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    Dave Butz, Charley Taylor, Mark Murphy
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  1. honestly, fast food is fine. I like it as long as I haven't any in about three weeks. but if I HAVE had fast food in the last couple of weeks,.... some how the "aura" of the last fast-food hasn't left my system, and the idea/smell/taste of new fast-food is ... bleh. i also only like fast food for 30 minutes after i have ordered it. at 35 minutes regret kicks in. at 45 minutes i can feel my arteries ****ing at me and no matter how neat i am while i am eating, after 45 minutes it always feels like i had eaten everything with my hands tied behind my back and have day-old essence-du-fast-food rubbed all over my face. but again... after a month the idea of fast-food sounds good to me again, and the whole cycle starts over.
  2. its obvious i am shopping for ... compensation. nothing shouts midlife crisis like a 56-year-old economist hopped up on viagra blasting debbie gibson from a fiery red convertable mini-van.
  3. truly the life of an economist but it's the specialization in econometrics that really gets the chicks. nothing gets the panties wet like statistics...
  4. seriously, though.... didn't Wendy's say they were investigating LOWERING the price during non-surge hours, rather than the other way around? its probably a lie, after all the negative backlash. and it would amount to the same thing anyway. they would raise prices to a high "standard" price that they would charge during prime-times, and then lower the price back to where it is now in the middle of the night. (like the $300 "standard rate" you used to see posted on the inside of the door of LaQuienta, Super-8 and other luxury hotel brands... )
  5. the only thing better than surge pricing would be the privilege to bargain the price... just to discover at checkout that your burger has unwanted dealership-special $17 undercoated-mushrooms, and the fries price you negotiated over the last 17 hours was per-fry. Lets see if we can get the manager over to allow the cashier to knock the burger's and fries price down from $287 to $286.97
  6. has anyone tried the Costco or Consumer Reports buying system? I would love to hear how they have worked out? they both require you to give out your phone number, and i've been wondering whether it is worth my time to buy a burner cell phone just to stay off the permanent caller list of every car lot within 100 miles of my house?
  7. i love minivans. I also looked at the Toyota highlander-hybrid which is supposed to be the 3 row SUV equivalent... i literally laughed out loud picturing my 5'11 daughter trying to squeeze into that "third row" for a drive to in-laws in kentucky.
  8. ahh for the days when you would have to (sorry, "get to") haggle for ****. I can hardly wait to argue at safeway over whether eggs should be $1.99/dozen or $2.15 life just keeps getting better and better. i REALLY look forward to when safeway is more like car dealerships and when you are finally done agreeing on the $2.27 for the $1.99 advertised eggs they add $0.90 more at the checkout, and then you have to count the ****ing eggs (sorry, "get to"), because they say you hadn't actually been haggling for a dozen eggs but for a "dealer adjusted dozen", which is actually three. good ****ing times.
  9. As an economist, this marketplace is just plain weird. it is highly regulated to throw in constraints that by all the evidence i see do nothing but harm the consumer, for the sole purpose of protecting the dealership franchises from competition. i have never bought a new car in my entire life. every 15 years or so i try, but hate the experience so much i eventually go back to Carmax and just buy something used. not because i want a used car, but because the experience is so much better. I probably end up with a worse deal -- i am taking on more risk with a used car (Akerlof and Yellen's paper "the market for lemons" was the single greatest paper ever written in the field of economics), but the price still remains high. However, with Carmax you go to a single showroom that has many choices available with the price clearly laid out in front of you. It is pretty close to the standard market experience we have for all other purchases.... and there is no fundamental reason that the new car experience has to be so much worse.... it is a clear market failure rooted exclusively in regulations that dealers have aggressively lobbied for to protect their local monopolistic power.
  10. trump is too glaringly stupid to be the antichrist. but if there is an antichrist roaming the earth today there can be zero question that trump would have actively sought him out to be at his beck and call. i personally think it is much more likely simple russian-mafia-thugs tugging dumbass-DJT's marionette strings... but theology isn't my strong-suit.
  11. i know we have some in our community in this profession.. so let me start with an insincere apology for starting this thread. I am not sorry. do car dealerships add ANYTHING but pain misery and loathing to the fabric of American society? ANYthing at all, that i could be missing. (spoiler alert, we all already know the answer... ) this NPR article actually tries to be nice (NPR is always polite and nice)... and manages to squeeze in a single positive paragraph about dealership benefits in the overall missive highlighting the overall suckitude of the industry: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2022/08/30/1119715886/inside-the-rise-of-stealerships-and-the-shady-economics-of-car-buying they highlight that dealerships provide a "distribution and service network.." and let you test drive cars. Ok. but they of course do it in the ****tiest possible way. I would drive past a dealership to find ANYBODY else to service my car even if my car was literally on fire (unless it was free because of some manufacturer notice that REQUIRES you to go to dealerships). I'd also be willing to pay a-la-carte to test drive a car, or just trust Consumer Reports, or the dickhead down the street... or whomever... to avoid the "dealership experience". we also know that car manufacturers HATE American car dealerships... car dealerships are another tangible example of "American exceptionalism". Consumers in other countries don't have to go through this absolute bull**** process. The car dealership lobby is strong, and fights HARD to keep the process as ****ty as possible, and maintain for themselves with as much anti-competitive leverage as possible. https://www.vox.com/2014/10/26/6977315/buy-car-hassle-free i don't pretend to FULLY understand the car market, but its not that complicated (certainly not as complicated as the dealerships make it!). The MSRP (plus the destination fee- normalized cost of shipping) already builds in profit for the dealership, and is the price that the manufacturers think should be charged for the car (the price they WANT to be the going price). it should be basically as simple as that: "here is the price: $x7,995, do you want to buy it?" https://www.autotrader.com/car-tips/buying-a-car-whats-an-msrp-228292 but.... no. i just spent more than a week trying to find out the price of a Toyota Sienna LE from 5 dealerships in the DMV. In several cases it was completely impossible. In one case i went to a dealership (a complete waste of my time) and then exchanged about 10 emails... to not know. In another case i MAY have found out the price, but every single email she has pretended that a new cited price is the "off the lot price --- except for taxes, tags and <fees>". and then every time I went back another dealer "fee" has been added (cumulative). in addition to the "destination fee" (the cost of shipping and handling), each correspondence has uncovered (one at a time) Delivery processing and handling $1,395 processing fee: $895 and finally (AFTER 10-ish emails) -- "dealer adjustments": $8,000 this is for the right to pay up front for a car that hasn't been built yet, wait 4 to 6 months for a car that Toyota WANTS sold for $37,685 (that invoices for about $5k less). But i cannot buy from Toyota because the dealerships have established monopolistic control over the relationship, which leads to them not only screwing the consumer but outright LYING about how much and for how long that screwing will take place. the system is ****ing broken. it is time for pitchforks, torches, stockades and the hurling of rotten vegetables.
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