Monday, March 15, 2010

Why Are Hamburgers So Cheap?

Really though, why?  The subsidies are part of it, of course.  And the subsidies have to do with what we want to export: there's more money to be made exporting meat and wheat than cucumbers.  Part of it is economies of scale: the b. model of McDonald's requires that there be thousands of locations to keep their prices so low.  

Can we do anything about it?

Fortunately, yes.  In capitalism, a dollar is a vote.  As long as money makes the world go round and people use cliches, a person's consumer behavior is meaningful.  Spending money responsibly and "being the change you wish to see" are the best bet I think.  The deeper issue, and the one that McDonald's would use in its defense, is that people like hamburgers more than salads.  Is that true?  Is it changeable?

Update: Annie Leonard over at The Story of Stuff uses the term "manufactured demand" to discuss how bottled water companies convince people to buy their inferior-to-tap-water product.  I think the term is great, and it obviously applies to the cheap hamburger discussion.  

(Thanks to GOOD and PCRM for this story).

No comments:

Post a Comment