There has been a bump in the price of tea. Ok, there has been a bump in the price of everything, but I'll narrow it down to tea.
A couple of years ago, tea was about $3.50 a cup. Which was a bit extortionate, until you realise you're not actually buying tea, you're renting a little bit of space without worries or unpleasant distractions, like loose cupboard doors and loads of unwashed washing, like you have at your house, where you could easily make yourself a cup of tea for about 20c and three minutes' labour.
Now it's always $5.50. And you can tell it's extortionate because the tea people keep using the word 'just'. 'That's just five fifty, they say, staring at you balefully over your cup of tea that you're both aware has cost them $1.20 to make, including three minutes' labour hire and fourteen cents of power and water. And the tea server, you both know, is waiting resignedly for you to say, 'Five fifty for a cup of tea? Are you mad? How can you possibly justify that? How is it that I don't get any change from a five dollar note? How?' And they are trying to head you off early by using the magical 'just' word.
But you don't do that. Like most consumer sheep, you dig deep and find five fifty for a cup of tea. Over and over and over. Just to have a sit down. Just because you're meeting a friend. Just to have someone else do something for you, just for a minute, just when you're tired and have a cold.
Just. Because you know your fifteen dollar a week tea habit adds up to a one-way flight to Bali over a year, $750, for something you could take with you in a thermos for no money at all.
So, well, prices rise. Some people are now on enormous salaries, and they won't notice a 40% price rise/gouge, and they are the consumers, not you.
And they make the rules.
And they are the consumeriest consumers of them all, much more consumery than you are, all alone on your park bench with your thermos of tea.