- Personal Finance»
- Understanding Finance
Britain: Commercial Greed: The Size of the Soap's the Clue!
And a Look at Some Seasonal Banking (Mal) practices
Britain: Commercial Greed. The Size of the Soap's the Clue
...and a look at some Yuletide banking (mal) practices.
Visitors to the UK, especially our Cuzzies from across the pond, might be excused for thinking some of the products are made and packaged with Lilliputians in mind. I lived in the US for 8 years and became used to finding volume packets, jars and tins of products, making them an economical buy over the long haul.
British retailers, however, being of a far more commercial bent than the more generous Americans, saw that putting more amounts of a given product in a larger pack would not be in their interests. Why else would the only soap for sale in the UK Supers be of the hand-soap size and no large bars, the bath size? One or two showers and you need a new bar. This supply of small sizes only applies to scores of products, from coffee to aspirin. I remember with nostalgia the old bottles of Bayer aspirin in the USA...500 or 1000 tablets were they? In the mendaceous "Rip-Off-Britain," these low priced pain relievers are treated like prescription medications and packaged 5, 10, 20, etc., to a pack.
Hardly anything is sold in wholesale (bulk) amounts. Rice, beans, flour, etc., all in tiny packets; in the US they were available in bags of 10 and 20 pounds, etc.
Packaging itself seems to change daily. Containers get shorter, thinner - less content inside; while the gram amount on the outside flickers like ticker tape. You have to admire their creative mendaceousness at the same time you detest them for manipulating us like this. This couldn't have been done a few years ago, but now the packaging manufacturers (often in- house) can change a carton's configuration at the touch of a keyboard, changes can be made hourly to the container, the advertising, and the amount of product it receives.
But the soap especially irritates me...
... along with the low pressure showers here and the lack of power points in the bathroom (illegal to install here; "nanny" doesn't trust us!).
What's going on in the banks? Along with all the power companies raising their prices as our heating bills soar anyway in the long winter days and nights, the banks apparently ran out of money over the last three days preventing shoppers from using their credit cards of accessing their acounts online or at cash-points.
The two or three major offenders blame it on out-dated computer systems faltering under the Christmas load. Balderdash! And if true, why? They are still handing out billions in bonuses, why not upgrade the computers first?
I see something more sinister here. I think they are terrified of a run in the banks...they want to control how much we get out of our own money, ready to slam the port cullis if there is a whisper of a run. It wouldn't take much, believe me. People here absolutely hate the banks and view them with the utmost suspicion. Savings accruing peppercorn interest anyway are down to a new low as customers have been milking their savings acounts and hiding the money elsewhere. The banks know this and have their grey mitts hovering over the panic button.
You see, they think the money is theirs, not yours, the customer's. As we have seen before and will see very soon again I think, they will attempt to appropriate it all. Personally, I went out and spent $5000 on a better car last month, and I am changing what's left into Swiss Francs and I'm not alone!
Last week I received an email from the bank I deal with "suggesting" I pay off the $2000 balance on my credit card - "...as I am paying more interest and I HAVE MONEY IN MY SAVINGS ACOUNT" - yes, that's just what it said. Does this sound like something else to you? Wouldn't you think they'd be pleased at the interest they are getting? Could the hidden agenda be, "If we seize your funds, we don't want to be out of pocket on your visa!" And how far up our rears do they have their hooked noses?
Maybe I'm paranoid...maybe you'd better be, too!