Justice Pricing Defended

I feel the need to provide some context regarding the practice of Justice Pricing.
First of all, no this was never intended to be some kind of attack on white men. It was never intended to be a settling of scores. The simple intent of Justice Pricing is to meet people at their economic level.
Price discrimination is not a new idea. The notion of accommodating differences in purchasing power is as simple as having discounts for students and seniors . Now, are all students and seniors less able to pay regular prices than the average working adult? No, of course not, there are students who drive quarter million dollar cars and seniors who live in mansions, but the pricing model is sound despite these outliers.
No, not all white men are seeing the financial fruits of their privilege, but many are. White men are the highest earning group in Canada, and as a result we are trying to meet them at their level in order to make the event more affordable for those other groups who don’t have the same purchasing power.

A few notes:

– There have been many good insights from people around the problems this pricing model raises. As a result, we’ve halted ticket sales for the day and are going to be reassessing the pricing model to better fit the needs of the community.

– Some people have been comparing what we’re doing here to the discrimination black people faced in the 20th Century and prior in North America. Addressing this seems somewhat ridiculous, but let me just say, I don’t think there would have been a million man march if African Americans were simply being asked to pay $10 more for a comedy show that they may not have even heard of. Voting rights being revoked, segregated water fountains, busses, schools, workplaces, and a history of literal slavery is not comparable to our pricing model, so please try not to make fools out of yourselves by comparing the two.

–  We really appreciate the discussion this has raised and the respectful tone so many people have taken. I have, however, received a number of death threats privately, and those are a serious matter that will be taken up with the police if they continue. It is not okay to threaten violence and death, even if you feel angry.

– Please continue to provide your input and let us know where we can improve this. Justice is a group project. We can not achieve it by keeping our ears closed to people, so we’re very interested in hearing your suggestions for a more equitable pricing model.

22 Replies to “Justice Pricing Defended”

  1. Hi there,

    Thank you for posting your explanation. I believe that there are still some flaws in your reasoning here for charging the price you have indicated.

    “The notion of accommodating differences in purchasing power is as simple as having discounts for students and seniors . Now, are all students and seniors less able to pay regular prices than the average working adult?”— This comparison to your pricing model is flawed. Every Canadian, by virtue of being human, will be a student or a senior at some point in their life. Therefore, every person will get to take advantage of the student and senior discount eventually. It doesn’t say anything about the gender or sexual orientation of the student. Another example is saying that people under the age of 19 cannot buy alcohol. All people(save anyone who dies early) will eventually become 19 and share in the ability to buy alcohol. This is not discrimination.

    However, your decision to charge white and heterosexual men more than any demographic is blatant discrimination. It is punishing them solely for the colour of their skin and sexual orientation— which cannot be changed.

    “No, not all white men are seeing the financial fruits of their privilege, but many are.”— so what do you say to the low-income white and heterosexual male who wants to see your show? “Tough luck, you’re being punished for the sins of your group?” Is a son guilty of murder, if his father is a murderer? Is a white baby born in the hospital guilty of all the crimes white people have committed?You are punishing individuals for being part of a group they cannot leave. This is the definition of racism and discrimination.

    “White men are the highest earning group in Canada, and as a result we are trying to meet them at their level in order to make the event more affordable for those other groups who don’t have the same purchasing power.” — This may be true but again it says nothing about individual white males, only the group on average. Furthermore, this does not justify your set price difference. Originally you wanted to charge white-hetero males double the price. Now I see they are paying 50% more. Do white-hetero males make double or 50% more than every other demographic? How are you calculating the rate ratio?

    I do not deny the historic racism that occurred in Canada and I appreciate your effort to make amends for this. However, you are penalizing individuals for the crimes of a group and this is clearly illegal as indicated under Canada’s human rights act.

    I understand the punching up concept. However, I think this kind of thing will have an overall negative impact on the relations between people and further fuel the extreme behaviour of radicals on both sides of the political spectrum. Surely you can find a better way at working towards equality that doesn’t scapegoat innocent people. If this pricing becomes a norm, where will it end? Will I, a white heterosexual student with lots of debt, be expected to pay more soon for a coffee or for the bus? You’re pricing scheme has the potential to set this precedent.

    Appreciate the forum for response.

    1. Quick note as I am extremely busy. All students and seniors do not have the same purchasing power, but we still give the discount across the board based upon generalized statistics. This is price discrimination plain and simple, it’s economic theory enacted with a slight tweak from existing models of price discrimination.

      There is also a very important difference between equity and equality. In the hunt for equality, we may not always be able to use means that are equitable.

      1. You didn’t speak to my critique on the senior’s student thing. All people will be a student or a senior at some point. Therefore all people share in these discounts. This is not the same as discriminating against skin colour.

        Equity is evil. It is the reason why communist regimes killed hundreds of millions of people in Russia, China, and Cambodia. Individuals, not groups, vary in abilities and traits vastly— you cannot punish people for being successful and blaming successful people for your suffering and failure is murderous in practice.

        1. People also die before becoming a senior, or never get to go to university. Wouldn’t it be more fair if people who can’t afford post-secondary education got a discount?

  2. I find this debate interesting. I am sorry to hear it got out of hand, and that you received death threats. I was never personally offended by it.

    I have one issue with your response. “White men are the highest earning group in Canada”. This sentence seems very odd. I wonder if you meant something else because as you put it, it’s obviously not true. How about the group, “CEOs”. Or “people who own Lamborghinis”. Those groups are higher earners than white men. It seems that white men would be the highest earners if you could only categorize people according to race and gender. But I’d like to think we’re all a little more nuanced than that.

  3. I am white, male, and ciswhatever …. . I get your point. If I were to actually agree with the approach though I would have to make A Modest Proposal for a refinement or two on your pricing model.

    If I were white and male, but not cisgendered then the tax should perhaps be 45%. Or if I were white, female and not ciswhatsit then the tax should be, say 35%.

    If i were non-white (say aboriginal) but male and cissy-blah … well then we’re back to a 45% tax? Or how about if I were just cissy — 25% tax?

    Let’s say I were jewish … 45%, unless I wear a star .. then only 30% tax? Oh, almost forgot – 5% off that tax for not being cissified.

    Yeah – the tax amounts are arbitrary, but I guess one needs to start with something and see how it flies? In any case, these refinements should lead to an even better world.

    1. Interesting points. I do feel that a more comprehensive model could be a vast improvement. Something for the team here to look at.

  4. The simple intent of Justice Pricing is to meet people at their economic level, using very broad strokes”

    I am not against the intent of “Justice Pricing.” Let’s meet people at their economic level.

    This model of “Justice Pricing” does not meet people at their economic level. Instead it meets people at their assumed economic level. This assumption is based on race and gender.

    It is true that white males generally have a higher economic level; however, to make the assumption that an individual who is white male has a higher economic level is false.

    There are many white males who have a lower economic level. To charge someone a higher fee as a result of a false assumption does not equal “Justice Pricing.”

    In fact, in this case, to charge a white male, who has a lower economic level, a higher fee, because they are assumed to have a higher economic level, ignores that person’s lower economic level, the policy has a greater negative affect on them because of their economic level, and, really, is anything but, “Justice Pricing”

  5. This violates human rights as defined by the charter. Your justice pricing is actually illegal in Canada. If you instead implemented based on income level (not race, gender, sexual orientation) it would probably be ok

      1. You are diverting attention away from your current method of justice pricing because you do not have a reasonable way to argue against this person’s point.

  6. Hello,

    I have a few comments and a request.

    First, I am deeply saddened that your group is receiving threats of any kind, and I think this is unacceptable. I’m sorry that you have been a target of violence as this does not satisfy justice in any way.

    With that said, please understand that to arbitrarily raise your prices for an entire racial/gender group is considered racial and gender descrimination under the BC human rights code. In my opinion, you have perverted the word justice and should be held accountable.

    In the interest of actual justice, I am considering filing a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. You and the company promoting the event would be named as respondents. Racial and gender descrimination applies to services offered to the public, and therefore this complaint would be heard by the Tribunal.

    I have taken screenshots of your Facebook page and your arguments and if you do not cease your “justice pricing” scheme by Friday, September 20 at 4pm, the complaint will be filed.

    It is unacceptable to discriminate against any ethnicity or racial group and the fact that it is simply for a comedy show does not undermine that the descrimination is outright and deliberate.

    1. The fact that this is national news is mind-bogglingly stupid. Think about the fact that this is one comedy show in a small town. The reason it’s been publicized so heavily is because the online newsmedia feeds off of clicks, and controversy begets clicks.

      1. Would it be mind-boggingly stupid if national media attention was drawn to someone who denied a service to Muslim person in a small town? Would that not deserve national media attention because “no one would care” except for that Muslim?

        Your lack of forethought with your pricing scheme and your narrow-minded life view of your sense of justice is concerning. You should not be allowed to express this without criticism.

  7. They don’t offer student and senior discounts to just people of color, or just whites. It’s across the board. Why not all men? Because it’s discriminatory in every way. You can’t justify it. I hope your show fails, even if you change ticket prices for white men. Disgusting!

  8. What a cowardly shit you are. How dare you come to this country and even suggest something like this. Rot in HELL, asshole. Go back to whatever third world shithole you came from. If you don’t like Canada, get out!

  9. This scheme is discriminatory and hate-filled, both in itself and in its execution. If you took out the white male cisblahblahblah… and replaced it with any other thing than that, say another group of people, it would be very obvious that this is an attempt to demonize and degrade a group of people.

    Not all white male cissyhohas or whatever that made up word is make oodles of money. There are in fact white male cis-people that do all sorts of low paying jobs, you know just like everyone else… To make these kinds of sweeping presumptions is the definition of prejudice and I don’t know why so many so called ‘big-hearted liberals’ can’t wrap their head around prejudice against white male cis-whatevers.

    Just because there are pricing practices out there that are unfair (women pay more for clothes, beauty products) doesn’t mean we should MAKE MORE OF THESE SCHEMES!

    I could say a lot more things about people in groups that don’t allow others their freedom (cough, cough, desert religion) but I will suffice it to say that there is an obvious double-standard where if one is a non-white-male-cis-person, one is held to a much lower standard of open-mindedness and tolerance than if one were a white-male-cis-blahblahblah.

    And I say fuck that! Everyone should be tolerant of everyone (within reason), and everyone should treat a member of any given group like a person and not a FUCKING STATISTIC!

    Sorry to hear that Canada is being used to flog this ugly cause, I know the 99.99999% of people in your country are good are not bigots like this sid mohammed guy.

  10. As a woman of colour I’m disgusted by your reasoning. “BECAUSE women pay more for a haircut? Beauty supplies? ” Outrageous. Of course they pay more! They get more of an experience, more talent and technique, long hair is more work, more product. Are you say hair stylists should make less money for more labour and product? How about most homeless people in Canada are native and white MALES? You are racist. Plain and simple. How this organization gets away with this I’ll never know. If you wanted “justice pricing” you should have everyone of your guests come with their 2016 tax forms and work on a sliding scale. You are a racist idiot who is hiding behind the rise of social justice. Shame on you for creating more problems in the name of true equality. Shame on your organization who thought this was a good idea when in reality it is this kind of thinking that puts true equality on the backbench. This is about punishing white MALES while promoting your film.

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