Dave Richards for February 20h…………….
--I hate to sound like a “here we go again” on such a serious subject, but I suppose I must. Professional agitators are now engaged in exploiting and manipulating those who are affected by and those who feel affected by last week’s school shooting in Florida. I advise you not to take too many things you hear said on the subject seriously. First, people with hurt in their hearts are capable of saying almost anything. Second, the pros are fanning the flames and they are good at it. Last time they manipulated regular people into the protest marches after President Trump was elected. This time the National Rifle Association has been selected to play the part of the evil target of the group’s anger.
There’s nothing which can be done legally to eradicate these professional agitators, but we can deal with them effectively by ignoring them and not buying into their hatred. It’s easy to get caught up in the hate when they try to portray hate as love and caring. Do your best.
--I feel we are now far enough along in this winter season that I can admit I was wrong. Back last November I looked at the mild winters we had been experiencing in recent years and I said to myself, “We’re due for a real stinker.” The subject was brought up by that venerable publication The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which predicted a hard winter. I figured I didn’t have the ammunition to win an argument with them, so I agreed this winter could be a hard one. We were both wrong. And, considering there’s only 4 weeks left to astronomical winter, it’s time to admit I was fooled.
However, in my defense, you cannot really lose when you predict a hard winter. If you’re right, you’re right. If you’re wrong, everybody’s happy. Lucky me!
--I wonder if anyone agrees with me about Parking Bans. I recognize the real importance of municipalities banning on-street parking during snow storms. It’s absolutely vital the plows and other apparatus can navigate the streets to do their work. However, what I don’t care for are municipalities which announce a parking ban to start at a certain time and “until further notice.” To me, this creates confusion. And confusion complicates compliance. I think a time the ban starts and ends should be announced at the start of the storm and, if the wrong ending time was estimated, simply make another announcement with the new end time. Of course, if the municipality actually gave public notice via the media when their parking ban ended, that would be fine, too. Woonsocket does this. I hope all communities will adopt the same policy.
--Okay, I’ve had a few critiques today, but now it’s time for my rant. This week it’s what I call “Club Pricing”. It’s when a store, mostly chain stores, have one price for people who sign up so their purchases can be tracked, using a little card or tag for identification, and a much higher price for anyone else who isn’t “in the club”.
Yes, they are private businesses and they can do anything they can get away with. I’m not claiming they’re doing anything illegal. But I do question their ethics. My position is simple. If I run a store and I can, for example, buy white seedless grapes for 59 cents a pound, and I can make money by selling them at 89 cents a pound to my friends who let me electronically monitor their purchases……….where is the efficacy of selling the same grapes to people who don’t join my club but come into my store for $1.29 per pound. I feel this is wrong. I feel this is predatory marketing.
I have personally experienced at the checkout of these stores that you need to watch the prices on the machine carefully because every now and again they don’t give you the “club price”, even if you are a member. Another thing to watch is when you are choosing your products in their aisles, you don’t always know if the price shown on the item is the “club price” or not.
I think transparency in the market place is good for everyone. And it is in increasingly short supply.
In my sincere opinion, our General Assembly should not be busying themselves with special interest legislation and should instead be passing broad-based laws which protect all consumers. There is a wrong which is needing to be made right. And, if you’re reading this, my dear legislators, I feel sure mandating honest pricing will be worth many votes this November, in case you need some motivation.
You’ve done it before. I am proud to say you made it illegal in Rhode Island to mark a price on an item reflecting the discount of a manufacturer’s rebate. Because of that law, retailers in this state must show the price the customer will pay at the register because that is honest pricing.
To sum up, if anyone tries to convince you that “club pricing” is offering a discount to the public, they are not being honest. “Club pricing” is just another way to charge innocent shoppers whose only “crime” is not joining “the club” predatory prices. We can do better in Rhode Island. Get with it, General Assembly!
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.