Posts tagged ‘PLUS’

That Mysterious, Unavailable "Correct" Price

This quote from a hotel owner in Venezuela that now asks its patrons to bring their own toilet paper caught my eye:

Camacho says she refuses to buy toilet paper from the black market on principle.

“In the black market you have to pay 110 bolivares [$0.50] for a roll of toilet paper that usually costs 17 bolivares [$ 0.08] in the supermarket,” Camacho told Fusion. “We don’t want to participate in the corruption of the black market, and I don’t have four hours a day to line up for toilet paper” at a supermarket….

I see this all the time, the notion there is somehow a "correct" price that no one is willing to charge.   There is nothing real about the 17 bolivares price.  It is a fiction.  There are only two real prices in the market -- 110 bolivares PLUS any risk/penalty from breaking the law or 17 bolivares PLUS 4 hours of your personal time.  My sense is that if the legal risk of buying on the black market is low, and you knew the average order size and the value people placed on their own time, you would find these two prices converging.  But in any case, it is dumb to continue to insist that 17 bolivares is the "right" price.

Hypocrisy Watch -- Sports Stadium Edition

In the past, local governments and the legislature have blithely hit up taxpayers to pay for new sports stadiums for local teams.  You may think you have it bad in your city with 4 major sports teams, but we have 4 major sports teams PLUS about seven or eight baseball spring training stadiums.

It seems like the legislature and local government finally got tired of putting all taxpayers on the hook for these stadiums, and had the radical idea that maybe actual, you know, fans who want to use the stadiums should pay for them.  This turned out to be too expensive for ticket prices at the proposed new Cubs spring training facility -- fans aren't used to paying for the full price of their sporting event in their ticket price -- they are used to getting subsidized by non-sports fans.  As a compromise, the legislature proposed a tax on tickets for all spring training games at all stadiums to pay for this one new field.  This seems stupid to me, but it elicited this hilarious response from the baseball commissioner:

Selig told reporters at HoHoKam Park that it was a "dangerous precedent" to tax all ticket buyers primarily to benefit one team and that Major League Baseball has taken over negotiations for a new Cubs spring home.

Right, but it is A-OK if all taxpayers, including those who will never see a baseball game, are taxed to pay for the new stadium.