...a telecommuter's examination and relative comparitory between the concept of "Faux-dex" and the much higher priced brand name window cleaner and how this all relates to deceptive business practices and the possible downfall of the economy in our lifetime.

...What is Faux-dex (pronounced foe-decks)?


- one half a cup of ammonia

- 2 cups of rubbing alcohol

- a few drops dishwashing detergent, and

- enough water to fill a gallon container

(This recipe is usually found on the back of the ammonia container in your cupboard)

...approximate cost: maybe 63 cents a gallon

The other stuff, I think works out to about $12.50 a gallon (give or take), but you have to admit, it is blue. Yet it does require the same amount of rubbing and paper to get it off whatever surface you may be cleaning. No streaking comparisons were done in my mental research, and admittedly I personally don't mind a small streak or two. Streaks remind me of my frailty and humanness. Your streak standards and humaness may be higher than mine. Also and for the purposes of this ethical and moral business treatise I am going to say that we basically have the same product with about the same ingredients (I know I started this sentence with about three prepositions or conjunctions or whatever they are).

Sixty three cents a gallon. Twelve dollars and fifty cents a gallon. Sixty three cents a gallon. Twelve dollars and fifty cents a gallon. Twelve dollars and fifty cents a gallon. Sixty three cents a gallon. Twelve dollars and fifty cents a gallon. I'm doing the math and trying to figure out what would justify the chasm of difference between the two. Maybe I'm a socialist at heart. That 63 cent a gallon package sure does look awful attractive.

It could be the cost of research and development. Twenty or so scientists and chemists and maybe a stray metallurgist or two in a modern, fully equipped, lab with beakers of ammonia and alcohol and some blue die consistently mixing, remixing, measuring, field testing, tasting, and bathing in a product that must be consistently overseen because of its known propensity for instability.

The high cost might be justifiable because of the cost of advertising. Then again, why does a company have to advertise window cleaner. We know what it does. We know how to use it. So maybe it is like all other advertisements...to convince us that we think we need it. Please, don't get me going on ads!

Labor costs must push the price way up, too. One hundred people or so getting minimum wage gathered around the monstrous stainless steel vats of ammonia and alcohol, blue dye and dishwashing detergent, slaving and mixing and funneling the stuff into 22 ounce plastic bottles all the day long. Twisting on the sprayer tops, licking and applying the labels and putting the finished product into cardboard boxes and loading the boxes onto 18 wheelers headed for your city.

Administrative overhead...something personally I don't have alot of here at home as a telecommuter. I do know that once the dress or tie is donned in the corporate world, fixed costs do go up linearly. Also, in these new times when "the corporate way is the only way to go", big outfits can never have enough vice-presidents and upper management who really don't do much of anything but cost more money. If I might digress at this juncture. The government, being predominantly large and unwieldy seems more and more to be trying to emulate the structure and managerial style of successful corporations and yet when successful corporations become bigger and more successful they become large and unwieldy much like the government that is trying to emulate their success and managerial style. I think corporations who have a successful product, like a blue window cleaner, have unlimited amounts of money to lose on waste and repetition and vice-presidents. And our government, through taxation, has lots of our money to lose on waste, repetition, and corruption. A vicious cycle.

Distribution...it's gotta cost a fortune to get expensive blue glass cleaner to the marketplace. hahahahahahahahaha

Profit...there is so much to business that we never have to think about. Profit. My estimate to this point of the cost per gallon, from inception to the supermarket shelf, is at about fourteen cents.

Loss...this occurs, to you and I, when we buy this product. We lose some of our hard-earned pay.

Enough of economic morality already. Onto something more pleasant. It's snowing this morning. A pristine layer of white purity festooning the dead and decaying detritus left by the falling leaves...a reminder that its coming up on tax time and that any money that hasn't gone to exorbitantly overpriced glass cleaner will probably be going to Uncle Sam. The kids have no school. I just spent nine hundred ninety seven dollars to try and keep my seven year-old car on the road for another year...I'm hoping maybe a year. Death and taxes. Twelve dollars and fifty cents a gallon. Rising heat and fuel costs. Tuition for my children when they reach college age will be between $125,000 and $250,000...each! I just looked in my checking balance...I'm not even close...and the mortgage is due. Telecommuting sure is tough.

We're pulling into our regular supermarket a while back...the name of the chain is Shop & Save...nice place to shop, don't get me wrong...but my daughter says to me, "Daddy, shouldn't it be Shop & Spend"?