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7 Things Americans Pay Too Much For

Mar. 17 4:50 PM by TKK

We all hate overpaying for things. Money's tight and times are tough, so it's no surprise that we all want to get fair value for every dollar we spend. But there are some things in this world that costs way more than it should and we have no idea why. So join us as we count down the seven things that we shouldn't have to overpay for.

7- Pizza Delivery

We all love pizza (if you don't, there is something wrong with you) and nothing beats ordering in a piping hot disc of deliciousness for dinner. But the one thing we hate about getting pizza delivered is that it's freaking expensive. Prices are high to begin with but then some pizza joints slap on a "delivery charge" and then when it arrives, you have to tip the delivery guy on top of that. Seriously, do the math next time you order a pizza and see how much you're paying per slice; yeah, you'd probably lose your appetite pretty quickly.

Yes, I know it's convenient and the alternatives-making it yourself, buying frozen-are less than perfect but seriously, the price of pizza is just way too high. Unless you're kneading flakes of gold into that dough, Mr. Pizza Company Executive, you need to slash some prices. Now, who wants to split an extra large pepperoni with me? It'll be here in about thirty minutes.

6- Gas

We all hate the rising price of gasoline but you can't really complain: gas is a valuable commodity and there are probably tons of factors at work, like supply and demand, inflation and other economic mumbo jumbo that you're not smart enough to understand. Right? Wrong. It seems to me that the only reason why gas prices keep going up is because the companies who make and sell said gas just keep hiking them up. Look, I'm all for companies making a profit and if the cost of producing gasoline is rising, then go on ahead and raise your prices accordingly.

But it's sort of galling when you consider the fact that gasoline companies keep posting "record profits" year in and year out, isn't it? In a perfect world, the companies would make a reasonable amount of profit while the average consumer pays a reasonable price per gallon. In the real world, however, it seems like the average consumer gets gouged while the gasoline companies laugh all the way to the bank. God, it makes me mad just thinking about it; I better go jump in my Hummer and drive around for a couple of hours to cool off.

5- Cable

You'd think that with the rising popularity of video games and Netflix, the cable companies would have taken notice and lowered their prices by now. Let's do the math: you can shell out about thirty bucks a month to use Netflix or Gamefly's most plentiful packages or for that same amount, you can get your cable company's limited basic standard package that includes nine channels. What's that? You want channels actually worth watching? Then you better shell out for the expanded service, which will only cost you another twenty bucks. Oh, you want HD programming? Yeah, HD is the new hotness, isn't it? That'll be ten bucks more. You want a DVR for TIVO like functionality? Sure, you can have it: for another five bucks.

By the time you're done, you're out over a hundred bucks a month and that doesn't even factor in premium channels like HBO and Showtime. I'm all for paying money if I'm being entertained but that's just plain ridiculous. It's enough to make me quit watching television altogether, which I will totally consider doing after this season's American Idol wraps up. (That was just a joke, by the way. I'd rather wash my face with bleach than watch American Idol.)

4- Bottled Water

Considering it comes right out of the tap and falls freely from the sky, it's a little depressing to think about how much we pay for bottle water. It's sort of a sad commentary on the state of the world and what we've done to environment; we've dumped so much pollution into the ocean and into our waterways that we have to actually buy sanitized water in order to feel safe about drinking it. But I'm sick and tired of paying almost two dollars for a modest sized bottle at the grocery store; what's a premium price tag doing on a basic necessity? It doesn't have any added nutrients or chemicals and it won't get you drunk or high, so why the hell are you paying so much for it?

Because it's clean and comes in a fancy bottle and was bottled at the peak of some fancy mountain in some far off land? Heck, some bottled water isn't even that: it's just municipal tap water that's been filtered. You know that joke about bottled air? Don't think it can't happen; there's a proven formula for selling a widely available commodity in place already thanks to the bottled water industry. Just wait until pollution gets so bad that we're all walking around with rebreathers on; some company is going to bottle purified air and sell it to you for a premium price and we'll all line up to buy it. God, I hate humanity sometimes.

3- Music

You gotta love the music industry. It's got its head buried so far up its ass, it can lick the back of its own throat. Instead of adjusting with the times, this dinosaur of an industry has steadfastly stuck to its ways, charging the same amount for a CD (read: too fucking much) that it used to charge in the past. What these idiots don't realize is that much like movies and books and games, people will willingly pay for the music they want-if the price is right. But if your only two choices are to engage in a somewhat shady act like file sharing or pay fifteen dollars for a CD, well, most people are going to save their money and just hop onto their nearest file sharing network.

The move towards DRM-free music is a good first step but the music industry has lower its prices to entice people away from file-sharing networks. Also, stop treating your customers like criminals, recognize that music is viral and that any money you lose from people downloading tunes can be made up in other ways, like through merch sales live shows (when online ticket sites aren't messing things up with $6 "service fees" to toss your tickets in an envelope and mail them 10 miles). Also, recognize that the more people you have listening to music, regardless of how they got that music, is a good thing all around. In other words, pull your head out your own ass and see daylight.

2- Stamps

It's really mind-boggling to see the constant rise of stamp prices, which will hit 42 cents in May. Sure, there's gas prices, and a recession and important wars to fund, but the postal service should, if anything, be lowering postage prices. First of all, there's a little thing called email that seems to work just fine for much less (it's free, last we checked). Secondly, delivery services like Fedex are just as reliable and affordable when it comes to sending larger items. And paying bills online is becoming more and more common. The only reason why the Postal Service is even in business right now is because it's a government sanctioned monopoly; that, and because my damn grandmother can't figure out how to send an email and direct-deposit the five-bucks she sends me on my birthday into my checking account. When you're stuck in line at the post office in two months waiting 20 minutes to buy a dozen 3-cent stamps, just remember, you do have other options.

1- Sex

There are really two ways to have sex with another person. You can pay for the services of a professional, which is never cheap. If the sex is cheap, then the STD treatment won't be. And if you're among the few people in the world who can actually attract the opposite sex, then getting your partner to a point where he or she will sleep with you means a long series of dates. Flowers, dinner, movie and concert tickets, it all adds up to an amount that seriously makes you consider sticking to masturbation. But man, have you seen the prices for porn? You can either spend $20 a month on a website featuring tons of content you'll never use, or hit the shops, where a 60-minute long DVD costs more than The Limited Edition Lord of the Rings set you pricematched across half a dozen websites. I wonder how much castration costs...

Comments

I am guilty of 4 of them

 

wonder if anyone else knows tht america pays the least for its gas.... everywhere else is like double or tripple the amount we pay..... which is why america is one of the last countries to move to alternative fuels..... everything else? yeah, sounds about right... although ive never payed for sex...

 

Mmmmm. Pizza. :::nom, nom, nom:::

When and where, T-dawg?

 

I only sell out for music...
Everything else I lack, but for gas.

 

Umm, that last one doesn't make too much sense. Chicks around here get themselves drunk, then all I have to do is stumble bumble my ass over there and not say something dumb.

 

I'm thinking that you had to have been sipping a $6 cup of Starbucks coffee while writing this. That brainwashing would be the only way that coffee was left off the list. Then again, I've fallen for all of these except cable :(

 

Sex definately belongs here. I've been with the same chic for over 7 years now, and even though I can generally have some whenever I need it, I'm still not guaranteed unless I have met her quota that week. Oh, and its not flowers and dinner anymore, I've graduated to diamonds and MAKING that damn food..... As for coffee and the bottled water, they are sooo easily avoided. Cappaccino machines are getting affordable, and a water filter comes stock on most refridgerators anymore.

 

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