I wanted to say a few words about corporate greed. It seems like it is a timely subject. I am not going to discuss the Wall Street bail out. Enough is being said about that as it is but no one has commented on the central fact. We are being told that if they do not get a bail out the lending institutions won't make loans available, credit will dry up, and the economy will collapse. I have no doubt that things would get pretty rough but I am quite sure that the powers that be would not long dry up credit. Selling credit is how they make their money, but, they will scare the public to death and they could withhold credit long enough to make things very bad. That's all I have to say on that subject. I want to speak about another type of corporate greed that has led us to where we are.
I needed to shave this morning. I have been busy and let it go for three days so I was quite scruffy this morning and thought I had better scrape my face.
I remember when I was a boy. My father used to shave with Gillette Blue Blades. Truly horrible shaving implements but times were tough and things were hard and that was all he could afford. They were 25 cents for a package of five. Even that was expensive in those hard times. I remember Dad shaving with the same blade over and over until he would bleed when he shaved. He would then take that old Blue Blade from the safety razor and run it back and forth on the inside of a water glass to try to hone an edge back onto it so he could get a few more shaves.
Think about that the next time you think your money is tight!
I was thinking of that this morning when I finally got around to shaving. I use a Gellette Mach 3 Turbo. It gives a fantastic shave and the blades last a long time.
They should last a long time. They are extraordinarily expensive. A package of 5 Mach 3 Turbo blades cost $15. A package of 10 cost $24.
Did you get that? A fucking razor blade cost $2.40 each if bought 10 at a time and $3.00 if bought 5 at a time.
Those blue blades cost my Dad 5 cents each. That is $0.05.
Has that sunk in yet? Razor blades at $2.40 each. Now if you think it cost Gillette anywhere near that much to make those I have a bridge I want to sell you. This is the corporate greed I am talking about.
I could go on about this at some length but I don't think I have to. I am sure you are all bright enough to get the picture. The Mars family made a billion dollars selling candy bars at 5 cents a piece. I think most of us would consider ourselves quite fortunate to have a billion dollars. I am sure Gillette made a billion dollars selling those lousy Blue Blades at 5 cents a piece. So how much are they ripping us off for now?
(Originally posted to Multiply September 24, 2008)