Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi

Have any of you actually sat down to calculate a breakdown on the cost of a glass of soda?

Let me illuminate:

A 5 gallon bib of Coca-Cola costs about $50.00.

5 gallons = 640 ounces = 7.8 cents/ounce of soda syrup.

A 22-ounce glass of soda contains approximately 15 ounces of liquid, which means that the total cost for a 22-ounce soda with a cup, lid, and straw is 30 cents. (RoadFood.com)

But have you seen the prices to the consumer for fast food sodas?! At Taco Bell, the convenience restaurant known for cheap food that masquerades as Mexican in my area, they charge $1.89 for a 22-ounce soda! That’s outrageous!

I’m furious! How can they live with themselves? Do they not know that people come to them for cheap food and now they’re charging as much or more for a soda as they charge for a bean burrito resuscitated from brown flakes of questionable substance?! Taco Bell is taking advantage of the poor person who needs nutrition!!!!

DOWN WITH TACO BELL!!!!

Hold up.

As much as this revelation of soda sale price versus expense might irritate you (guess what, the stats are even worse for iced tea – that only costs .08 cents per cup!), we typically realize that there’s a simple answer to this extreme up-sale on sodas: Don’t order them.

They provide water cups for free.

That’s the beauty of a capitalistic society. We get to choose what we decide to consume. If we are willing to pay the price, we pay it. If we are not willing or unable to pay the price, we don’t.

For-profit companies are a product of capitalistic societies. They go in and out of business based on whether they can convince the consumer the value of what they offer for purchase is worth the pain point of spending the cash. Those that are successful, survive (here’s lookin’ at you, Pottery Barn) and those that don’t fail (I see you over there, KMart).

In the last few days I have seen people get up in arms about details of a specific organization. People are furious, vitriolic, about this organization and it’s policies, particularly where the summer training activities are concerned.

It’s because the organization has been masquerading as a ministry due to the recruitment techniques of its contractors and licensees and it’s actually a for-profit company. Ruh-Roh.

People who believed it was a ministry are hurt, betrayed, and angry over the knowledge that the dollars they have been sacrificing to put toward tuition, or summer conferences, are being used in ways that aren’t exactly… always… ministry oriented. Additionally, some of the workers in the company have been unethical in their dealings with people and therefore have made a touchy situation intolerable with unlawful demands that have impacted the bottom lines of budgets for the average supporter.

That has caused distress. Justifiable angst. Frustration. Tears. A general sense of feeling unappreciated for volunteer effort put forth.

But here’s the deal. There’s not a boogie-man behind every corner. And in some cases, it’s the sense of hurt and betrayal that is causing us to look, research, accuse, and be angry, not the lawfulness of the actual practices.

For-profit companies have certain policies that are normal and lawful. It might feel yucky to the consumer but it’s legal and wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.

May I suggest you focus your attention on the main things?

Consider this litmus test:

If you have never seen the budget of your state homeschool organization, never worried about it, and still paid the ticket price to attend… stop fretting about the budgets of practicums for classical educators.

If you have never researched Taco Bell to see exactly how much they earn on their cow cheek beef meat they purchase for pennies because it’s not really “meat”… maybe pause, reflect, and realize that for-profit companies are not held to the same standard as ministries. And then choose to spend your family’s money wisely.

For those who are a tad bit rabid about their research, that’s awesome. (Let’s be honest, we all know there are no private investigators who can compete with a homeschool mama wronged.) (FYI, so far I’m up to 13 federal law issues or seriously dodgy gray areas and a slew of other “common sense” issues on my list of “questionable activities I never knew weren’t kosher.”) There are, without a single doubt, issues to be found. They should be talked about. There should, from a company that says they “Know God and Make Him Known,” be apologies issued for those items and a repentance in the form of structural reorganization in a way that protects their workers from things like… Failure to Disclose. Misclassification of Workers. Discrimination on the basis of Religion or Familial Status. Violation of Labor Laws. Violation of the Doctrine of First Use. Progress reports that violate FERPA and PERPL…

You know, just some stuff that might be questionable when viewed by those irrational and ridiculous crazy people who believe in something called integrity and being above reproach and all…

But may I suggest that the irritation, the outrage, be saved for those items that are pretty clear and that folks focus on the majors?

Look for the dog that will hunt.

Let’s be honest. Only one issue is needed to raise red flags. I have seen a list with 19 issues on it and my personal list has 13. Perhaps folks could agree to worry about the items already identified before going on a rabbit trail out into the high weeds with your clutched pearls as your companion.

“Those aren’t the droids you are looking for.”

(I do recognize that there are a large number of readers discovering this blog for the first time who are struggling with feeling deceived and betrayed, by the recognition that they’ve fallen for gaslighting techniques and thus a reference to Jedi mind tricks might feel inappropriate. I am sorry. I also can’t think of anything else to replace this reference to now that it’s in my mind. My sense of irony is too strongly triggered to walk away.)

(Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi! You’re my only hope!)

There are so many stink-filled issues surrounding this situation that for those who are regaining their sense of smell, I would encourage them to pay attention to what is merely stinky and what is truly, sincerely, rotten.

It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes.

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2 thoughts on “Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi

  • May 27, 2019 at 10:47 am
    Permalink

    Did you factor in the cost of staff, insurance. Property, utilities into that.

    Reply
    • May 28, 2019 at 7:58 am
      Permalink

      True! The figures I researched didn’t include those pieces… although they would be harder to identify what belongs to the soda specifically – as any business that was conducted in the building would take a cut of supporting the staff, insurance, etc.

      Reply

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