On the political front: I threw a fit of journal-entry proportions this morning because a friend and I went to the ghetto Safeway and discovered limes cost 50 cents apiece there.
Iâ€™m convinced the pricing of the limes has more to do with the fact that most folks who shop the ghetto Safeway do not own cars -- or enjoy a straight shot on mass transit to the competition -- because you can get limes five for a dollar elsewhere if you have a car; I purchased about 50 limes a week ago for 20 cents apiece.
(And, yes, I'm aware that someone has to labor for less than nothing and no hope for the occasional trip to the salon to get me limes at that price; jump to the wrap at the end if that's your shtick.)
My argument is that the pricing has nothing to do with fluctuations in the wholesale lime market, that we could have hit another Safeway served by the same warehouse and found limes five for a dollar.
The friend disagreed and is (begin emphasis) still (end emphasis) actively disagreeing. (Continuous action in the present, he.)
He says â€œthey would get busted if they did that.â€? He says every Safeway served by the same warehouse has limes for 50 cents apiece right now.
Hello? Who is going to bust Safeway for pricing limes based on what X captive market is willing to pay?
The larger argument: Fordist urban planning is a barrier to folks getting the lime-pricing they deserve. (I caved and bought a few of the 50-cent limes. They were underperformers.)
If we had great mass transit and sensible urban planning, not only would uniform pricing of limes result from everyone having equal access to all retailers, but Walmart would not be No. 1 in all significant retail categories -- folks would not necessarily patronize a retailer based on the asphalt-availability index alone.
My two neighbors, both under 30, do not have cars, and they report -- this while drinking wine on the balcony beginning at 10 or so on a Friday morning -- that it would not matter to them if they could get 50 rolls of toilet paper for 50 cents or 20 limes for $1, they would not patronize Walmart or its subsidiaries.
The one 23-year-old and said voting with your consumer dollar is equally as important as voting in elections.
If you think the larger argument is that you'd have to stop buying much of anything if you really wanted to stay clean karma-wise, this is the wrap: Yes, in a perfect world you'd have to pay the lime workers a livable wage and pass the non-savings onto me. But that goes against the Walmart worldview and would require a sustainable economy -- on and on.