The other day I went to Costco and bought a hot dog. For those that do not know, Costco Hot Dogs are one of the best deals around if you like hot dogs. For $1.50 you get a pretty good size hot dog and a refillable drink. It has always been one of the best deals around.
But as I was eating my hot dog the other day, I got to thinking if it this hot dog deal was a "good" thing. I thought of the problem in two ways.
- This is the type of thing that is leading America to be obese. The hot dog and soda is about 700 to 800 calories. All for $1.50. That is just nuts and encourages people to over consume.
- This deal is a marvel of economic efficiency. You can get so much for so little.
Every time I see a deal like this, it makes me think of all the things that had to happen to actually get that product into my hand. A pig had to be raised and then slaughtered. The meat than had to be butchered and formed into a dog. This had to be packaged and then shipped to the Costco. A driver had to drive that dog to the Costco where it was unloaded. Someone took that dog and cooked it. All these people were paid for their time. The material costs include feeding of the pig, the packaging, and the cost of gasoline.
Now factor in the fact that the soda, taxes that are paid, and a typical retail margin of 10%, and that dog at the wholesale level is less than $1. That is simply amazing to me. We live in a society where so much is possible for so little. But perhaps things have come a little bit too easy. When you can consume that much for that little, is it any wonder why we have some of the health issues we do? What do you think, do the pros have having cheap and available food outweigh the cons of the health risks it presents?