Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Economics, Family Dynamics and a Rant to Boot


I think a little economics lesson is in order as I'm getting a lot of flack for charging my kid for his Propel and hey, I gotta put that education my parents were so nice to pay for to use for something.

I have been accused of price gouging. By definition price gouging would be charging and exorbitant amount for an item. There are two problems with this accusation. First, we're not charging an exorbitant amount and second, in a free market it is impossible to price gouge. You notice yesterday I said we were charging Rehm our cost (and didn't even include time and gas in there, just divided the price we pay for a six pack by six - you know he's getting a deal because we didn't factor in the tax we paid either!). Thus the fact that the Propel costs him $0.65 and he has $0.70 of disposable income makes Propel a luxury item for Rehm. Maybe he should choose less expensive beverages (or free ones - like milk and water) if this one takes up too much of his income. Or maybe my parents should buy me a Suburban and sell it to me at the price I can afford even if that means taking a loss on it... I like that idea! But it isn't what I want to teach my kids.

Now to the free market part. You see in a free market a fair price for an item is one at which the seller is willing to sale and the buyer is willing to buy. So if someone is willing to buy it at the price you are offering, even if that price seems extreme it is a fair price. This does not preclude other sellers from offering the same product at a lower price, thus there is no price gouging. If Rehm is not willing to buy Propel at $0.65 then maybe he will find someone willing to sell it cheaper. Maybe Charlotte will learn that she can save her free bottles and sell them to Rehm for $0.50. If he doesn't buy from me I will quit selling and stocking it as it is not worth my while. If we were opperating on the free market price I could probably actually make money on Propel as Rehm would probably pay at least $1.30 a bottle. So you see I'm really being nice.

Family Dynamics

Charlotte has been talking about Cici and Papa all day and is excited that they are coming to see her soon. I asked her who Cici and Papa were and she said "they used to be your parents." I said, "who are they now?" Her response, "Cici and Papa." In a different conversation she said something about that I used to be Cici and Papa's daughter. When I asked who I was now she said I was her mommy. Apparently when you become a Mommy you can no longer have a Mom and Dad. I asked her if she would still be my daughter when she grew up, got married and had kids she never did answer that question. I wonder what that means.

Later in the day we were talking about everyone's names. When I asked her what my name was she said my first and maiden name but never would add my last name. I'm about to think I'm a woman without a family...

And now for the Rant

Today when I was walking home from school with all four kids we saw two men placing flyers on all the doors. First let me say I absolutely despise this way of advertising and refuse to buy from anyone who leaves something on my door. Both these men were scary looking and not the people I want hanging out in my neighborhood getting all the way to my door! I mean what is to keep them from casing the joint while they are at it? But further more the ones today were not the kind of people I want roaming the neighborhood when my kids are out. I really didn't like them out and about as all the elementary kids were walking home from school. It just did not feel safe to me. Now I do have to say I didn't feel very safe today anyway as there was a helicopter circling the neighborhood at the same time! I have no idea why, but I'm assuming it was some law enforcement agency looking for someone...

Then this evening a door-to-door salesman rings the doorbell at 8:15! I won't even go into why you shouldn't ring my doorbell at that time of night and if he had actually awakened anyone he would have gotten an earful from me. Luckily, Michael answered the door. He was selling the Sunday paper. He had a good deal and you got free coupons on top of the paper subscription. Michael was all set to sign up until I started in on how I didn't like to buy from door-to-door salesmen because I didn't trust them, didn't like them at my door and didn't want to encourage them to keep selling door-to-door. So he went back and told the guy never mind. Now I'll probably end up paying more for my paper subscription when I call the newspaper to sign up but there won't be any concern as to whether or not I'll actually receive the paper and who has my personal information!

I asked Michael if he would have wanted me answering the door for this person if he had not been home - it was after dark to boot. Of course his answer was no. So I think he'll be OK with paying extra for the paper too....

So if you are a door-to-door advertiser or salesmen, stay away from my house, I don't like you. And don't get offended if you ring my doorbell, see me come to the door and see me turn around and walk away. If I don't know you, I don't open the door. Period! Oh and don't be walking through my neighborhood putting your flyers out when my kids are walking to and from school!
OK I feel better now. Off to fold some laundry. OK who am I kidding it is late enough I'm not going to touch laundry until tomorrow! I'm really off to watch some TV


Shelly said...

Price gouging? LOL! Careful, your conservatism aka common sense aka business acumen is showing. Bryan & I were talking about your Propel for sale idea and how we might apply it our family for the little extras that our girls ask for all the time. I thought it was a great idea. (And I hope Charlotte picks up on the saving freebies to sell later concept!)

Our girls gave up their allowance for Lent though. They won't be buying any extras for the next 40-days. They still have chores, but their allowance will be going into the bread box (little plastic box from church to collect for the poor.) It was either that or give up dessert and/or television. (I wouldn't mind giving up dessert, but the television is too hard to enforce, because Bryan won't agree to do it too.)

Mom said...

While you are in a mood to be really nice to Rehm, what would you charge him for storage if he found someone willing to supply him for a cheaper price?

Mom said...

Guess I always knew that education would "come back to haunt me".

Karen said...

Lord, you crack me up... As for the door-to-door salesmen, I absolutely agree. Since we moved out here though, we haven't seen any. There are definitely perks to living out in the country. ;)