The School Holiday Travel Trap: What Is It That People Don’t Understand About Markets?
THIS is one of those stories where you just have to put your head in your hands at the gross stupidity of our fellow citizens:
When he vented his frustration about holiday prices shooting up during the school half-term break, Paul Cookson struck a chord with other parents.
His rant to 250 Facebook friends quickly went viral as outraged parents shared his post about rip-off prices 143,000 times.
Now the issue may even be debated in Parliament after more than 100,000 signed an online petition calling for the Government to curb prices.
Yep, 100,000 people are entirely mystified about why the price of something might rise when more people want it. Completely blind to the way that prices, supply and demand interact. You wonder how they manage to exist in a market economy really.
Plane tickets go up when more people want to fly. Concert tickets rise in price the more people want to go and see that particular band. No one is at all surprised that One Direction concerts cost more to get into than a couple of blokes playing down the pub. And absolutely everyone understands why pay is higher on Christmas Day: because that’s the one day that everyone wants to have off.
But why the fixed supply of places at CentreParcs costs more when there are more people who want to go there? Everyone seems not just mystified but outraged.
As to the solution that’s very simple indeed. Schools should stagger half term rather than the entire country having it at the same time. But that would require someone in the government to do some thinking so that’s not going to happen, is it?