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Letter to the editor: Prices rise and quantity ebbs

On a recent visit to the Dollar Tree store, I discovered that it is no longer the Dollar Tree; it is now the $1.25 Tree. Most items, not all, but most, are now $1.25. That’s a 25-percent price hike. And I thought inflation was already high at 6 and 7 percent. I wonder if the name of the store will change.

A local food store advertises on TV that they have low prices; not any more. We’ve all seen food prices lately and they are not low. I wonder if this might be classified as “false advertising.” Maybe the statement in the commercial needs an adjustment.

If suppliers, businesses, retailers, wholesalers, and corporations would stop raising prices, maybe there wouldn’t be an inflation problem. I remember in the 1970s there was something like an executive order for a wage and price freeze. Maybe it’s time for something similar, maybe not a wage freeze but at least a price freeze. Recently a commentator on a news report said prices are high because people are willingly paying them. Yes, they are paying them, but not willingly. We’re being forced to pay them, in particular when it comes to necessities like food, water, electricity, gas and toilet paper. I think “willingly” is the wrong word.

Shrinkflation is when suppliers put less and less quantity in the package without lowering the price proportionately.

I have noticed this practice for quite some time. Make no bones about it, it’s a disguised price hike. I wonder if this type of increase is included in the formula when calculating the inflation rate and reflected in the consumer price index to determine the cost of living adjustment for Social Security and other pensions. I think it should be.

Here’s a few examples: A one-pound can of coffee is now 10 ounces. A half-gallon of ice cream became 1-3/4 quarts and now it’s 1-1/2 quarts. I could probably fill several pages of examples like this, but I bet you catch my drift. My fear is that one day I’m going to go to the store and pay a hefty price for a container of something that has nothing in it. Yikes.

Dan Unulock, Cloquet

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