No Inflation Indeed! (@starbucks) (@consumerist)
So I contend that inflation is occurring in this country, though many of the people that I talk to don't seem to think so. They say that the government is managing to keep inflation in check, and that the Federal Reserve's historically low rates are doing their job, even despite the trillions of dollars they're printing. My main contention stems from grocery shopping – a trip to the store should tell anyone that prices have gone up quite a bit while item sizes have stayed the same or shrunk.I am often told that my groceries are so expensive because I live in McLean, which is considered "affluent". Since I'm originally from New York, I don't need to be told what expensive groceries are; I've basically never bought cheap ones. Furthermore, I'm already factoring that into my argument; I know my groceries are expensive, but they're a lot more expensive than when I started buying them here two years ago. It's not enough to point them to consumerist.com and have them search for "shrink ray" either, apparently. (Try it – you'll see just how manufacturers are giving you less food for the same or even more money.) But now I have the perfect example, thanks to Starbucks and Tazo. Prior to about a month ago, you could buy a box of 24 Tazo Awake tea bags at Starbucks or at the grocery store for $4.95. That works out to about $.21 a tea bag. Now, when you want to buy Awake tea, it costs $7.12 for 15 tea bags, a whopping $.47 a tea bag! That's more than double the price! To add insult to injury, instead of putting the tea bags in cardboard boxes like they used to (which were recyclable, if not biodegradable outright), the tea bags come in an air filled tin that could easily hold three times as many tea bags as the 15 that are in there! To add further insult to injury, the tins are Made In China. (The tea may very well be too, but I've not checked on that.) So, people who buy Tazo Awake tea are now paying more than double per tea bag, and have to take home the M-I-C tins as well. Quite frankly, that's inflation of the worst kind.