Posted by: Calmseas (Mike) | September 24, 2008

Breaking The Green Glass Ceiling

There has been much talk lately about breaking glass ceilings.  Hillary apparently put 18 million cracks in one of them earlier this year, and Sarah Palin has spoken a bit about glass ceilings lately, too.  I suspect that the glass ceiling in my bathroom (otherwise known as a skylight) might be leaking, so I suppose I will be looking at it closely for cracks prior to the onset of winter.

Since we seem to have an affinity for glass ceilings lately (some of us with skylights more so than others), I thought it appropriate to examine another type of glass ceiling that has been completely hammered through in the last couple of years: The green glass ceiling.  This figurative ceiling has kept a wide assortment of value-priced products from rising above a dollar.  It has been a powerful psychological ceiling for many years.  But lately it has been shattered to shards!  Stop and think about it: what can you get for a buck anymore?

McDonald’s and Wendy’s have recently abandoned their dollar menus.  McDonald’s “value” menu now features most items for $1.10, while Wendy’s has most of its poor-man’s items priced at $1.39.  As of this writing, Burger King is holding fast with a basic collection of items priced at a dollar even—at least this is true in my locale.  When was the last time you could buy a cup of coffee for less than a dollar?  Unless you brew your own, that is nearly impossible today.  And what about all of those dollar stores that once dotted the landscape?  I would need the fingers of both hands to count the number that have been shuttered in my area in the last couple of years;  and other stores have reinvented themselves and are now selling cut-rate products for a buck or two, mainly two.

Take heart in that you can still mail a letter for less than a dollar—in fact, you can mail two letters and get change back from your greenback.  And if you know of a hardware store that will sell you nuts and bolts by the piece (and there aren’t many of them still out there), you can get a half dozen small-size fasteners for under a buck—at least you could the last time I checked.

The dollar-anything has about gone the way of the nickel cigar, the ten-cent soda, and the fifty-cent USA Today newspaper.  Is it maybe about time to take a cue from our Canadian friends and get rid of all of our paper money denomininated less than five dollars and begin minting loonies and toonies?



  1. You’re such a good writer. Guess I’m biased.
    You should send some of this stuff to
    The Fruitport snooze or even the Tribune.
    But, they just might edit the stuffins out
    Of it though 🙂

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