Just another day in the American economy. UnitedHealth is cutting 4,000 jobs, the Treasury Secretary makes a proposal that allows financial firms to fail without messing up the economy, 900 flight attendants at American Airlines will lose their jobs, and oil prices have hit a new record
News Cut is constantly testing the underpinnings of the American economy. Today is no exception.
Retail sales specialist — and occasional MPR reporter — Tom Weber remarked today that the size of sales receipts is growing at a frightening rate. Today, for example, he bought a pack of Mentos and a pack of Eclipse gum (he paid $3.79 for gum, but that’s a topic for another day),
Here’s his receipt.
9 1/4 inches.
Yesterday I bought lunch for my sons and a friend at a local restaurant. Here’s the receipt:
Even the U.S. Postal Service is big-receipt happy. Sending a certified letter?
That’ll cost you 9 1/2″ of valuable wallet space.
By far, the worst offender is Home Depot. A one-item purchase will net you a sales receipt equivalent to about a full roll of toilet paper.
In most cases, the size is attributable to offers to tempt you into filling out an online survey about the store’s performance. “Your receipts are too big,” does not appear anywhere as a survey option, however.
Small receipts can usually be found from the gas station’s pay-at-the-pump printer. Oil companies are making massive amounts of money. Home stores, restaurants, and street retail are struggling in the economy.
This leads us to the theory we need to test: The worse the business is doing in a tough economy, the bigger the receipt.