The other day, I went to pick up some 12-packs of (my favorite) Diet Coke, and something blew my caffeine-addled mind. Apparently, the price increase from Coca-Cola Enterprises
The "sale" price at my local Harris Teeter was $5.39 for a 12-pack of Diet Coke, and according to the price tag displayed, a 12-pack is going for $5.69 as the regular price now. $5.69! My brain blanked, and then it rebelled: "I'm not paying that!" Once I'd recovered my senses, I settled for Dr Pepper Snapple's
In July, I was moved to write about the prospect of not being able to afford my Coke habit when I heard a price hike was coming. Granted, my local Harris Teeter does seem to be more expensive than other local grocers, and I haven't checked out what rivals' regular prices are for Coke 12-packs, but I suspect that theirs may be nearly as jarring.
This just underlines the continuous squeeze on the American consumer. It's not just the still-high prices at the gas pumps, but also the major price increases on all manner of everyday things. The litany of companies talking about raising prices for their wares is ongoing -- everybody from General Mills
Sure, it's logical, but it also stands to reason that at some point, many consumers may choose not to pay the higher prices, and worse, those who are drowning in debt and have extremely limited cash resources will realize they can't afford certain items. Given America's recently debt-fueled lifestyle, it may sound un-American to say, "I can't afford that," but the dangers of a high-debt, instant-gratification lifestyle are coming home to roost. (And you know, before the past decade or so, it certainly wasn't "un-American" to admit, "I can't afford that.")
Financial crises aren't limited to major corporations such as AIG
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