I disagree with you because all change starts one person at a time even cultural ones.
However the massive collective is the only way we would be able to see immediate results on the inflation rate and that not going to happen now or over night.
Keep in mind the topic is not "Can I affect one person to be a thrifty Consumer?", if so the answer would be "Yes!". We are talking about changing a country, mindset, and culture that has been heading down this path for decades and they will continue to head down that path regardless to whether one person influences 10, 20, 100 or even 1000 - why - because on the other side of the coin the consumers that support inflation - yes support it have numbers in the 100,000s. It is a culture. Guess what, sellers do not look or even care about the 10, 20, or 100 - they care about the 100,000 ignorant fools who work hard for their money and yet give it away with a grumble of "Things so high".
Am I angry - yes, because I will not buy a pack of Skim milk for almost fifty dollars. I can buy it, I have the money, but I just refuse to be taken advantage of by the injustice in this country. It is that ignorant consumer out there that is causing me to not drink milk - next few months it will be $60 and they will buy it as though it were $10.
I think we need to understand the cultural aspect/mindset of people who are willing to buy groceries no matter the price as long as they can afford it.
Trinidadians in general are very materialistic to the point of stupidity (example: they do not own a house yet but they drive the latest of cars)
They love to show what they have (insecurity complex maybe?). That's why you see them in Hi-Lo buying the most expensive meats, imported products, just like if they were living in the US and I am not speaking about the wealthy people in Westmoorings but the common folks. Yet, the salary they are making is not even $5,000 a month.
Don't ask me how they do it, because Trinis love "deals" of any kind, my point is simple. Trinis do not like to look "cheap" or be considered "cheap", therefore as long as they can afford they will still buy it no matter the price. So if tomorrow, that same milk cost $100 they will STILL buy it if they have the money.
They do not see themselves as "stupid" because the people that surrounds them have the same type of mentality, making it impossible for them to see the bigger picture. An acquaintance of mine was asking me some time my opinion on how come her finances are in such a mess, it was shocking for me to realize that she (and for that matter nobody else in her family) realize that the type of lifestyle they want to live is not compatible to their circumstances.
A lot of Trinis travel abroad and get a taste of what life is in the US and Canada and they pretend to bring that here...yet living in a shack or a rented apartment but hey! I have a 2007 car. rolleyes
Besides all these points, as the wise French Napoleon said "Every country has the Government that its people deserve", what a magnificent quote. It is because of the mentality, laid-back attitude that most Trinidadians have is that the Inflation is 10% and food prices rising in a crazy way. It is because the average Trinidadian think with her/his belly that the prices keep increasing...like this with everything in Trinidad: crime, rental prices, etc.
It is always shocking to me as a foreigner, to see Trinis not doing anything significant about the food prices yet they get stupid and aggressive for the silliest of reasons in the street, normally to a complete stranger but the Government is hurting them in their pockets and they choose to stay quiet. I suppose that's what happens when you have a country who did not have to fight for Independence.
Trinidadians have a saying "I can't eat the money"
My problem is however that I can send a message to the producers and distributors that I am NOT going to buy something that is not worth the value or where the price has gone up significantly.
We continue to see situations where the price of an ingredient goes up and the supermarkets, gas stations or other retailers carry out the stock taking to raise the price. We NEVER see the flip side where price of say flour drops and there is any effort to reduce the price of the manufactured product, in this case bread.
Prices rise as we speak and the supermarket chains have stopped putting prices on the items directly. I believe that this is so they can raise prices at short notice.
It is easier to change the price at the register.
There are also several places that have no indication of prices almost as if price is not supposed to be a factor.
I make a nuisance of myself asking the price and have no problem leaving it at the register if the price is too high. When you are the only one doing something, you will never see a change.
Good for you Kaisofan! I was reading yesterday a letter in the Express that explains exactly what is going on in Trinidad:
|The Central Bank announces that inflation is down to eight per cent and there is an immediate popular misconception that prices are going to fall. This is furthest from the truth. People, if the price of a bag of rice is at $50 and inflation is at eight per cent it means the price would be $54 in the next year; it also means our dollar would only be worth 92 cents then.|
For prices of anything (except local produce which is seasonal) to be reduced, then inflation must fall below zero per cent, which is then called deflation.
Has this word ever been used by Government before, or better yet, when is the last time you saw the prices for bread, rice, sugar, for that matter anything reduced?
It's always going up!
Get real, people, and prepare yourself to pay more.
An importer replying to the question, "why is the price of your product so high," said, "I charge what the market will bear." There are many forces that drive inflation. One of them is greed.
Did anyone hear the government plans to have a consultation on food prices on Wednesday and Thursday? After reading the article, it seems to me that rather a consultation, it seems to be a meeting where they will justify why food prices are escalating in the way they do.
|MINISTER of Legal and Consumer Affairs Christine Kangaloo said although it is not compulsory to register to attend next week's consultation on food prices, the auditorium at the Trinity College East venue in Trincity can hold only 900 persons.|
A Ministry of Finance statement yesterday said the talks would both explain the background to high prices, allow the public to highlight their concerns and raise issues with respect to the increase in food prices, and give the Government a platform to advise the public on its actions to contain the increases.
The event will be held next from 9 am to 5 pm on Wednesday and Thursday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Patrick Manning, and speakers will include Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams.