Monday, August 20, 2007

Budget day

By 2:30 this afternoon much of the speculation will be over, at least for those who understand economist speak, as yet another budget day rolls by. The PM has said his presentation is going to be 3 hours long, but most people stop listening early in the game and wait for the precis by the experts in the aftershow.

Much hype, much pontificating, much speculation, in the end, it will be read and we'll either live with it happily or live with it complaining all the way. But it's not so much about the budget. This is another nine day wonder in a land filled with them. We'll grouse if we don't like it but not a whole lot else. Meanwhile, we go to public consultations and complain about the price of things while we continue to buy them.

I wonder what would happen if consumers got together and started to refuse to purchase, say market produce. I find it instructive that at several of the stalls that I frequent, the owners all drive large, European luxury cars. Now, I'm all for capitalism, working hard and making an honest living and enjoying the fruit of your labour, I try to anyway. But I also know what the payments on one of those cars is, and the insurance. I'm told by several car sales people that there are those who pay in cash for cars that cost in excess of half a million TT. On an aside, I''ve also noticed most people in the food import business also drive expensive cars and live in up-market area with large walls and security to keep people out.

That's a lot of vegetables. These are not the people growing them, these are the people buying and RE-SELLING. Makes you wonder about the mark-up given that they have to, one assumes, pay rent, utilities, staff wages etc. It is a given in today's world, people must buy food. The law of supply and demand. We demand, someone supplies but at what price?

So think while you whinge about the price of things; is it not partially our responsibility to police our willingness to pay the cost whatever? To quote the tag from the Consumer Affairs, The Power is Yours.

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