CBS finds fuel surcharges scandalous
Unlike last week's brief but welcome departure from biased coverage on gas prices, CBS's Early Show was back to form with its biased reporting today, this time with correspondent Mark Strassmann faulting businesses for factoring higher gas prices into the price of goods and services: "And as prices keep going up, more businesses want customers, want you, to pay fuel surcharges, as if paying for your gas wasn't enough, now you're expected to pay for other people's."
Of course, it shouldn't have to take a brilliant economist to tell Strassmann that all businesses always pass on all their input costs to consumers in the final price of their goods and services, including the costs of fuel as well as wages, health care, taxes, and regulation, and that if not for a separate "surcharge," the additional fuel cost would just be factored and hidden into the "regular" price.
Read the entire transcript below:
The Early Show
16 August 2005 (Tuesday)
Julie Chen @ 0731: "As gas prices continue to soar, drivers are not the only ones feeling the pain at the pump. CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann, reports."
Mark Strassmann, in a taped report: "At this gas station in Beverly Hills, premium's pushing $3.50. Even for mellow Californians, these record prices are a test of temperment."
Charlie Santore, Los Angeles motorist: "And somebody's getting very, very wealthy, and $10 just bought me nothing. And I don't know, I mean, it doesn't look like it's ever going to be cheaper than that, right there."
Strassmann: "And as prices keep going up, more businesses want customers, want you, to pay fuel surcharges, as if paying for your gas wasn't enough, now you're expected to pay for other people's."
Strassmann: "In Washington, every cab ride now costs an extra buck for gas, and the cabbies are griping it's not enough.
Strassmann: "And moving means somebody has to fill the truck with gas. In Atlanta, that somebody can be you, through a fuel surcharge. Even lunch could soon cost you more, because restaurant owners like Delia Champion are in a bind."
Delia Champion, restaurant owner: "Out of nowhere they tack on temporary fuel surcharge."
Strassmann: "They are her main suppliers, and six of them have started charging her gas money.
Strassmann to Champion: "The guy at the pump feels it, the vendors feel it, you feel it."
Champion: "Yes, I do. I feel it big time."
Strassmann: "Gas prices have hit the big time, setting new average records every day for the last week. At the pumps, and beyond, Americans feel squeezed."
Champion to Strassmann: "I can't just put a little gas surcharge on the bottom of the menu."
Strassmann: "She may have to. These days, more businesses want to make someone else pay for their gas. Mark Strassmann, CBS News, Atlanta."