homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Make it illegal to sell products below the cost of production? (Page 1)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Make it illegal to sell products below the cost of production?
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
This is the law in Gernany. It serves to level the retail field, such that Walmart failed there. It favours smaller businesses which thrive on personal relationships. It favours unionized labour and higher wages. Sounds like something to consider.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm afraid it would never sell in the States, but it's an excellent idea. It would prevent a behemoth with deep pockets (e.g. Walmart) coming into a market, undercutting its competitors until one by one they are driven out of business, then jacking up its prices to much higher than the mom and pop shops used to charge. Which has happened more than once here, particularly in smaller markets that can't support two such behemoths, so Target or similar don't get a look-in.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63202 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Host
# 11076

 - Posted      Profile for Gwai   Email Gwai   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Interested. How does Germany define the cost of production? I mean a mass production line is much cheaper than if I make a product by hand. Does that mean they can't sell them below their production cost and I can't sell them below mine? Or does it mean I can't sell them below the base cost?

I think the main loss would be that stores can't do loss leaders to get attention. I am very sale-conscious, so those work well on me in that if you do a great sale on milk I will pay attention to your grocery store, and I might well buy other products there at non-loss leader prices. I would be sorry to have a world with no loss leaders. To have a world with no Walmarts would be worth it, but ideally I'd define the law to allow loss leaders.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11880 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

 - Posted      Profile for balaam   Author's homepage   Email balaam   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Loss leading is common practise. Advertise and sell something at a loss to get people into the store who then mostly buy other products as well.

It's how profits are increased.

--------------------
Fearfully and wonderfully mad
Love the dinner, hate the din.
ن
blog

Posts: 8829 | From: Somewhere else | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Not sure how it is defined. I imagine it is done the same way things like income or total sales are tracked so they can be fairly taxed.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

 - Posted      Profile for Golden Key   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
And loss leaders can be a big help to people with tight grocery budgets.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18156 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And loss leaders can be a big help to people with tight grocery budgets.

Which they pay for with higher prices on everything else. Stores don't give things away.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63202 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

 - Posted      Profile for Enoch   Email Enoch   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
No prophet, are you sure of this and have you a source? We have cheap supermarkets that are German owned. It would be surprising if they could have got into the position of being able to expand abroad if they could not have started that way at home.

--------------------
Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7388 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And loss leaders can be a big help to people with tight grocery budgets.

If something is sold for less than cost, other things need to have their prices boosted to compensate. So, at best, things balance out. So, the savings are illusory.

[ 21. January 2017, 18:35: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17093 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And loss leaders can be a big help to people with tight grocery budgets.

Which they pay for with higher prices on everything else. Stores don't give things away.
Loss leaders are generally staples so will take up a higher proportion of low budgets. If the shop has enough people who have high budgets they'll be effectively subsidising the tight budget shoppers. Though that only works in areas with mixed demographics which are rarer now than thirty or forty years ago.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10412 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
No prophet, are you sure of this and have you a source? We have cheap supermarkets that are German owned. It would be surprising if they could have got into the position of being able to expand abroad if they could not have started that way at home.

Yes. I did a little more research. The EU has Article 102 which controls sellers with a dominant marker positions from "directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices or other unfair trading conditions;"

In German the "Federal Cartel Office" which controls predatory pricing. The link to their site isn't easy to navigate to find the information about what they do. The best I can find officially (in English) is this: "Exclusionary abuse can also exist where a dominant company tries to squeeze its competitor out of the market by means of a cut price strategy." This link is a little easier.

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
Shipmate
# 15128

 - Posted      Profile for Baptist Trainfan   Email Baptist Trainfan   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Nothing to do with supermarkets ... but if I lived in a rural district I'd want the busy and profitable city bus routes to subsidise (and keep open) the essential but lightly used ones in my area.
Posts: 9471 | From: The other side of the Severn | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
# 12699

 - Posted      Profile for Sober Preacher's Kid   Email Sober Preacher's Kid   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
[Snore]

John Calvin's Beard, but can't we leave the Americans alone for one day? They already have enough to deal with.

Besides, though per se loss leaders are legal, it may be illegal if you are large enough as that is abuse of market power, per the famous case of Northern Securities.

--------------------
NDP Federal Convention, Edmonton 2016: More Trots than the Calgary Stampede!

Posts: 7642 | From: Peterborough, Upper Canada | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged
Dave W.
Shipmate
# 8765

 - Posted      Profile for Dave W.   Email Dave W.   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I'm afraid it would never sell in the States, but it's an excellent idea. It would prevent a behemoth with deep pockets (e.g. Walmart) coming into a market, undercutting its competitors until one by one they are driven out of business, then jacking up its prices to much higher than the mom and pop shops used to charge. Which has happened more than once here, particularly in smaller markets that can't support two such behemoths, so Target or similar don't get a look-in.

Are there, in fact, Wal-Mart stores with every-day high prices? (The first few pages of a Google search on "expensive rural Wal-Mart stores" don't yield any likely suspects...)
Posts: 2030 | From: the hub of the solar system | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

 - Posted      Profile for Gee D     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:

quote:
Yes. I did a little more research. The EU has Article 102 which controls sellers with a dominant marker positions from "directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices or other unfair trading conditions;"

In German the "Federal Cartel Office" which controls predatory pricing. The link to their site isn't easy to navigate to find the information about what they do. The best I can find officially (in English) is this: "Exclusionary abuse can also exist where a dominant company tries to squeeze its competitor out of the market by means of a cut price strategy." This link is a little easier.

Sounds very similar to the provisions under our Competition and Consumer Act 2010 Part IV, and their predecessors under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1971 and earlier legislation both Federal and State . I'd be extremely surprised were these not replicated in Canadian and US legislation as well.

--------------------
Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6771 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Regardless of parallels, it is a sound principle I think. When food costs more to grow than it is sold for. There must be market control in a fair world.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

 - Posted      Profile for Moo   Email Moo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Does this mean that a store can't sell seasonal items at reduced prices when the season is over?

--------------------
Kerygmania host
---------------------
See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20250 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

 - Posted      Profile for Og: Thread Killer     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
How would thrift stores survive?

--------------------
I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

Posts: 5021 | From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Let's start with food. Proper pricing leads to proper wages and proper amounts paid by buying stores from growers.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
This is the law in Gernany. It serves to level the retail field, such that Walmart failed there. It favours smaller businesses which thrive on personal relationships. It favours unionized labour and higher wages. Sounds like something to consider.

My reaction overall would be that it sounds like a good idea that wouldn't work in practice. However, if the Germans actually have a law to that effect then it presumably does work in practice. In which case it just sounds like a good idea.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10412 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Regardless of parallels, it is a sound principle I think. When food costs more to grow than it is sold for. There must be market control in a fair world.

Germany may not have Walmart, but it does have Aldi who are taking over the supermarket world.
Germany manages to be 11% cheaper for groceries than the U.K. and 35%!!! lower than the US.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17093 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

 - Posted      Profile for Alan Cresswell   Email Alan Cresswell   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
Does this mean that a store can't sell seasonal items at reduced prices when the season is over?

Presumably there would need to be exceptions for reduced prices to clear unsold stock near it's sell-by date. The alternative is to significantly increase food wastage (after all, who would buy a loaf of bread that is a day older than the fresh bread and it's at the same price?). But, supermarkets don't generally market themselves as being cheaper than their competitors on yellow-sticker produce but on a small number of loss-leading items that they can advertise as the regular price being less than their competitors.

--------------------
All I want for Christmas is EU

Posts: 32184 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Germany has that perishable items may be discounted. They examine pricing to ensure that companies like Walmart (which failed in the German market) and Aldi cannot force competitors out of the market by pricing below costs. Seems fair to me. Keep control of the giant corporations.

I have no idea about UK issues with prices. Do you have a competition bureau there, or is there enough monopoly in existence that the few retailers can get away with anything? I do know from farm news here that the government there is reported to artificially support farmers who couldn't compete worldwide without.

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

 - Posted      Profile for Moo   Email Moo   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
What about stores that put winter coats on sale at the end of winter?

Moo

--------------------
Kerygmania host
---------------------
See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20250 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Host
# 11076

 - Posted      Profile for Gwai   Email Gwai   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And loss leaders can be a big help to people with tight grocery budgets.

Which they pay for with higher prices on everything else. Stores don't give things away.
Depends on whether they are suckered into buying other overly expensive goods.

The other way to put uit is that loss leaders are a form of marketing and it's a much more effective form of marketing for me than most others. If you were a store near me and you sell a gallon of milk for a dollar, I'll at least visit your store and see what else I want. (And I have definitely left with just the milk multiple times.) If you advertise on TV about your shiny vegetables, well I don't watch TV, so I guess I'll never know. (That and I don't want shiny vegetables.) So go figure I really prefer loss leaders as marketing over many other kinds that stores also engage in.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11880 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
And don't forget liquidations of bankrupt / closed businesses. Those are often pennies on the dollar.

Dumping happens at every level of the economy; sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's a bad thing, and of course it depends on which end you're on. (Thanks, Moo, for the reminder to go look for winter gear sales!)

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

Posts: 5394 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

 - Posted      Profile for Golden Key   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And loss leaders can be a big help to people with tight grocery budgets.

Which they pay for with higher prices on everything else. Stores don't give things away.
Loss leaders are generally staples so will take up a higher proportion of low budgets.
Right. You stock up on loss leaders, like canned tuna--and you either don't buy the more expensive stuff, or use your tuna savings to buy it. If you have more than one easily-available store with loss leaders, you may have more of a variety in loss leaders. Then there are coupons, rebates, store loyalty programs, etc. Some basics of low-budget grocery shopping. Plus comparing prices.

This might be of use, from a Catholic Worker group that puts out JustPeace.org:
"CASINO SHOPPING! You Don't Have to Go to Vegas to Gamble! Just Walk into a Supermarket!" (Better Times)

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18156 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The real cost of food in Canada- how far an hour's work at minimum wage goes for basic food has dropped over the past 30-40 years. Plus many different things available. Not referring to ready made or packaged meals.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Ricardus
Shipmate
# 8757

 - Posted      Profile for Ricardus   Author's homepage   Email Ricardus   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Surely the other problem is that defining the cost of production for most things is really hard. As in, you can include or exclude a lot of factors to get the figure you want, without obviously playing silly buggers. I suppose it would provide profitable employment for accountants.
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
So go figure I really prefer loss leaders as marketing over many other kinds that stores also engage in.

Agreed - and presumably if it wasn't allowed, stores would switch to more expensive forms of advertising, which would push overall prices up.

--------------------
Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

Posts: 7178 | From: Liverpool, UK | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:

The other way to put uit is that loss leaders are a form of marketing and it's a much more effective form of marketing for me than most others. If you were a store near me and you sell a gallon of milk for a dollar, I'll at least visit your store and see what else I want. (And I have definitely left with just the milk multiple times.)

Not everyone drawn by loss leaders has the option of leaving with just those.

Food prices in America are outrageous, especially for a country that produces so much of its own.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17093 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
# 3245

 - Posted      Profile for Alt Wally     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Food prices in America are outrageous, especially for a country that produces so much of its own.

They may be too low. It's possible food that is produced too cheaply relies on government subsidies from farmers and uses things such as steroids to have rapidly growing chickens to keep costs down. There is also a strong link between cheap food and obesity.

Walmart in my understanding failed in Germany because it tried to apply its model in Germany and it fell flat. Aldi and Lidl are leaders in food at rock bottom prices. They are expanding here in the Northeastern United States now. Food is probably way too cheap in Europe in reality, and if partially subsidized through state support is just artificially priced where it is.

Walmart did not arrive where it is through the novel strategy of selling items below cost. It figured out if you can sell at volume in slim margins and control your supply chain tightly you have a competitive advantage. It also benefits greatly from cheaply produced items from China where labor costs are low. In my opinion the best argument not to go to a Walmart is their workers are terrible to deal with and their merchandise is of low quality for the most part. Walmart is also not immune from market forces. It faces what could be a mortal threat from Amazon, which uses far fewer non unionized workers to deliver a wide array of goods to consumers with a focus on price. Safe to assume there are people here who have ethical objections to Amazon and don't use its service and convenience and strictly shop locally and pay more willingly?

Posts: 3684 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Let's start with food. Proper pricing leads to proper wages and proper amounts paid by buying stores from growers.

What happens to the people who can barely afford to feed their families as it is? What are they going to do once prices go up?

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29945 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Host
# 11076

 - Posted      Profile for Gwai   Email Gwai   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:

The other way to put uit is that loss leaders are a form of marketing and it's a much more effective form of marketing for me than most others. If you were a store near me and you sell a gallon of milk for a dollar, I'll at least visit your store and see what else I want. (And I have definitely left with just the milk multiple times.)

Not everyone drawn by loss leaders has the option of leaving with just those.

Food prices in America are outrageous, especially for a country that produces so much of its own.

How would any low income shopper be better off with a different form of marketing?

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11880 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Food prices in America are outrageous, especially for a country that produces so much of its own.

Yes and no.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63202 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
If people can't afford basic food, we have seen the upsurge in foodbanks. There's something curious about the change in economics theory in practice since the 1980s that led to these since; I recall no foodbanks before. Mincome, or minimum income was tried in Manitoba in the 1970s, and will be tried in Ontario shortly. Can we not rely on people in poverty to make reasonable decision about spending? The past data says generally yes.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Food prices in America are outrageous, especially for a country that produces so much of its own.

They may be too low. It's possible food that is produced too cheaply relies on government subsidies from farmers and uses things such as steroids to have rapidly growing chickens to keep costs down.
The EU ban those.

quote:

There is also a strong link between cheap food and obesity.

Well, no. It is what food is cheap that has the link. Cheap, high-caloric fast food as opposed to fresh fruit and veg.
If low food prices were a direct link to obesity, Germany would have the higher BMI,* when it fact theirs is considerably lower than the US.

quote:
Food is probably way too cheap in Europe in reality, and if partially subsidized through state support is just artificially priced where it is.

Yeah, damn those people making it easier for the poor to eat better.


*Pedantically, this is how BMI is meant to be used:Comparing large groups, not individuals.

quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
How would any low income shopper be better off with a different form of marketing?

Don't care about marketing. The low income shopper would be better off with lower food prices.

quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Food prices in America are outrageous, especially for a country that produces so much of its own.

Yes and no.
That is an unusual comparison.
I used this one that uses a straight cost to put food on the table.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17093 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
Host
# 11076

 - Posted      Profile for Gwai   Email Gwai   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
How would any low income shopper be better off with a different form of marketing?

Don't care about marketing. The low income shopper would be better off with lower food prices.
Well, of course, but that's like saying the U.S. can get rid of debt by cutting food stamps. As you and I know, food stamp cost is an infinitesimal part of the U.S. debt. Marketing, whether loss leaders or advertisements or what is a tiny percentage of food price.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11880 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Dave W.
Shipmate
# 8765

 - Posted      Profile for Dave W.   Email Dave W.   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Food prices in America are outrageous, especially for a country that produces so much of its own.

Yes and no.
That is an unusual comparison.
I used this one that uses a straight cost to put food on the table.

But if Americans really are spending an historically low fraction of disposable income on food, doesn't that suggest that American food prices probably aren't actually outrageous? How confident are you in "numbeo.com" as a source?

According to the USDA link given in Mousethief's NPR story, in 2015 Americans spent $2392/person on food consumed at home (6.4% of consumer expenditures) while Germans spent $2179 (10.3%).

Posts: 2030 | From: the hub of the solar system | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
# 3245

 - Posted      Profile for Alt Wally     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The EU ban those.

Steroids or subsidies? If subsidies exist then they have to be factored in the true cost or production.

quote:

Well, no. It is what food is cheap that has the link. Cheap, high-caloric fast food as opposed to fresh fruit and veg.
If low food prices were a direct link to obesity, Germany would have the higher BMI,* when it fact theirs is considerably lower than the US.

So, yes. There is a link. Though it may not be a direct correlation. It appears Britain has cheaper food and higher BMI than Germany. Perhaps there is something specific to Germany that makes it different. My guess is food that contributes to BMI generally speaking is cheaper to produce, and therefore is part of the diet of those on the lower end of the income scale.

quote:
Yeah, damn those people making it easier for the poor to eat better.

Better or cheaper? Theoretically food priced below production cost would be good for the poor. So is less expensive or more expensive food better?
Posts: 3684 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
Shipmate
# 17338

 - Posted      Profile for L'organist   Author's homepage   Email L'organist   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
posted by Enoch
quote:
No prophet, are you sure of this and have you a source? We have cheap supermarkets that are German owned. It would be surprising if they could have got into the position of being able to expand abroad if they could not have started that way at home.
It comes down to the expectations of company and shareholders.

UK supermarkets produce more profit as a percentage of turnover than anywhere else on earth. The likes of Tesco and Sainsbury reckon to produce pre-tax profit of between 8 and 10%; in the USA Walmart and other giants reckon on anything up to 2.5%; for the EU as a whole it can be anywhere between 0.25 and 5% and Germany is one of the lowest with profits of 1% considered high.

That is why the likes of Lidl and Aldi can slash prices in the UK while at the same time making many times more profit than back in Germany. One of the reasons they give for such high UK profit margins is the low employment costs in the UK: low minimum wage; low social, health & pension costs; zero hours contracts.

As for the assertion that loss leaders benefit the poor: tell that to my relatives who are farmers and who rely on spouses who work off the farm to subsidise the cost of producing milk and meat. Large agri-businesses (which are mainly involved in single crop production) in the UK may get large handouts but smaller farms barely make ends meet, and the situation has been compounded by the total failure to come up with a solution to the situation where the large supermarket chains dictate the price they pay for things, regardless of the cost of production.

Product dumping should not be made illegal but there should be strict controls, for instance ensuring that such goods go direct to charitable organisations so that the poorest in society can benefit.

--------------------
Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4719 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Albertus
Shipmate
# 13356

 - Posted      Profile for Albertus     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Just one point, l'o- I don't know about their other labour practices (minimum hours etc) but Aldfi & Lidl's crude hourly pay rates in the UK are actually rather good.

--------------------
My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

Posts: 6460 | From: Y Sowth | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Jay-Emm
Shipmate
# 11411

 - Posted      Profile for Jay-Emm     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Just one point, l'o- I don't know about their other labour practices (minimum hours etc) but Aldfi & Lidl's crude hourly pay rates in the UK are actually rather good.

I know we were told that, and that it saved them money (I think the version we were told particularly on barcodes, I don't know if that bit was true, they definitely scan now, but they don't have those things that need 1000 people to resolve unexpected items in bagging areas).

Also heard, and state without verification, that for quite a lot of the store brands the (established) home and (invading) away versions go for different reputations on the quality/price.

Posts: 1618 | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Alt Wally:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The EU ban those.

Steroids or subsidies?
Steroids, the EU have stricter standards than the US.
quote:

If subsidies exist then they have to be factored in the true cost or production.

I am talking about cost to the consumer, especially poor people. It is cheaper to eat healthy in Germany.
quote:

So, yes. There is a link. Though it may not be a direct correlation.

The corelation isn't the cost of food but the cost and availability of crappy food. In poor areas of America, it is easier to find a quickie mart or a fast food restaurant than a grocery store.
quote:

It appears Britain has cheaper food and higher BMI than Germany.

Nope. More expensive food and a higher BMI. I would attribute his, in part, to Britain's habit of take-away. Food in restaurants, especially cheap food, is higher in fat and sugar.
Germans eat home prepared food at a much greater rate.
quote:

My guess is food that contributes to BMI generally speaking is cheaper to produce, and therefore is part of the diet of those on the lower end of the income scale.

Is what I have been saying.
quote:

quote:
Yeah, damn those people making it easier for the poor to eat better.

Better or cheaper? Theoretically food priced below production cost would be good for the poor. So is less expensive or more expensive food better?

I'll repeat it: Germans eat more fresh, unmodified food; prepared at home and they pay less for it. And are more fit at the end of the process.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17093 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Let's start with food. Proper pricing leads to proper wages and proper amounts paid by buying stores from growers.

What happens to the people who can barely afford to feed their families as it is? What are they going to do once prices go up?
Well, presumably they, along with the producers, would also have proper wages with which they could feed their families.

If that sounds impractical or unlikely, you're right -- not because it's an unworkable idea but because it's never even been tried. There isn't any area of our economy that isn't underpinned by somebody getting the short end of the stick. Historically, I don't think there has ever been an economy that wasn't sustained by slaves / temporary workers / outsourcing / pieceworkers / regressive taxation / sweatshops / metics / prison labour / unpaid work. That doesn't even begin to take into account our system's failure to account for the true value of non-renewable resources and the costs of pollution. The whole edifice is unstable and unsustainable and it is going to unravel, no matter which thread you pull at - environmental, social, or economic.

If we don't want to interfere with wages, then how about income-based pricing? Imagine how different our economy would be if these folks paid prices for goods and services that were proportional to their income. We've become so obsessed with low prices that we haven't stopped to question why we think it's a good thing that anybody, including Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, can buy a Happy Meal for $3.99, yet many of the people who helped produce that Happy Meal can't afford to feed their kids anything better than a Happy Meal.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

Posts: 5394 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ricardus
Shipmate
# 8757

 - Posted      Profile for Ricardus   Author's homepage   Email Ricardus   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:

As for the assertion that loss leaders benefit the poor: tell that to my relatives who are farmers and who rely on spouses who work off the farm to subsidise the cost of producing milk and meat. Large agri-businesses (which are mainly involved in single crop production) in the UK may get large handouts but smaller farms barely make ends meet, and the situation has been compounded by the total failure to come up with a solution to the situation where the large supermarket chains dictate the price they pay for things, regardless of the cost of production.

True, but the OP proposed banning loss leaders, and I'm not convinced that would in itself ameliorate the problem. AIUI the supermarkets currently pay more for milk than they charge customers. If they were forced to charge customers at least the same price as they pay the farmers, it doesn't seem impossible that they would decide the market can't stand this higher price and try to drive down the farm gate price even further.

--------------------
Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

Posts: 7178 | From: Liverpool, UK | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Palimpsest
Shipmate
# 16772

 - Posted      Profile for Palimpsest   Email Palimpsest   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In the US, this is mostly covered by anti-trust law. You can sell at a loss if it's not intended to destroy competition by cross subsidizing the losses. This is tricky to prove and weakly enforced except when it's garnished with collusion in restraint of trade. There's more fuss about international selling below cost (China) which is called dumping.

This is difficult to prove; there's a current theory going around that the major airlines are actually behaving non-competitively in setting fares. While they are independent corporations, much of their stock is held by few pension funds who benefit if they don't compete too strongly.

BMI issues are more of a problem because of lack of places to buy healthy food, or for a family to have time to prepare it. Google "Food Deserts" to see what happens for poor people in much of the country. Finally there's enormous subsidies on corn and wheat which make the American diet hugely loaded with cheap corn product foods.

Posts: 2983 | From: Seattle WA. US | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

 - Posted      Profile for Marvin the Martian     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
What happens to the people who can barely afford to feed their families as it is? What are they going to do once prices go up?

Well, presumably they, along with the producers, would also have proper wages with which they could feed their families.
Not everyone has a job.

quote:
If we don't want to interfere with wages, then how about income-based pricing? Imagine how different our economy would be if these folks paid prices for goods and services that were proportional to their income.
I presume you'd have a minimum amount that anything could cost, otherwise anyone with zero income could get anything they wanted for nothing - and you don't have to be an economist to know why that would be a bad idea...

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29945 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

 - Posted      Profile for Alan Cresswell   Email Alan Cresswell   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
If we don't want to interfere with wages, then how about income-based pricing? Imagine how different our economy would be if these folks paid prices for goods and services that were proportional to their income.
I presume you'd have a minimum amount that anything could cost, otherwise anyone with zero income could get anything they wanted for nothing - and you don't have to be an economist to know why that would be a bad idea...
Presumably the base cost, ie: the minimum a shop could charge excluding yellow-sticker clearances of near-sell by date & damaged goods, would be the cost of production. If, you're going to tie this into a law banning sale of products below the cost of production. So, producers, distributors and retailers make no profit from the poorest members of society, and rake it in from the rich.

Though, the practicalities of such a scheme would be formidable. First, you would need to tell the retailer your income so that they could apply the appropriate price premium (and, the retailer would need to have a means of verifying that to avoid the obvious scam of saying your income is less than it actually is). Then, if you can work out a fool-proof way of doing that the retailer then needs to pass on the information regarding what was sold at what price to their suppliers, who then need to pass that on to the producers (many of whom wouldn't even be in the same country).

It would almost certainly be much simpler to just hike up tax rates, and then use the revenue to either subsidise producers and retailers to keep prices low or to provide extra to the poorest to spend on their groceries, clothing, utilities etc.

--------------------
All I want for Christmas is EU

Posts: 32184 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Not everyone has a job.[/qb]

See above re Mincome, where everyone gets minimum income.

--------------------
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11167 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
la vie en rouge
Parisienne
# 10688

 - Posted      Profile for la vie en rouge     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
FWIW loss leaders are illegal in France as well.

I don’t know for sure but I don’t think French farmers are seeing their prices forced down all that much, probably because agriculture is still a fairly powerful lobby here*. Also they are better at gaming the Common Agricultural Policy [Two face]

*In more ways than one. For example, down our way in foie gras land, the night train runs at a significant loss to the SNCF. They have never succeeded in getting rid of it because every time they try, José Bové and his farmers come and release their cows to wander all over the tracks. You don’t mess with José Bové (or his cows [Biased] ).

--------------------
Rent my holiday home in the South of France

Posts: 3622 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools