#MNR: The Price of COVID
Nowadays, are you extra pissed that damn near everything available for purchase or rental, from food to clothes to gas to hotels to airline tickets have taken a very noticeable hike in price? I’m talking about everything from two-star hotels on the Virginia Beach strip on a random weekend to Polo boxers to…lumber. Everything. It’s one thing to go to your favorite local grocery store and see your particular brand of ground chicken (Perdue) fluctuate in price from one week to the next. I’m not frugal to the point that I’m bitching about a dollar increase (actually, I am, kinda). But when your favorite drawz have made a $15 jump in price and your hosiery infrastructure is in dire need of strengthening, it’s enough to make you want to slap box with two midg---err umm, little people.
For those of us who slept through economics, inflation is defined as a persistent, substantial rise in the general level of the prices for goods and services across an economy, resulting in the loss of value of currency. Let’s trim the fat and forget about the loss of value of currency; we’re not going that deep with it. Our focus is on the persistent, substantial rise in prices. I know you see it. I’m going to assume that it altered your plans a time or two. The price of everything is crazy. I’m seeing gas prices north of $3.30 a gallon. WTF? Well, you don’t need to be Alan Greenspan to figure it all out, it’s quite simple. The problem is COVID.
Inflation rose an eye-opening 5% from May 2020 to May 2021. Do the math. The COVID shutdowns began in March 2020. Even though we exist in an age where data can be analyzed in real-time, it took a minute to get accurate numbers on how COVID began to affect the domestic AND global economic landscape. We literally shutdown as a nation. The shutdowns affected everything across the board. Many factories were forced to shut down for periods of time, temporarily bringing production to a halt. Many transportation companies were affected as a direct result. There was no product being made to sell to vendors, and in turn no product to move, forcing transportation companies to lay off a lot of truckers. Overall, there was much less product being produced, distributed, and sold. And to add insult to injury, the global scarcity of raw materials and electronic components further affected the production of many products. It doesn’t matter if you have a factory full of workers if there’s nothing for them to work with. Items like PS5 or Xbox were already in short production because of a lack of availability of internal components. Even when they are produced and sold, bots and hoarders scoop everything up. EVERYTHING. Most consumers are left with the lone option of paying ridiculous resell prices to own desired products. COVID was the catalyst for everything. And further, furthermore, when companies see how much resellers make on their products, it’s quite likely that they will inevitably begin to raise retail prices. The only true loser is the consumer. We’re forced to pay the bump ups; we’re forced to pay the resell prices. I know what some dickhead is thinking. Gee, you all should be ashamed of yourselves. None of this is necessitous. These are first world problems. Shut your correct ass the fuck up. OF COURSE these are first world problems. Few of the things we complain about not being able to purchase are necessitous. But damn it, this is America. We’ve earned the right to bitch and complain about first world problems. And no, we shouldn’t have to pay some asshole $800 for a $400 PS5 or $400 for a $200 pair of Nikes. But it’s the world we live in. COVID is the runaway influence.
I truly wish I had some good old Ty Thompson inspirational message for you all. The fact is that there’s a good chance that a lot of this fuckery is here to stay. Now, I don’t want to be Donnell Downer. Not everything will be permanently fucked up. Lumber prices have already begun to come down. Food prices fluctuate, so if you can’t afford your chicken this week, next week will probably be better. Ditto for gas; just replace weeks with months. It’ll be a couple of years, but in time the demand for game consoles will calm down after everyone who wants one has one. But the hot ticket items like trading cards and fly kix…forget it. You, I, we are going to have to pay out the ass from here on. My bro just called me about pricing a pair of Jordans for his baby girl. I had to break the news to him. He was far from incredulous but was slightly taken aback at how fucked up the sneaker game had become. Smh. Aren’t we all? C’est la vie.
That’s my time y’all. Stay blessed and stay dangerous. I’m a catch y’all on the come up.
tymonday.com; @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com; @crewunB on Twitter & @theunbearablescrew on IG