I know, inflation is a part of life. Like death and taxes, inflation is certain, and it is here to stay. But have you ever noticed how inconvenient inflation is sometimes? No, I’m not talking about the rising cost of automobiles, houses, or gasoline. I’m talking about soda. That’s right, that sweet caffeinated beverage that gets me through the day.
First, a little history lesson. According to many economists, inflation in the US substantially increased after President Nixon removed the gold standard as the basis on monetary value for the US dollar. You see, in 1971, the US needed more money to pay for the Vietnam War, and the best way to do that was to print it. And print it we did. So much in fact, that it began to take substantially more dollars to buy the same amount of goods as it previously did. However, inflation has been fairly well controlled here in the US compared to many other places. There have been instances in other countries when it would take a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a simple loaf of bread! Of course, by the time it gets that bad, they call it hyperinflation.
Enough history… Back to the soda.
My work site just raised the vending machine price of a 20 oz bottle of soda from $1.00 to $1.25. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I agree with you. $0.25 is not much money in the grand scheme of things. But here is my complaint: That $0.25 increase represents a 25% markup. Percentage-wise, that is a substantial increase.
Even worse than the $0.25 increase: now I have to carry quarters around. I don’t like carrying change. It’s dirty, noisy, and inconvenient. But at least I don’t have to push around a wheelbarrow full of cash to buy a soda!