Thomas Sowell tells us: “The first of lesson of economics is scarcity; there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
It must also be the first lesson of fancy hotels. At least, when it comes to the internet.
When I check into a Best Western or a Motel 6, I can always count on a decent internet connection. In my room. As part of the tariff.
Why is it then when I book into a 5-star hotel with a mock French name, where even the chambermaids effect a Pepé Le Pew accent, and lay down five Franklins for my nightly stay, that the only internet is either in the lobby or in the room for an additional fee -- a fee that comes close to a full tank of gasoline for my truck?
Yes I know, almost everything in these hotels costs a lot. Like breakfast. Eggs Benedict for $17. But, it tastes a lot better than the Grand Slam at Denny’s. Money well-spent in my opinion.
But the internet? That is about as fungible as you can get. Unless the hotel supplies commercial grade speed -- which it doesn’t.
I suspect the answer is the same for a lot of things in American life these days. If someone else ultimately pays the bill (such as employers who reimburse businessmen for these inflated prices) or federal aid that inflates college tuition, suppliers will do what the market bears.
At least, with the high internet fees, I have the option of going to the competition. In a world with free wifi in coffee shops, there is no reason to pay big bucks to the big hotels.
I suspect Thomas Sowell would like that solution.