Thursday, 31 May 2012

Big business is a con job.


Do you remember the days when “sales” were truly sales.  Twice or three times a year there would be genuine reductions in store prices, when the traders reduced their prices. They did so to clear their shelves and thus make room for more seasonal items.

These days everything is on “sale” all the time.  There are “sales” for New Year’s Day, for Presidents’ Day, for Mothers’ Day, for Memorial Day etc., etc., etc.

There are “sales’ just about every weekend.

It’s all a big con.

Take for instance the retailers of furniture.  In their world every item is always “on sale”.  Their newspaper inserts proclaim “60% off”, or “30% off”.

I need to ask “a percentage off what original price?”

Pray tell me “60% of what original price?”, or “30% of what sticker price?”

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The Supermarkets also try to con us. They lure us with their “two for the price of one” specials.  All well and good, but they do not tell us that they have inflated the price of the single product. This means that our “bargain” is often less than it seems.  Or it means that the market is trying to “palm off” items which are not selling well.

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Speaking of cons:   have you bought a new or used car recently?  To enter a car showroom is to be besieged by an array of lies, mistruths and prevarications.  The sales person will, with great skill, persuade you that she or he has your best interests in mind, and that she or he is fonder of you than is your grandmother
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It’s only when you have signed the papers, gotten home and read the ”small print” that you realise that the car dealership has screwed you.
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Despite all this, the right wing in America touts the “business model” as the solution to our governmental and economic woes.

Fair enough for those “blind followers of the blind” in the “free markets” who are happy enough to be conned.

Unfair enough for those who lost their life saving in the Savings and Loans debacle, or in the failure of Enron, or in the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Baring Brothers, or in the recent J.P. Morgan Stanley fraud.

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