People Explain What Is Way More Expensive Than It Should Be
Emil Kalibradov/Unsplash

Everything is too expensive.

That's pretty much the whole article, and I was expecting that when I started writing this.

What I wasn't expecting was for a commenter to explain how everything being expensive directly impacts the US political climate.

Long story short, we're kind of doomed.


Reddit user r4tzt4r asked:

"What has absolutely no real reason for being so expensive?"


That sounds like a nice innocent question. Maybe someone will finally talk about why I'm suddenly paying so much more for an empanada.

Or maybe someone will offer a nihilistic view of the sociopolitical climate and we'll all need a hug.

Maybe both! Let's get into it.

Big Textbook

"College textbooks."

"I had a professor that was really against the college textbook industry and said it was a huge scam, so for the class I took with him he used a textbook that he wrote and provided a PDF version of it for free to all of us."

- -eDgAR-

"My geography teacher wrote her own book and workbook."

"The workbook consist of free use blank maps of the world and makes up 1/4th of book. The other 3/4ths is a notebook. Best $150 dollars I've ever spent."

"Her 'book' is organized like a badly structured Wikipedia page and cost $200. Both are required."

- JustASpeck765

"I had a professor that wrote his own textbook because he hated that the university’s recommended book was $600."

"He printed it through Amazon and sold them for cost - I think $40 or less. My class was the first to use it and we got to help him edit it."

"Unrelated, he died the next semester."

- FetusFritter

"He was definitely taken out by big text book."

- Taxitaxitaxi33

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Oh Canada

"Canadian internet and mobile plans"

- ReeG

"I had this argument with someone on Reddit once haha. They didn’t believe me when I said that the Canadian mobile plans are straight up robbery."

"$160/month for mine :( "

- [Reddit]

"Recently moved to the UK for my studies after being stuck in Toronto during the better half of the pandemic."

"It's ludicrous how much they're charging."

"My UK phone plan cost nearly 1/5th of what I pay in Canada, and I get better perks too."

- samakbarizadeh

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Paying For The Privilege Of Paying

"My apartment charges $25 to process online payments."

"I just get a cashiers check at the bank and deliver it by hand because I can't pay that much extra for absolutely no reason."

- iremovebrains

"So my apartment complex charges a $35 processing fee for online payments. BUT, if I walk a paper check to the front office that they have to bring to the bank, no fee."

"Guess who still pays in paper checks, this guy."

- Mythradites

"We get charged $50 like what the f*ck is it doing that costs money?"

- bdizzle805

"Oh mine was $62 dollars a month lol"

- zazerite

"Mine charges 3%. Do the math."

"I just hand them a check in the office."

- pox_americus

"Mine charges 95 if I pay through PayPal, my other option is to give them my bank account login info."

- buttplugpopsicle

"In the last jurisdiction I rented in this was illegal: payments for rent could not themselves incur a payment, or indeed, any burden on the part of the tenant (or, e.g., drive across town to hand-deliver cash or a cheque)."

"What do the laws in your jurisdiction claim?"

- exfalsoquodlibet

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Hearing

"Hearing aids."

- pghreddit

"As an audiologist, I 100% agree!"

"Unfortunately the prices are the way they are due to two problems. One is most clinics 'bundle' services. This is mostly because insurance doesn’t like to pay for our testing or rehabilitation/counseling we provide."

"Two-if you’re a small clinic, the manufactures that make the hearing aids sell them at a higher price to you. For example, a small office might pay $1,500 for a pair of hearing aids. Whereas Costco, who can buy a lot more, only pays $100 for the same hearing aids."

"Its sucks because to become an audiologist you have to get a doctorate. You go through all that schooling just to end up 'selling' hearing aids nobody wants to buy from you because they can get it cheaper at a big box store."

"I wanted to help people, not be a sales person. One of the biggest reasons why I’m not practicing right now."

- Zelda_cat22

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300%

"Born in the US, but lived in two different countries. Can confirm that medication in the US is in many cases more than 300% of what you’d pay for elsewhere."

- senseofphysics

"Xyrem. It can be absolutely life-changing for people with narcolepsy. However, most insurance doesn't cover it, and the out-of-pocket cost is about $6k for a 1 month supply."

- thotkeys

"Came here for this answer. No one pays the sticker price, but my insurance pays about $18k/month for this medication. It's nuts."

- PureKatie

"It's free in U.K."

- Attach_helicopter

"I've stopped my seizure treatment because its $100/month with insurance and discount card from the pharmacist."

"It's not working well anyway and the doctor refuses to change it. Why pay $100 to still have seizures when I can pay $0 to still have seizures?"

- Professor01011000

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Like Any Other Fast Food

"Panera is literally the only restaurant I deliberately avoid solely because of the prices. Last time I ate there it was like $40 for two people to eat f*cking sandwiches. Insane."

- trymyomeletes

"I worked there for a week (quit because I hated it lol) and the worst part is everything is frozen and prepackaged just like any other fast food place, yet they act like it’s some “farm to table” “healthy artisanal” option."

"That’s how they justify the price. Absolutely bonkers."

- bby_bambao

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Housing

"Houses. Long time homebuilder here:"

"Homes for purchase or rent- for humans to live in are TOO EXPENSIVE for no good reason."

"Artificial scarcity: lets talk materials- only a handful of MEGA manufacturers are producing the bulk of construction materials and softwood lumber. when there are only 2 or 3 mega suppliers and they raise rates at the same time due to "market forces" that is not illegal. when they lower prices to destroy competitors - that is also OK as long as they do not state that goal publicly."

"Additionally the MEGA wood producers- (Weyerhaeuser, Georgia Pacific, West Fraser Timber) hold politicians in their pocket. Lumber is the biggest line item cost on most builds after land."

"Trump raised the Tariff to 20% on Canadian imports, the WTO ruled against this move and it was lowered to 9%. Now Biden admin is raising it back up again despite the ruling."

"Shingles are made of gravel and oil- not much has changed in the last 50 years. They are better- no doubt- but no major change in cost to produce. Yet, cost of basic materials with mature, highly automated production continues to skyrocket- (Market forces- supply and demand)."

"Land- homes are mandated by code to be safe- that is good. They are also mandated by code and zoning to be bigger, and more expensive that makes sense for many people."

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"Builders must work within this framework and deliver what they can profitably, which pretty much means build the biggest house possible because density rules and overheads imposed on home construction make building smaller less expensive homes not viable."

"It is hard to find a 'starter' home for under a quarter million dollars- no real reason for this."

"Codes are written by industry lobbyists- (sound familiar?) Once a new patented (safety, energy improvement) device is mature and ready for market, the owners of the patent will promote/ push through code changes REQUIRING their product be used on every single new home if possible. I am all for safe homes - but where does that push the market?"

"I am a builder for 30 years and strongly believe new houses are WAY better than old by just about every measure. However, manufacturing and material improvements we routinely see LOWERING costs of other durable goods do not apply due to the artificial scarcity keeping supply low and cost high."

"Demand will ALWAYS be there- everyone needs a home. A super clunky supply chain primarily focused on shielding from liability adds tons of cost for no reason."

"Too many ways to get sued if you are a home builder - so all employees are separate contractors, distributers are separate from manufactures. Even new home sales are often done by realtors independent from the builder, offering separation and legal defense from the endless expensive lawsuits that can result from no cause other than customer preference, customer neglect, neighbors or other issues not related to the builders performance."

"And Finally- Financing: You are encouraged to buy the biggest house you can afford as early on in life as possible because your home is your 'biggest investment.' "

"Banks will loan CRAAAAZY money and the government supports, promotes and funds this process in loaning as much as possible (Trillions) to a market of people determined to have a home and a stake in real estate."

"Is there NO other way to save money other than building equity in your home? A much smaller home with a larger investment portfolio is not a mainstream option. Federal policy views home ownership as a positive to be supported no matter the cost."

"PROFITABLE New small homes for under 100K could be and should be a thing in every American city. Homelessness would evaporate if there was an alternative other than putting people in motels."

- Bulldogsleepingonme

Education

"Honestly, I can't believe that nowhere in this post as of right now can EDUCATION be found."

"College doesn't have to be free, but recently the prices have gone through the roof and based on this post, it seems to have been normalized."

- AnonymousMemeing

"I would argue that cheaper tuition is good for the economy as a whole. The more educated people are, the more likely they are to invent, improve, or otherwise contribute to society."

"Absolutely everybody getting a free university degree is not ideal from a value to society point of view, but the way it has become these days, it is going to cost the country in 20 or 30 years."

- CanuckSalaryman

"Yes, I don’t think college should be for free but it shouldn’t cost as much as a house. It should be where you can still pay out of pocket for it."

- crazygirl2981

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By The People?

"Running for office in America."

"The cost to run a successful campaign in America for virtually any state level or higher political office is simply unattainable for the common person and prices out anyone but the ruling class of oligarchs and those with connections to it."

"Sure there examples of candidates outside the typical wealthy and ingrained political establishment, but they are the rare exception, not the rule."

"With US House races costing over $2 million and Senate races costing over $16 million the average person, no matter how well educated and how well qualified, is automatically eliminated without a vast amount of personal wealth or connections to the individuals, corporations, and parties that do hold that power."

"So the halls of congress and the seat of power is never filled with our best and brightest, but instead those with the wealth to attain that power and the conviction to maintain that status quo at virtually any cost to the people."

- Pursuitofsleep

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That certainly took a turn for the depressing there at the end, huh?

I mean... we were already feeling pretty poor but that last one ... ouch.

We need a nap—and a revolution, apparently?

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