I was listening to National Public Radio this morning on the way to work. They do a feature called “MarketPlace” that purports to tell us all about things economic around the world.
This morning, NPR did a very brief feature on Japan, where apparently a tax hike was not actually contributing to greater Japanese economic health. Just like virtually all tax hikes these days.
It’s one little, teeny, tiny, eentsy-weentsy phrase that I want to focus on for the moment. The last phrase the “reporter” used — the one he wants everyone to remember most — was, in as close to a direct quote as I can get: “Some companies used the tax hike as an excuse to raise their prices.”
The reporter’s tone of voice for this brief finishing phrase was scornful, as if it was just completely obvious that companies shouldn’t pass greater costs along to the consumer. This came from a reporter on things pertaining to business. Seriously.
Can you believe the brazenness of that phrase, though? Ignore the flagrant editorializing in the word “excuse” for a moment. A phrase that would be just as accurate, just as correct: “Some companies used the tax hike as a perfectly logical reason to raise their prices.”
Their costs just went up! When that happens, companies have only a few alternatives: (1) cut costs, ie employees or other costs, (2) make more sales, (3) swallow the price hike, or (4) raise their prices.
Or, they could go out of business. I guess that would have been more palatable to the idiotic “reporter” for NPR.
Unsurprisingly, though, some companies raise their prices. Not because the tax hike is an excuse, but because — it’s worth repeating — their freakin’ costs went up.
I’m constantly reminded that you come out of any session with NPR “news” less informed than you go in.