Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN Business’ Nightcap newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free, here.
Sticker shock, a feeling as old as commerce itself, is no longer just an irksome, unexpectedly high bill. In the era of social media, overpaying for dinner is an invitation for anyone and everyone to publicly shake their fist over the health of the global economy.
Take the $16 McDonald’s meal that struck a nerve on TikTok late last year. If you missed it, the gist is there’s a guy in Idaho who paid $16.10 for a burger, large fries and a drink.
“I get there’s a labor shortage. I get there’s wage increases and a number of other things,” he says in the video. “But $16? … It’s just crazy.”
That’s becoming an increasingly nettlesome problem for Democratic political strategists and economists who have so far failed to deliver the message that the economy is actually doing great.