My friend told me this is stealing. I maintain that it is bargaining.
Do they know they're "bargaining" with you? Somehow I missed the part where you actually do tell them that you're haggling over the price of tea with them.
Let me put it this way. While you're asleep in your apartment, I come in and take your TV. It's not "stealing", we're haggling over the price of your TV - I'm offering a price of zero dollars, and if you don't like that offer, you have the option to wake up, notice I'm taking your TV, and make a counter-offer. (Say, three rounds in the chest from the handgun in your nightstand?) As it is, I just take your continued slumber as implicit acceptance of my offer. I mean, you had the option!
Deal? Don't worry, I'll find your address. I'll even let myself in!
Is the store entitled to wealth by the deception of price gouging?
No, but they're entitled to set the price at which they choose to sell it to you, and you're entitled to either accept that price or walk out. There's no principle that entitles you to choose a lower price on their behalf.
Less than one month of MacDonalds damn near killed Morgan Spurlock.
Yeah, but like the guy in "Fat Head" points out, you'd probably kill yourself if you ate 5200 calories a day of garden salads. Be honest, what does McDonalds do that is so bad? Provide cheap food?
In the US, one in five children (one in FIVE!) face food insecurity because of the low incomes of their parents. That's one out of every five children who don't always get fed every day because their parents are making the choice between paying the rent and paying for food. Making food more expensive takes it out of the mouths of some nonzero number of children. Sure, McDonalds makes cheap-ass burgers out of low-quality beef that normally wouldn't make it to retail.
That's a good thing! I'm not saying McDonalds deserves a Nobel Prize but they're not forcing people to eat their crap, or eat 5500 calories of it every day for a month. The Morgan Spurlock fallacy is that if its bad to eat McDonalds three times a day for twenty days, it must be bad to eat it at all. But dosage is everything. Even water is poisonous in a large enough dose. Its also necessary for life.
It's cheaper to make your child lunch and dinner than to buy them McDonlads.
Only if your time isn't worth anything. (Which is frequently assumed to be the case of women, which is why family meals have long been assumed to be the woman's work.) At the median US income it's more expensive to cook one meal - of just rice and beans! - than it is to grab McDonalds on the way home from work.
That's ridicuous unless someone is seriously fucking with the numbers.
No fucking - just the assumption of two hours of shopping, cooking, and cleanup at the median American wage, plus the cost of food. I think it's fairly defensible to suggest that a home-cooked, from-scratch dinner for four requires two hours of labor to shop, cook, and do the dishes. In fact I'd say that two hours is fairly generous for your side.
Like I said, it's only "cheaper" if your time is worthless.
Shopping on the weekend and cooking 10-15 minute meals when your off of work isn't costing anything.
No, it's costing your time. And again your time is only free if your time is worthless. Yours probably is, but the median American's time is worth something like $16 an hour.
As a parent, you'd go broke feeding your kids McDonalds for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Yes, you would. But if the alternative means - as it does for many Americans - two less paid hours at work, then the cost of not eating McDonalds is even greater.
And you know what? Your kids won't fucking complain about eating McNuggets, but they might very well revolt at whatever revolting slop you're able to throw together for 5 dollars and 15 minutes. Talk to a parent - shutting your kids the fuck up about dinner is worth a pretty substantial dollar amount.
Then you're not exactly the average use case, are you? Most people live somewhere where they literally can't walk to the grocery store, so they have to drive. And I bet you're not paying a dollar for a can of green beans in downtown NYC, are you? Everybody knows how the price of food doubles or triples when you have to buy it from a bodega instead of from Megabox Mart or whatever you have out there (Giant, I think?)
Shop after work or on the weekend.
After work might be 7pm for someone who works first and second shifts. Doing the cooking and shopping might mean your kids don't get dinner till 8 or 8:30. I think a lot of people would consider that just way too late, especially if your kids got home at 3 and have to wait five hours for dinner.
Look, Oni, the poors aren't stupid. There's a reason that they've not embraced vast home cooked meals as a means to solve the food expenditure problem, and the reason is that contrary to everything you've said it's actually not at all cheaper to cook your own meals. The documentary Food, Inc has a really powerful segment where a working-class Hispanic family compares their usual meal of Burger King dollar menu items to what they could buy at a neighborhood grocery, and its astounding how much more expensive everything is at the grocery. Four oranges wind up costing more than an entire family meal at Burger King (which is, now, about ten dollars.) Trying to assemble an actual balanced meal of fresh vegetables and lean proteins is ruinous, it costs more than their entire food budget for the week.
When people turn to fast food instead of home cooking, it's not because McDonalds is in there lacing each burger with crack cocaine, its because McDonalds is presenting an unbeatable value proposition in most areas of the country and at most income levels. It's a meal, guaranteed to satiate without breaking the bank. No dishes or labor required. For a lot of people that makes real economic sense compared to paying double the cost and time to roll the dice on a home-cooked meal that, very likely, nobody is going to like.
Oni, look. I'm glad for you and for your kids that you have the time and energy to cook nutritious meals for them. That's a net win for you and for them and I'm glad it works out. But surely you can look around your NYC neighborhood and see why that solution isn't going to work for many of your neighbors. It has nothing to do with any nefarious deeds by McDonalds and everything to do with the capabilities and leftover energy of people who have to work 10-16 hour days just to barely make it.
Well, look. Watch the movie and tell me what you think they're lying about. Don't you think its possible that food costs different amounts depending where you live?
I don't mean to endorse every fact in "Food, Inc" - in many ways I think it paints too narrow a picture of American food and its production - but it's certainly correct about how many Americans live in "food deserts" and how preparing your own home-cooked meals isn't a winning short-term value proposition against fast food. That's a well-known sociological fact that your own experience doesn't refute. I'm glad you make it work, but it just doesn't work for an awful lot of people. I mean, its great that you have weekends off! That's not true of a lot of Americans. The time they're supposed to be cooking is the time they're either working or sleeping, both of which they have to do.
Baring the extreme case when Ramen noodles is the call for dinner and all one can afford, the avergae middle class family would go broke dining out.
But we're not always talking about middle class families, are we?
But you could work 16 hours a day. You could probably get by on 5 hours of sleep. It might make you fucking miserable and terrible at both your jobs but you could do it. You just don't want to - the money wouldn't be worth it to you. That's perfectly fine - there's more to life than money. Spend yours as you see fit.
Like I say, sleep is valuable. Why does it surprise you to learn that you pay something for it?
Cause it doesn't
Of course it does. You're saying you've never in your life slept instead of doing something else? You're saying you've never in your life decided to get a good night's sleep instead of getting a second job? You don't know anybody who works 10-12 hour days and only gets 5-6 hours of sleep a night?
Look, it's taking money out of your pocket. It obviously is. I'm not saying it's not worth it - where are you getting that? - but just like how food costs money, sleep costs money because it takes up some of your time. Just like your leisure hours cost you money. I don't understand the problem you have with this. Clearly you're poorer because you sleep instead of taking a second job. Clearly, that's worth it to you. What's the issue?
But that's what I'm getting at... you can't just say that this particular hour is worth X dollars.
Well, you can (and do) certainly say that this particular hour in your life is worth X dollars to spend it one way, or Y dollars to spend it another. Time is money.
I wasn't really following you... and I didn't know "opportunity cost" was an actual economics term (I only studied math and science).
Oh, yeah. So, the "opportunity cost" of doing something is the value of doing the next-best thing. It's a little hand-wavey, to be sure, but the notion is basically that you're presented with mutually exclusive choices, and the cost of doing any one of them is, at most, the cost of not doing the most valuable alternative.
Example - you're trying to plan a vacation. Should you go to Vegas or New York? It's mutually exclusive - you can't be in both Vegas and New York at the same time. Going to Vegas means you don't go to New York. Going to New York means you don't go to Vegas. Going to Vegas means you have X amount of fun. Going to New York means you have Y amount of fun.
The opportunity cost (in "fun") of going to Vegas is -Y, and the cost of going to New York is -X. If you go to Vegas, the net amount of "fun" you gain is X-Y. If you chose rationally, that's more than going to New York, which is Y-X. If it would actually have been more fun to go to New York, then you chose poorly. That's a really stupid example but it kind of illustrates the concept - when you choose to do something, you're implictly chosing not to do something else.
I don't think this is strange or alien to you. Surely once in your life you considered staying home from work to play video games, but then it dawned on you - you're liable to make about $60-120 for a day of work, and playing video games wouldn't be worth being $60 poorer. So you went to work. Hell, I've made the same calculation. Some days I decided that, no, kicking back for a day was worth being $60 poorer than I otherwise would have been.
"Pay" is a strage way to say "not earn" but whatever.
Well, yeah. It is a little strange to think of "not earning" as an actual "cost".
I don't think you should calculate the value of the time that you spend on doing things your going to do anyways (like going to the store) at the same rate you us for what you earn at your job.
Well, I think it should be calculated at the job you could plausibly get during that time. For the most part, most people work jobs where they can get a few extra hours if they want, so it's plausible to suggest that most of the time they're spending to do something else could be spent doing more hours at their job. That's not always true for everybody. If you actually had to get a second job in order to work more hours - like, your place of work isn't open in the middle of the night - then the opportunity wage cost for sleep is the wage you could make at whatever most profitable second job you could be doing. I have a neighbor who has a 3 AM paper route. It's not that he needs the money, its that he realized how much of his life he was spending just vegging in front of the TV after work, and decided that he would rather shift his sleep schedule around to monetize those hours. He ran the opportunity cost calculation and decided he'd rather have the money. You and I run the numbers and decide we'd rather have the sleep.
I don't think either of us are "right" or "wrong." Our time has different value to each of us.
I wouldn't sacrifice a night's sleep for less than $30/hr.
That's fair. I don't think that changes anything. If an hour of sleep is worth $30 to you, you definitely shouldn't be trying to exchange that hour for $16 in wage. (Let's say that's the most you could earn per hour at a job in the middle of the night.) That doesn't make the sleep worth any less; exactly the opposite. You just told me that sleep is worth $30 an hour or more to you. How can you therefore think sleep has no value?