"I love a good deal, but as consumer prices keep hitting rock bottom, this is just getting scary." A Salon staffer says our culture of cheap is morally dubious and corrodes standards. "I recently watched the pair of sunglasses I bought with an H&M store credit crack in half in my hands. I must have roughed them up putting them on my face too hard," quips Mary Williams. "There has to be a middle way. I just want the price of an item to be a reasonable reflection of the effort that went into its creation and the use I will get out of it. ... Not everything needs to be a Buddhist-level lesson in the transience of life and the need for non-attachment, a cue for a 'Goddammit, I just bought this!'."