Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Caveat Emptor

America is the home of capitalism, right? At least it's the world's biggest promoter of capitalism, true?

I'm just checking because in today's Irish Independent there's an article in which the US Ambassador to Ireland is warning against ripping off American tourists coming here for the Ryder Cup.

Mr. Kenny claims that if American Ryder Cup fans are ripped-off it "will cause long-term damage to the Irish tourism industry". You know what? I don't believe that for one minute. This is a specialist event attracting a specialist audience. I don't think there'll be any long term effects at all.

But, that's almost beside the point. The US State Department biography of James Kenny says
[b]efore his appointment, James C. Kenny was Executive Vice-President of Kenny Construction Company and President of Kenny Management Services. Kenny Construction Company, founded in 1927, is involved in building projects across the United States. Kenny Management Services is a new division that has overseen large, complex construction projects such as the Chicago Midway Airport expansion and the new stadium for the Chicago Bears football team.
So, I'm guessing that when Mr. Kenny was selling in a tight market he knew he could raise his prices, and when the market was slack he cut his prices to the bone. That's just a guess, of course, I have no way of knowing for sure. Seems reasonable, though.

So, if the demand for hotel rooms, restaurants, transportation or whatever is high during the Ryder Cup, isn't it natural to expect that those who are offering those services/products will up their prices? Let the buyer beware is all I say.