How we know we’re dealing with the ignorant

The business model is hugely profitable. The cost to buy that municipal water is exceedingly low – and once bottled, the mark-up can be about 133 times greater, a Consumer Reports analysis of company water billing and usage records found.

Having a high mark up doesn’t mean profit. That depends upon what your costs are.

For example, the direct cost to me of writing a piece for a newspaper is about one bottle of beer. That’s the specific and necessary input to get the juices flowing to write it. Or perhaps the reward for having done so. The income from having done a piece for a newspaper is, perhaps 200 times the cost of a bottle of beer. Or the type of beer I drink and the place I drink it in etc.

That’s a mark up that’s 200 times greater than that marginal cost.

It really doesn’t mean that the profit from having written a newspaper piece is £200.

But what’s good for businesses isn’t necessarily good for consumers, according to CR’s review,

Which is more idiocy of course. It is consumers who decide what is good for consumers. They buy the stuff, they think it’s worth it, adds to their utility, it’s good for them.

15 thoughts on “How we know we’re dealing with the ignorant”

  1. But bottlers in Detroit have also racked up tens of thousands of dollars of past due water bills that went unpaid for months

    I’ve no sympathy for late-payment by companies, and the municipal water company could probably apply more pressure. But the sums quoted are trifling; hardly worthy of mention in a major newspaper.

  2. One question is “*why* are they unpaid?” It’s usually because the company’s Accounts Payable team doesn’t agree with the invoice.

  3. How Pepsi and Coke make millions bottling tap water, as residents face shutoffs

    The ol’ misleading juxtaposition. Take two unrelated happenings, rhetorically thirl them together to suggest INEQUALITY! and farm them delicious proggy rage clicks.

    How Premier League Footballers Make Millions As Gender Studies Graduates Make Coffee

    How People With Normal Families Are Happy And Thin While Carrie Marshall Is Miserable And Eats Bin Bags Full Of Space Raiders

    How Steve Does Heterosexual Sex To Women While Newmania Cries, Masturbates, To Velvet Portrait Of Jose Manuel Barroso

  4. That 133 times… Is that times the cost of the water? In which case their water bill must be outrageous, or after costs of bottling, but before distribution and all sorts of other costs, which makes rather a nonsense of expressing the mark-up at that point, doesn’t it? If Tim wrote an article without the aid of a beer, does that make his “mark-up” infinite….?

    But, as Tim reminds us often, “you know, The Guardian and numbers…”

  5. Steve, “Does sex to women” sounds so much more romantic than ‘makes love to a woman’. Can I nick it?

  6. and the municipal water company could probably apply more pressure.

    Or in this case, less pressure.

  7. I used to subscribe to Consumer Reports, some useful info on products there, but then I saw a growing trend of Leftism. I’m currently getting a free subscription courtesy of a friend & they definitely approach things from the Left side of the page. They did a very short bit on high deductible health plans and their lack of understanding and basic logic was stunning. They just believed that HDHP must be bad, because REASONS!

  8. “Does sex to women” sounds so much more romantic than ‘makes love to a woman’.

    It is. Making love to women is completely gay.

    Women don’t fantasise about being “made love to” by some woman-respecting gay homosexual. They fantasise about being tied up and fucked in the arse.

    Can I nick it?


  9. Tap water dollar fifty 5000 liters, sell for dollar a liter, mark up in the thousands. Where do they get 133 from?

  10. “Quiet stretch of Detroit’s west side dotted with vacant homes”. Sounds wistfully delightful, but Detroit is a waste land; huge tracts of it have reverted to nature as the houses, shops, schools, churches, offices have been left empty or have been demolished following the population exodus. Have a look on google street view, it’s like someone laid out a town with streets and pavements and then forgot to put up any buildings. Like some end of days event has occupied. The reason: municipal mismanagement.

    That’s why you can buy a foreclosed house at auction from the city for a few thousand dollars, provided you will do it up and live in it.

    People mostly buy bottled water for convenience, it being ready packaged and portable. The complaint seems to be that some people who have no water buy it in bottles instead; but that’s not Coca Cola’s fault.

    As John77 says, the bills are probably not paid because of errors in the bills: wrong dates, wrong calculations or perhaps the water volume or quality was below an agreed standard. A few tens of thousands of dollars owed hardly seems to warrant an article in the Guardian.

    Coca Cola tried to launch Desani water in the UK many years ago, but it flopped when people found out it was Orpington tap water, shortly after an episode of Only Fools and Horses when Del Boy had been selling bottled water that glowed in the dark.

  11. The cost of manufactures’ raw materials has FA to do with product pricing.

    How much is Consumer Reports’ markup on the paper they print on?

  12. Just like gay men, then?

    Well, to be fair, gay men are basically women without vaginas*.

    * (think interior decorator and whatnot)


  13. Was a very amusing scene on the US version of Shameless where 2 gays had an argument as they were both ‘tops’ and neither was prepared to take it from the other. Just goes to show how traditional gender roles creep in everywhere.

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