Over the past few hours, I have had the opportunity to discuss justice pricing in a lot more depth with the public and journalists interested in the ideas we are putting forward. Here are some thoughts I have about the pricing model that I think are relevant to future discussions.
– A lot of people have pointed out that the pricing model we’ve adopted is not equitable. They’re right. Having said that, equity does not equal equality. In fact, achieving equality sometimes demands inequitable treatment to correct for existing disparities in rights, privileges and economic power. Our income tax code, for example, is not equitable. People who make more money are taxed more. It is, however, aimed at promoting equality.
– I do not think we’ve nailed the pricing model. Obviously there was a problem with charging white males double for their tickets. It did not represent in real terms the disparity between average incomes and purchasing power that exist. This is why we have adapted the model to lower the price for white males. Still, the price does not represent in real terms the disparity in purchasing power, it’s too high. Given the right resources, we could work on a model that took into account a lot more and was more nuanced in terms of it’s treatment of ethnicity and gender as markers of purchasing power. In the meantime, I would like to point out that our inflation of the purchasing power disparity is justifiable due to the fact that we are the only people who are adopting this model. Much like insurance pricing, the more buy-in, the cheaper it will get. If more businesses join us, we can approach a more equitable solution to the issue of inequality.
– Many readers have pointed out that price discrimination along the lines of gender and ethnicity already exist. For example, women pay considerably more for hygiene products aimed at them. Women are also often charged more for used cars and car repairs. Even haircuts are much more expensive for women, even if it’s a straightforward job taking the same amount of time. Minorities are often more harshly punished economically. More likely to be given speeding tickets. More likely to be randomly carded in Toronto (https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/10/23/random-or-arbitrary-police-carding-will-stop-province-says.html). It’s also been proven that people with ethnic names are less likely to be hired (https://www.forbes.com/sites/ruchikatulshyan/2014/06/13/have-a-foreign-sounding-name-change-it-to-get-a-job/#13ce46f45316 ).
Thank you again to everyone who has engaged with this topic. Please continue to carry out respectful debate and discussion. Together we can build a better society through communication.