
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        1 month ago

        This is more of a failure of government rather than a failure of capitalism.

        In democracies, people can vote to tax the wealthy corporations and give food vouchers to the middle and lower classes.

        The problem with a marketplace with too few unique sellers is they don’t have to agree to raise prices, they just know no one is going to lower them to try to gain market share.

        The government should have done something or broken up larger companies and it did nothing. Capitalism isn’t the problem, weak governments and terrible leaders are the problem.

        Biden could have spearheaded hauling the leaders of every supermarket into a congressional hearing to ask questions that would have resulted in downward price movement. Congress could have passed “increased profit taxes” so that if corporations selling inelastic goods had profit increases over 10% and price increases over 10% on the top 5 of their best selling goods, then a large tax would kick in. Price gouging taxes could have taxed the profits on any store that raised prices by over 20% per quarter. Any of these things would have reduced the problem. I am surprised Elizabeth Warren didn’t get anything passed because despite all of her past problems (rising in academia though misrepresentation), she’s incredibly smart with policy, she just doesn’t know how to scream and yell at people to get her point across.

        But most government leaders are feckless and lazy and stupid. That’s the sad reality.

        If a democrat got on TikTok screaming about these policies and yelling that Republicans are being selfish and fucking over the middle class, they would have been passed. I have thought about going on TikTok myself and ranting and raving but I have a complex past and I’m not sure how people would respond and I am concerned about TikTok’s collection of data.

        There’s not been actual LEGISLATION that could be effective.

        The lazy ineffective government controlling even more of society through Marxism is not the answer. Better people need to run for office.

        Ultimately, what is going to happen is somehow the Democrats are going to get Newsom into office to try to be Bill Clinton II and he’ll enact mediocre policies that will be slightly better than the shit that’s been going on and he’ll be praised for being slightly less than mediocre. But the downward spiral of society will continue because ultimately, the math of global warming will kill us all, so none of this will matter. Newsom isn’t smart enough to veer away from the cliff of doom the world is barreling towards, but he’ll make some meaningless gestures and look good with great hair and be self-aggrandizing and people will feel better prior to everyone dying.

    • @undergroundoverground
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      152 months ago

      100%. Unfortunately, somewhere down the line, American style neoclassical economics because simply “economics” or even worse “just basic economics.” Suddenly tax breaks for the rich became the all curing treatment for any economic ailment.

      Too much money to spend on healthcare? Tax cuts for the rich.

      Too little money to spend on healthcare? Also tax cuts for the rich.

      In terms of fixing every problem even, I’m yet to hear what it can’t do.

      My favourite was when you had every economically illiterate stock bro in existence claiming along the lines of “no, I’ve glanced at a couple of margin calculations i made for 2 companies, at one point in the supply chain, and, as such, I know price gouging couldn’t possibly have happened.” They dont know enough about inventory keeping to explain to them that they can’t tell either way, bless them.

      • @NABDad
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        152 months ago

        I recall Bush II starting his first term saying that the economy was doing so great that we had a budget surplus, and that had to be given back to the people* via tax breaks.

        Then, before that could happen, the economy hit the shitter, and he said we needed to encourage the economy to recover by giving tax breaks to the people*.

        It’s amazing how tax breaks just fix everything.

        * The rich people, of course.

    • @[email protected]
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      22 months ago

      I would love to read more about how supply and demand is bullshit, but that is NOT a credible source. it’s just some guy’s blog. I’m sure it’s an interesting read but it would be intellectually irresponsible for me to disbelieve a fundamental principle of economics based on a source like that

      • @[email protected]
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        32 months ago

        I understand that, but if you read the first section, there are reputable sources quoted that simply admit that they have no good working model of inflation, and that supply & demand does not explain it.

        Also if you actually go looking for the science that establishes the supply & demand model, it’s not really there. The supply & demand “graph” is actually just an illustration. It doesn’t come from anywhere. It’s a story mainstream economists tell, not a reality.

  • @RememberTheApollo_
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    562 months ago

    So the “free market” has been so consolidated into large mega-corps that they just price fix now without fear of punishment because they’re too big to fail or have such deep pockets that they own the political landscape.

    Free market just means free to squeeze the remaining middle class until there’s nothing left.

    • @[email protected]
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      112 months ago

      It used to be that only the telecoms and tech companies were consolidated enough to pricefix, now every sector is, and the economy is spiraling downward at record pace.

      • @AngryCommieKender
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        82 months ago

        The saddest part is that they’re choosing this. The richest know that they could be paying thriving wages, and get even richer. They know that they could create co-op monopolies and get even richer. They aren’t going for a high score on wealth. They’ve seen the future, and are going for a high score on human suffering and death, because it won’t be possible ever again once the rich are overthrown and we create sensible distribution methods that don’t allow one person to hoard hundreds of millions of people’s worth of resources.

    • @Aceticon
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      62 months ago

      It was always about removing any intervention by the powers of the state (which in Democracy are controlled by voters) so that the positive feedback loops in money aggregation in most markets (basically any market with barriers to entry isn’t free, especially if that barrier relates to land ownership, so the more money you make, the more you own, the more money you make) would turn those people who started with the most money - as in a system with such feedback loops in place, starting advantages such as being born rich are unassailable - into oligarchs.

      As that system polls wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer, of course it will eventually destroy the middle class and countries ends up looking a lot like dictatorship Brazil in the 70s - only two classes, rich and poor and pretty much nothing in the middle.

      • Schwim Dandy
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        52 months ago

        Is there something unbreakable in socialism that keeps it from being exploitable?

        • @[email protected]
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          222 months ago

          What do you mean by “exploitable?” Are you asking if Socialism magically removes all problems and functions perfectly? No, it doesn’t, but it does solve the fundamental problems that necessarily exist with Capitalism outlined in Wage Labor and Capital.

          • Schwim Dandy
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            132 months ago

            I guess what I mean is that it seems like it’s the entities in power and not the political system is what’s causing these atrocities. I imagine they could do just as well if you told them today that they’re doing it under a socialist umbrella. I’ll try to give the linked book a read.

            • @[email protected]
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              132 months ago

              Any system can have bad actors, even non-hierarchial ones like Anarchism. Socialism fixes the economic exploitation created by class conflict within Capitalism. Telling Workers that they are actually in Socialism despite being Capitalist doesn’t change anything about exploitation, nor does it solve issues like the Profit Motive, Class Conflict, or the Tendency for the Rate of Profit to Fall.

            • nickwitha_k (he/him)
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              82 months ago

              I think that you may be mixing up two things here: political systems and economic systems. Capitalism, socialism, and communism are economic systems. Political systems are things like monarchy, republic, and oligarchy.

              I will also highly recommend Wage Labor and Capital. I had to study it in university and find that it is a good high-level analysis of the systemic issues in the capitalism. For a deeper analysis from Marx, while he is most known for communism, his magnum opus was really Das Kapital, which is not about communism.

              • Schwim Dandy
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                52 months ago

                I definitely was due to ignorance, it was not intentional.

                That being said, the economic system in place is always at the mercy of those in political power, is it not? I’m not being fecicious, it just seems to me that no matter the conomic system in place, human nature seems to be to find a way to exploit it. I just can’t think of a scenario where that can be protected against.

                • nickwitha_k (he/him)
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                  2 months ago

                  It definitely was due to ignorance, it was not intentional.

                  That means you learned something new today! :D (I don’t mean this in a condescending manner at all - I just love learning and even when it’s vicariously through other people).

                  That being said, the economic system in place is always at the mercy of those in political power, is it not?

                  Yes and no. There is a really complex interplay between political and economic systems. Despite this, differentiating between the two types of systems is an important tool for better understand how they work and influence eachother and society.

                  I’m not being facetious, it just seems to me that no matter the conomic system in place, human nature seems to be to find a way to exploit it. I just can’t think of a scenario where that can be protected against.

                  That’s a fun thing and you’ve unknowingly underscored a massive flaw in a lot of political and economic theory (especially the later). Humans must be understood through multiple lenses:

                  • We are animals; biological entities with material needs to sustain life and drives to reproduce (some exceptions, like ace folks, though arguably, there are more forms of reproduction than biological). Nearly all biological entities pursue some form of reproductive competition/selection. Even the baboons who selected for less aggressive/more cooperative males select against these traits, competing with groups that are not selecting for cooperation. (Further note: I do not say this to mean that I believe that competition “human nature” - there are too many counter-examples but, from a high-level perspective, all organisms are effectively competing, even if, paradoxically against competition.
                  • We are not rational actors; humans do incredibly illogical and irrational things all of the time. Many of the popular models championed by supporters of neoliberal capitalism completely fail to account for this, instead, assuming rational self-interest.
                  • And many others.

                  ETA: From my perspective, as one who is cooperatively-minded, the best political and economic systems are the ones that can be currently conceived that result in the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people while providing protection to vulnerable populations and individual agency. I also think that this is a process rather than an endpoint - technology and organisms evolve over time, our social constructs have to do so as well in order to be useful.

        • @StaySquared
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          Never listen to a person who lives in a capitalist nation, hates capitalism, and thinks lol… socialism is better.

          If I truly believe capitalism is evil, I would moved to a non-capitalist nation. All these armchair philosophers are drinking from the teat of capitalism.

  • Ænima
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    342 months ago

    These are some of the same fuckers who took on bad investments in 2007, knowing the investments were shit, and crashed the worldwide economy in 2008. Millions lost their homes and life savings over night. Then the govt. bailed them out, the poor banks and their little oops, with our money and they laughed all the way into the “too big to fail” book of cock-knobbery.

    They don’t care about how we perceive them and a vast number of consumers, sadly, cannot be bothered to go without the creature comforts they enjoy to send a message so nothing will change. Same thing will happen with real estate when that bottom finishes falling out. Too bad consumers gotta pay for the huber of the wealthy.

    • @AngryCommieKender
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      62 months ago

      They’re doing it on purpose. They have studies since the '70s that prove that they would be much richer than they are if they would just provide everyone with a thriving wage, and didn’t even need to take a pay cut back then.

      They’re so scared of losing their wage slaves that they would rather burn the world than cause less needless suffering.

  • @friend_of_satan
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    262 months ago

    It’s basically the corporations hoping for something like “miniplenty malquoted chocolate rectify” and “It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week. And only yesterday […] it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grams a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.”

  • @Kyrgizion
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    242 months ago

    We got robbed blind during the pandemic. Not just in terms of price gouging, mind you. There’s a reason that billionaires’ cumulative wealth went up with the exact same amount it went down for ALL THE REST OF US. 95% of all dollars in existence were “minted” (digitally, ofc) in the last couple of years. That essentially means the dollar in your pocket is already worth just a few CENTS, you just don’t know it yet. But we will.

    • @MrPoopbutt
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      212 months ago

      Not to doubt, but 95% seems high. Is there a source?

    • prole
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      95% of all dollars in existence were “minted” (digitally, ofc) in the last couple of years.

      No way this is true. Anyway, the act of printing money isn’t the problem here.

      • @AngryCommieKender
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        I see where they are coming from due to the other comments they made. If the various world governments had continued printing money the way they did in 2020, then almost 80%, maybe as much as 85% of the total money supply might have been printed in the last 4 years. That isn’t what happened, and The US should be super fucking pissed about how it happened here, because 95% of the stimulus packages were aimed at the rich, shareholders, and corporations. Normal people were lucky if they got the full $2400 of all three stimulus packages over an 18 month time span. $2400 is only an average of a bit less than 3 months rent on average.

        Meanwhile, the corporations got, on average, between $1,500,000 and $100,000,000 during the same time period.

        Almost every other country spent the majority of the money on their people, creating an economic boom. If the amount of money printing had happened for the last four years, continuously, then most of the top economic countries in the world would have no poverty or homelessness.

        Russia, China, The US, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and New Zealand don’t count as top economic countries in the world. None of their economies are sustainable, or serve their citizens.

  • @[email protected]
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    212 months ago

    It’s interesting isn’t it? If society as a whole does better and we all get some extra money to spend then people get greedy and begin jacking up their prices to restore a previous status quo.

    It seems clear that an effective government would’ve stepped in to stop the price gouging but that goes against our neoliberal leaders worldview.

    • @UnderpantsWeevil
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      Its worth recognizing that our quality of life is heavily predicated on the subsidy of cheap labor abroad. As markets move international and these historical serfs begin to move into the consumer side of the market, we’re seeing a rise in global demand. And as big businesses consolidate ownership of real estate and productive capital, we’re seeing a drop in the number of suppliers. That gives the business end of the spectrum enormous leverage. But its only one side of the equation.

      This isn’t strictly a problem of profits. Big western states like the US and Canada produce enormous amounts of domestic waste. We’ve monetized that waste, such that you can turn a profit by simply consuming large quantities of excess energy and raw materials, and translate that into paper assets that can be borrowed against in a historically low-interest lending market. But in the end, a big part of the reason everything is getting so expensive is that we’ve been eating our own seed corn.

      When you pollute your groundwater with chemical waste from fossil fuels and plastics, that’s going to drive up the cost of agriculture and potable water utilities. When you burn off all the cheap fuels and refuse to invest in green/nuclear alternatives (because fossil fuels generate enormous profit margins and green/nukes don’t) then the cost of energy rises. When you build horizontally rather than vertically, refuse to invest in mass transit, and force everyone to make enormous commutes, real estate starts selling at an exceptional premium.

      Yeah, there’s definitely an element of greed in the mix. But it can’t be discounted how much of our domestic wealth is squandered through mismanagement. Americans need twice the income of their German or Korean peers to live half as good, because we do everything so haphazardly.

      • @[email protected]
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        72 months ago

        It’s what we vote for. Everytime someone suggests European solutions they’re branded a communist and we vote in the “greed is good” guy.

    • @StaySquared
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      -32 months ago

      brb When you buy 1 large pizza with 1 topping and an extra large with no toppings plus half a dozen garlic bread… and your bill is nearly $70.

      Dafuq happened?

      Oh wait, no… I forgot, we all know what happened. If you have to ask, that’s on you.

  • @[email protected]
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    I don’t know what to say other than that I agree with you. Dominant retailers (especially supermarkets) were and are profiteering during a crisis and these ‘prices drops’ of cents are merely a sop.

    At this point a fair few people can’t even afford some of those goods

  • @AdolfSchmitler
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    72 months ago

    Thank you for posting this. I feel the same way but I’m not sure what to do about it :/ I already try to spend as little as possible. I’ve thought about trying to make a vegetable garden cuz in a way it’s free food but just haven’t :/

    I wonder what will happen when they squeeze so hard nobody has anything left? How will they stay in business when nobody has money? Do they think every other company will go out of business but they’ll be fine? What do they think the end game will be?

    • @secretlyaddictedtolinux
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      31 month ago

      I remember all the large chains I used to like who I feel have fucked me over and hold a grudge against them.

      Arizona Ice Tea is an example of a brand that really has not fucked me over as prices have gone higher and I keep rewarding them with more purchases. It’s not just that they have a good value, it’s also that they haven’t tried to exploit me.

      We need to ignore the coupons, new catchy deals, and other bullshit that these large corporations are trying to use to lure people back. Corporations should feel lost profits for decades when they tarnish their brand by fucking over customers and we need to vote with our wallets to show their greed also showcases a lack of business acumen.

  • @Cosmicomical
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    We have observed an incredible acceleration in accumulation of money in the hands of the ultra-rich. This alone tells us that supply chain is not the issue. The issues are greed of the bloodsucking class and complicity from the governments around the world that should monitor and regulate the prices of basic necessities but don’t.

    • @secretlyaddictedtolinux
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      The problem is that we have 2 groups of people who experience this problem: the easily deluded religious people, who will fall for moral wedge issues based on religion, and the people who realize things should be different and will vote in their interests.

      The second problem is many of the people who want to change things will try to implement strategies that don’t adhere to classical economics and will create market distortions, so if more “liberal” people are voted in, they may do more harm than good for poor people if they ignore economic principles.

      The third problem is that there are way more stupid religious idiots that are easily manipulated than people who vote their interests.

      It’s infuriating

  • @Sam_Bass
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    52 months ago

    Unfortunately, there is no real oversight to regulate, let alone prevent price gouging. The only option available to anyone is to not buy. Many of the commodities vendors basically ‘know’ that people wont exercise that option, so they firmly believe in the legitimacy of what theyre doing. For any meaningful change to occur we absolutely must tighten our purse strings for the long haul to demonstrate that it is we who are keeping them alive.