Friday, June 20, 2014

"Money is ultimately a more egalitarian force than privilege."

When he stays away from government stuff, Tyler Cowen can be quite interesting. Here he is on paying for a table at a hot restaurant:
Consider how it works when you can’t just buy a place at the table, as is still the case in most restaurants today. Tables at the best places are hard to get and you have to take other measures, such as waiting in long lines, trying to befriend restaurant staff, becoming a regular, or eating much earlier or later than you want to, among other tactics. Those actions cost money, or time, or they are inconvenient, or all of the above. For most people, it is better to have the option to pay money up front to ensure access when desired.

While the explicit pricing of reservations does favor the wealthy, keep in mind a restaurant can only demand so much money. The ability to charge for tables will, over time, limit the rate at which prices for the food go up and that is likely more or less a wash. Besides, paying for a reservation is commonly about 10 percent of the total value of the check, so if you need to, skip dessert and win those dollars back.

When restaurants don’t charge for reservations, they tend to hold back tables for regular customers, celebrities, very attractive people and the politically and socially well connected. You might be dying to go to that restaurant for a special birthday or anniversary, but you’ll simply be unable to get in. Money is ultimately a more egalitarian force than privilege, as everyone’s greenbacks are worth the same.

His full comment is at NYT.

1 comment:

  1. Ex-NSA Chief Keith Alexander is Now Pimping Advice to Wall Street Banks for $1 Million a Month

    So what's a Peeping Tom, anti-democratic, Constitution-trampling intelligence crony to do after leaving decades of "public service?" Move into the private sector and collect a fat paycheck from Wall Street naturally. Following in the footsteps of some of the other top tier public sector cronies looking to cash out after doing their best to destroy the Republic, such as Banana Ben Bernanke collecting $250,000 per speech and Turbo Tax Timmy Geithner hopping over to private equity giant Warburg Pincus, Mr. Alexander is in good crooked company.

    So what is Mr. Alexander charging for his expertise? He's looking for $1 million per month. Yes, you read that right. That's the rate that his firm, IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., pitched to Wall Street's largest lobbying group the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which ultimately negotiated it down to a mere $600,000 a month. In case you need a refresher on how much of a slimy character this guy is, I suggest you read the following posts: