Book Gouging

Seven Day. Fair. At least so far. Air temperature about the same as yesterday so off I go to park. Halfway through first lap the rain portends. Plow on! But at a slightly – old man – pace.

I have been experimenting with a numbered week system. Hence the days are numbered rather than named. It works well for me, mostly because I don;t have to interact with bogs about it. 

Speaking of boggery I ran across an article [Link] in The Daily Illini, the campus rag of the Boneyard, on the subject of textbook prices, “The reason for the rise: College textbooks see price increase”. The basic bottom line is greed and pain avoidance. Evidently the textbook manufacturers up the prices of textbooks every year – and bring out new editions – to keep their stockholders off their cases. 

So a classic example of evil corporate greed. 

But what gathered me in was a claim that textbooks ‘ cost increased faster than other things. So I made a comparison. Basic text books cited: ~$300 Yankee. 

Back when I was a Freshman, comparable – maybe – textbooks were about $15, maybe $20. The first textbook I paid $50 for was in graduate schule. I say maybe because textbooks in those days weren’t full of color and crap like books today. My basic chemistry text was half the mass of its current equivalent. SO from a materials standpoint there is a significant difference.

If we ignore that the ratio of today price to then price is ~ 20.

When I was a freshman, hamburgers in greasy spoons cost $0.5. Today they cost $5. So a ratio of 10. (I have discussed the hamburger model of money previously.)

Based on this simple comparison model, textbooks have increased their price twice as fast as hamburgers and since hamburgers represent the economy…

Time to fix the problem. Starting with the professors and lecturers who abet the publishers.

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