While checking his finances this month, Wade Thomas was shocked to discover he has a $250 monthly trade deficit with his local supermarket. “I have no idea how it got that big,” Mr. Thomas explained.*
A graphic designer by trade, Mr. Thomas’s income has been rising in recent years and so has his standard of living. Unfortunately, his bilateral supermarket trade deficit has been growing as well.
The bilateral supermarket trade deficit is an economic concept which reflects the net flow of goods and services between a supermarket and another company or individual. If an individual purchases more in goods from the supermarket than they provide back to the supermarket in goods or services, then they will be in a deficit position. Most consumers have a bilateral supermarket trade deficit, occasionally referred to colloquially as a “grocery bill”.
Initially, Mr. Thomas said, he didn’t even realize there was a problem. “I would just go to the store and buy things I needed. They have a really great organic section there, so I was quite satisfied. The Bosc pears, in particular, were exceptional,” Mr. Thomas told The Daily Face Palm
But the honeymoon period didn’t last. “I used to think my interaction with the supermarket was mutually beneficial–they got money and I got food I wanted. Now, I see that I wasn’t benefiting at all. They were always the ones winning,” Mr. Thomas continued.
Mr. Thomas has never been employed at the supermarket in question, so it has always been a “one-way street”. He was giving them profits and jobs and getting nothing in return (except for delicious, necessary sustenance at a competitive price).
In fact, this is a disturbing trend in Mr. Thomas’s economic affairs that extends far beyond the supermarket. Just this week, he verified that he also had a bilateral trade deficit with Banana Republic, Ikea, Zappos, and several other companies. “It’s completely unsustainable. I don’t feel like I win at all anymore,” Mr. Thomas confided soberly.
The one exception in this bleak picture was Mr. Thomas’s employer, a local advertising agency. With them, Mr. Thomas enjoys a large bilateral trade surplus. “I’m totally kicking their ass,” he said.
*Mr.Thomas is a fictional character. Any similarities between his sentiments and the positions taken by trolls on your social media feed, leading politicians, and/or presidents of the United States, are entirely coincidental.