Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Senior Discounts

A member of Newsday’s editorial board questioned senior discounts. His arguments about might be valid with for public companies like the MTA. For them, subsidizing anyone - even students – is a debatable policy. The rest of his contention seems to be that private companies should not be allowed to maximize their opportunities. He does not seem to be aware of the profit motive involved. These discounts are not being done to promote social policy.
Take the movie house. An empty seat for a show is a lost opportunity to generate revenue. It is clearly better for them to fill that otherwise empty seat for a dollar less than to have it be empty. If they were selling all their seats they would have no incentive to cut prices to attract more people. As he says, some Yankee games have discounts. That deal is not available for a Yank/Red Sox game. Wonder why?
These companies are trying to get more people to use their services when they are not at peak. The stereotype of seniors going to dinner and movies early (and riding the LIRR off peak) is demonstrably true.
The astounding information that NYS provides a break to seniors who “meet certain income requirements” is no more out of line than that there are NYS residents of all ages who are not taxed because of “certain income requirements”. Real money is involved in both cases.
No wonder the Newsday editorials are so dopey.

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