Everybody’s the Boss
There’s a certain wrongheadedness — an insecurity — to the feeling of which Rita Lussier’s expression is merely one example of many:
“Yeah, the $4-dollar-a-gallon thing is hard to take,” he says as he puts the hose back on the hook and screws the cover on his tank. All the while, he keeps smiling, smiling, smiling.
And then, just before he hops in his truck, this is what he says: “I just pass the cost along to my customers.”
I JUST PASS THE COST ALONG TO MY CUSTOMERS.
He’s not alone.
The electric company is asking for another rate hike. The airlines are raising their fares, some are even charging for baggage. No question, when companies have to pay more for fuel, what else can they do?
That’s right. They just pass the cost along to their customers. …
So here we are, standing at the pain station and what are we supposed to do? Who do you and I pass our costs on to? We, who are bearing the brunt of all the landscapers, the painters, the plumbers, the electric companies, the natural gas companies, the grocery stores, the buses, the trains, the airplanes, the state and federal government and everyone else who’s putting their load on our backs.
What a declaration of helplessness! Sure, Lussier goes on to offer some ways to use less fuel, but she nonetheless misses the reality that everybody is both supplier and customer. I mean this in the sense that the landscaper with whom she’s speaking still has costs for the fuel that he uses for his home and his private vehicles, but I also mean it in the sense that anybody with a job is ultimately supplying something to somebody and every business is seeking to “buy” money from clients with their goods and their services.
So, pass your costs on to your employer. If you don’t think you’ve the grounds to seek more, find ways to make yourself more apparently valuable. On the other side (and probably more easily), pass your costs on to businesses by doing your own landscaping, painting your own house, learning basic plumbing and electric, perhaps growing some of your food, walking more, and demanding that your government take less from you.
Nobody’s passive in the economy, and to turn to federal legislators for help — as Lussier suggests, even providing Sheldon Whitehouse’s phone number — is to dig one’s nation more deeply into helplessness, because nothing’s free, especially when it comes from Washington.