May 24, 2008
OKAY, THIS, FROM THE AP'S ERIN CONROY, SEEMS A BIT LESS THAN EARTH-SHATTERING: "It's going to cost a lot more than it did last year to cook a burger, or just about any other barbecue favorite, on the grill. . . . The price of an average barbecue - with burgers, hot dogs, beer, soda, condiments, salad, paper plates and lighter fluid - could run families about 6 percent more than last year."
Um, okay. But is six percent really a lot more? If I got a six percent raise it would be nice, but I wouldn't say "I'm making a lot more than last year." I know they've got to stretch to combine editors' demands for bad economic news with editors' demands for lame holiday-weekend-themed stories, but still . . . .
UPDATE: If 6 percent is "a lot more," then how can 54-35 be "a small margin?" It's all in the narrative, I guess . . . .
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Tracy Allen emails:
I was reading the article you commented on, and was struck by the comments from the ad/marketing individual who was shopping at The Food Emporium about how he was questioning every purchase. You should take a look at The Food Emporium (http://www.thefoodemporium.com/). It’s not exactly the Piggly Wiggly.
You should probably always question every purchase when you shop there . . . And note this passage from the article:
This year, the price for a pack of hot dogs has climbed almost 7 percent to $4.29. A 2-liter bottle of soda and a 16-ounce bag of potato chips both jumped more than 10 percent to $1.33 and $3.89, respectively, while a package of eight hamburger buns costs $1.61, 17 percent more. The surge in prices is forcing people to try to cut corners and find bargains where they can, such as buying store brands, which tend to cost less than name brands.
Okay, hot dogs are up almost 28 cents a pack (what's that, about 3 cents each?). Soda up 13 cents for two liters, about 6 or 7 cents a liter. A pack of eight hamburger buns up about a quarter -- that's over three cents per bun! Yeah, this is huge.