I'm with the OP on this one. Yes, prices fluctuate. However, I used to have a wedding anniversary that was the last week of January. I could get a dozen red roses for about $12. Two weeks later, around Valentine's Day, those same roses were advertised for $18, "on sale" from their regular price of $22. I called the florist out on it. She explained that as demand goes up, so does the price of their flowers. Understood, but it's deceptive to call the regular price $22, when I was buying them two weeks ago for $12!
So yeah, I get what the OP is saying.
Then in that sense, I might as well create a thread complaining about the sky being blue. Advertising that an item is "on sale" is basic marketing strategy. If the consumer feels like they're getting a "deal" they're more likely to buy an item. (Hence why JC Penny just fired their CEO for his single price strategy, and their sales dropping by an enormous amount)
I fail to see why marketing strategies and basic economics are such hard concepts to grasp -- or more importantly, why people (OP) feel the need to complain about them or place blame on others.
And as for the roses on Valentine's Day comparison -- while you may find that practice deceptive, I almost appreciate it. If I'm going to buy flowers on Valentine's Day, it's an unwritten rule that they will cost more. But if I somehow feel (in this case, based on the holiday markup) that I'm getting a better deal, then I walk away a bit happier with a purchase I needed to make.
So if you feel taken advantage of for buying a camera lens when it's first introduced, or an air conditioner in the middle of July, or paper clips during a paper clip shortage, perhaps you should analyze your buying strategy before blaming "the system" of capitalism. It's functioning just fine.