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(BBC)   The most disgusting aspect of capitalism: Hundreds of people stuck in London and the hotels triple their prices   (news.bbc.co.uk) divider line 635
    More: Sick  
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30633 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jul 2005 at 8:01 AM (10 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-07-08 09:20:48 AM  
Near... far... wherever you are ...
The heart of capitalism will go on ...

/capitalism not available in China, North Korea, Vietnam or Cuba. Check your local listings
 
2005-07-08 09:20:49 AM  
Here in Florida when we had the four hurricanes last year, our Attorney General declared similar actions to be price gouging (i.e. selling generators for triple the original amount, hotel rooms, gas, etc). Then he set up a hotline where you could turn people in. When that happened, business owners and lizards looking for a quick buck came back to their senses real quick.

/nothing wrong with making a buck
//if you're not a funeral owner or a contractor, you have no business making money off of people's tragedies or losses
 
2005-07-08 09:20:56 AM  
GodBlessTexas
Got magnet?
 
dpr
2005-07-08 09:21:42 AM  
kyouzo:

Wait a second here - someone chooses to stick around in a country where conditions are deterorating, you can't feed your family anymore, and then they complain about their only option when the deteroration inevitably completes?

How is someone with no money expected to just pick up and leave their country? Do you have any idea how hard it is coming from a 3rd world country to get a visa to live and work in a 1st world country? Most countries won't take people simple because they want a better life. Most countries will only take people in such situations if they have been subjected to political repression, torture or other serious human rights violations.

Moving countries is NOT easy. I moved from the US to the UK, to be with my wife, and that was pretty difficult.

Your world may be in black and white; I'm glad I can see in colour.
 
2005-07-08 09:21:47 AM  
Ok, gotta ask.

Who is chick corea?

/couldn't be bothered to google, need coffee
 
2005-07-08 09:22:23 AM  
StupidFly:"Wait, were some homes destroyed in the UK, too?

Or are these hotels... JUST BEING USED FOR REPORTERS AND OTHER ONLOOKERS?"

Um, no. Mostly, they're going to people who lived so far away that to walk home would take hours. You could figure this out from that part of the article where they say that some people - instead of using these hotels - walked for hours to get home.
 
2005-07-08 09:22:41 AM  
if they did this to me, i would take several steaming dumps between the matresses before i left.
 
2005-07-08 09:23:23 AM  
mattharvest: where are these ethics set?

I think there may be laws against it. During the onslaught of hurricanes in Florida, there was some "price gouging" going on. The police stepped in and put a stop to it where they could.

Load shark activities are also against the law. That I believe, is for loaning money with an incredibly high interest rates (over 25%). Not sure about the exact details.
 
2005-07-08 09:23:35 AM  
Lets see... London has a disaster, news media from around the world quickly flock to London. Hotel room supply quickly goes down and rates quickly go up. I don't see the problem. This is simple supply and demand. If people don't want to pay those prices they can go home. Are prople going to cry foul when the rates go up 5 fold during the 2012 olympics?
 
2005-07-08 09:24:01 AM  
I support this activity. It's supply and demand and far healthier for the economy than government intervention/regulation

I would agree with this statement 99 times out of 100. Disasters are different, though. We should be advanced enough as a civilization to recognize that some things are more important than economics and profit. I realize it's a Priorities thing, and what is important to me (i.e. people) is not as important to everyone else (i.e. greedy, hell-bound profiteers).

As someone who lived many years in FL, you come to expect this sort of BS when disasters occur. Sad...
 
2005-07-08 09:24:17 AM  
oh, and great withnail and i references. i never thought i would see it on fark.

"who is the huge spade in the bath?"
 
2005-07-08 09:25:00 AM  
Remember when Alan Jackson capitalized on 9/11 with that "Ladder to Heaven" song? And let's not forget Toby Keith. He used 9/11 to skyrocket his carreer into patriotic super-stardom.

/Fark 'merica.
 
2005-07-08 09:25:46 AM  
NineInchNader

Sorry, man, you're either too stupid, too brainwashed or too much of a dick to realize that coporations.. gasp... can do bad things from time to time.


I'm sure you posted a laundry list of examples where I said corporations can do nothing wrong after this - I guess it just got lost in the internet somewhere.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, corporations do both good things and bad things - if you hate what Wal-Mart does, and yet you still go to Wal-Mart to purchase goods and/or services, then what does that make you?
 
2005-07-08 09:27:02 AM  
Who is Toby Keith? I've never heard of Alan Jackson either.

Is Toby Keith that guy from Roots?

I sense a cultural reference gap...

r
 
2005-07-08 09:27:28 AM  
Was in France last January snowboarding, we arrived at 4am too late to check into the guesthouse we had booked for the first night, so we went around looking for hotel rooms, none were available, the guy in the lobby of the first hotel we asked (apparently) was legally obliged to allow us to stay in the reception all night free of charge rather than turn us away. The have a 'Good Samaratin' law.
In the end he gave us free rooms at 5am after a party of Germans checked out.
 
2005-07-08 09:27:48 AM  
mattharvest:

I've never once seen anyone suggest that there are ANY ethical mores built into capitalism. I've seen systems which form hybrids of capitalism and some ethical theory, but never any attempts to actually find ethical mores IN capitalism.

Here is one. In Capitalism, mores should reflect those (or lack thereof) of the consumers.

mattharvest I think the purchasing power is farther spread then you think it is. A hotel outside a tourist area relies on busniess traveller who usually has a choice based on certain limits. My firm pays, but I get the points, and I choice the place based on that and my perception of the chain- sometimes I get a chance to come back to the same place and tend to stay in the hotel, but I tend to stick to the chain that takes care of me.
 
2005-07-08 09:27:52 AM  
if you're not a funeral owner or a contractor, you have no business making money off of people's tragedies or losses

horse hockey. It's a zero sum game. Everytime someone wins someone else loses. The only problem here is one of perceived egregious degree. Where do we draw the line and who gets to draw the line? Let the economic model sort things out, don't let the government dictate economic policy. I'm not saying the mercantilism has to be amoral. My argument is that morality plays indirectly in the market as people react and make decisions based on what's happened. I'm curious if the people deriding me and others for defending "price gouging" would be willing to support a bill guaranteeing a minimum level of income for corporations regardless of how they performed. Everyone complains when a company tries to make a windfall profit, yet nobody rallies to the support of companies that are failing, at least not without suffering acrimony.
 
dpr
2005-07-08 09:29:29 AM  
If people don't want to pay those prices they can go home.

Please explain how people are supposed to "get home" when all transport services are down (including Taxis) and central London has been cordened off? No vehicles (apart from emergency services) were allowed in or out of the afflicted area. London is a huge city; you can't just walk and expect to be home quickly in all cases.

Had this happened to you, would you be fine that your only option of accomodation was out of your reach financially and you have nowhere to go?

Some people who were injured in the attack last night had to sleep rough. That is unacceptable and completely wrong.
 
2005-07-08 09:31:03 AM  
Peter Ackroyd's book London: The Biography is the best you could read. He loves the city, as many of us do, but he says again and again that it's like a machine to make money, scam, hustle. It's London doing what London does. It's still great. My impression is NY is the same.
 
2005-07-08 09:31:28 AM  
Meanwhile, back in the real world, corporations do both good things and bad things

No, dude, don't back down now. Corps shiat rainbows and spend their free days petting monkeys in the summer sunshine.

But, like I said, I gotta go. You're upsetting the karmic balance of the granola I gotta take out of the oven, and I'd hate to have to dig up some more organics.
 
2005-07-08 09:31:29 AM  
it's not raining in london, is it?
 
2005-07-08 09:31:45 AM  
Some people who were injured in the attack last night had to sleep rough. That is unacceptable and completely wrong.

I agree, but slamming the hotels without slamming everyone else in London that could have helped is hypocritical.
 
2005-07-08 09:32:06 AM  
Swiss Colony

Er, I'm in Glasgow, I only go to London when someone else is payin' (thats the Scottish bit)

Please don't call me a Londoner again :)
 
2005-07-08 09:33:34 AM  
Capitalism keeps prices down, it does not drive them up, in most cases. Supply and demand have much more influence over the prices of goods and services than does capitalism itself.
If there weren't a demand for hotel rooms, there wouldn't be a price hike. The same thing would happen during conventions, sporting events, etc and no one would make a peep about it.
 
2005-07-08 09:33:36 AM  
Nikolai Lenin, save us from expensive hotel rates!
 
2005-07-08 09:34:29 AM  
Hippies ma'am. College know-it-all hippies. They're the worst.
 
2005-07-08 09:35:24 AM  
There are a few people on this thread tossing around economic principles to support their claim that there are not any ethical guidelines in the free market. This kind of attitude is what gives Capitalism a bad name.
Capitalism without ethics is like living in "Thieves World".
 
2005-07-08 09:35:49 AM  
[image from i.a.cnn.net too old to be available]
An Explosion you say? how dreadful. Thankfully I'm sitting on billions of pounds and don't need to partake in the dreariness of public transportation. Well then, jolly good show! Carry on!
 
2005-07-08 09:35:51 AM  
mattharvest:

I'm not mocking you here, I swear: where are these ethics set? I've never once seen anyone suggest that there are ANY ethical mores built into capitalism

This is from the same article:
However, some hotels offered blankets and use of showers for free and other businesses donated goods to casualties.

Capitalism is simply what people make it. People are evil and people are good. Therefore, capitalism is evil and capitalism is good.
The way I see it, if people are really offended that those hotels are price gouging, they vote with their Euros and spend the night in a competing hotel farther away. Maybe they should go in and nicely tell the owner what a prick he is...but no one's right in forcing those hotel's to lower their prices because the only ones who have a right to do so are the hotel owners themselvs.

/just wanted to say
 
2005-07-08 09:36:36 AM  
smeegle: Capitalism without ethics is like living in "Thieves World".

*Whoop*Whoop* D&D nerd outing himself!!!!

(wait, damn)
 
2005-07-08 09:38:19 AM  
Actually, it's called "price gouging" and it's illegal in the United States. It happens after every hurricane and people are arrested for it and businesses are fined all the time.
 
2005-07-08 09:38:32 AM  
herne: *Whoop*Whoop* D&D nerd outing himself!!!!


This gal is proud of her nerdness. So thanks for the compliment:)
My reference was actually to a book not D&D.
 
2005-07-08 09:39:27 AM  
HenryFnord: Hippies ma'am. College know-it-all hippies. They're the worst.

What an ironic statement. Likely the majority of those who had the idle time to explore themselves by going to crap like Woodstock are now driving BMWs and keeping Mariott in business.

(you have no idea the amount of greying management on Wall St that will wax nostalgic about the Dead)
 
dpr
2005-07-08 09:39:37 AM  
I still wonder what some of you supporting this would have done yesterday. If you had been injured in the attack, had no way of getting home and nowhere else to stay, would you have simply said "It's ok, that's just supply and demand!"

I'd wager not, not if you were in the same situation.
 
2005-07-08 09:39:46 AM  
a capital economist is one that believes that the accumulation/hording of wealth spurs economics growth. the hotels (however wrong it may be) are respoding to an overwhelming demand for lodging. the law of supply and demand states that as demand rises, and supply decreases, price will rise as well.

/just sayin...
 
2005-07-08 09:40:43 AM  
smeegle: My reference was actually to a book not D&D.

Right, but one never actually read by anyone who has never played.
 
2005-07-08 09:41:31 AM  
In NYC after 9/11, they had steps in place to prosecute price gouging.
 
2005-07-08 09:41:35 AM  
dammit...s/respoding/responding
 
2005-07-08 09:43:15 AM  
herne: Right, but one never actually read by anyone who has never played.



I have never played D&D. The book I refer to was written quite some time ago, over 15 years. It is Sci-fi fantasy though. Does that count?
 
2005-07-08 09:43:24 AM  
Only on FARK can you find a handful of assholes who defend price gouging after a tragedy. Amazing.


Maybe the hospitals should raise their rates right after a tragedy? They know more people will need their service. Charge more for bandages, pain killers...

/Supply and demand thing...all good?
 
2005-07-08 09:43:35 AM  
still wonder what some of you supporting this would have done yesterday. If you had been injured in the attack, had no way of getting home and nowhere else to stay, would you have simply said "It's ok, that's just supply and demand!"

I'd have toughed it out and soldiered on. Then, I've probably been a little more accustomed to sleeping rough than most. What I wouldn't have done is claimed that anyone else owed me something or that I had some entitlement because of what happened. There is no special extraordinary debt or obligation between the hoteliers and those needing accomodation. Everyone in London should be willing to chip in and help, that's moral. Expecting the hoteliers to forego profits when others aren't apparently willing to assist is amoral.
 
2005-07-08 09:45:44 AM  
smeegle:

I have never played D&D. The book I refer to was written quite some time ago, over 15 years. It is Sci-fi fantasy though. Does that count?

Come on, never? Not once without inhaling?

The book was written at the height of D&D, 15 years ago the creators still owned it (TSR). I think the tales of the Grey Mouser et al were released as D&D suppliments at the same time or soon after.
 
2005-07-08 09:46:28 AM  
Maybe the hospitals should raise their rates right after a tragedy?

A] We're not talking about preserving life. We're talking about whether or not I get to sleep in a comfy room on a Sealy Postur-pedic.

B] Hospitals are social services, not for profit organizations.
 
2005-07-08 09:47:11 AM  
To the headline submitter: So for how long have you been in Al Queda now?
 
2005-07-08 09:47:14 AM  
Maybe the hospitals should raise their rates right after a tragedy? They know more people will need their service. Charge more for bandages, pain killers...

you mean they don't overcharge already?! i was badly burned as a child, and the hospital charged $40/pint for the cold WATER they poured over the burns.
 
2005-07-08 09:47:32 AM  
Hi there everybody on this thread who equates the statement "capitalism is not 100% wonderful" with the statement "communism is 100% wonderful". Friendly public service announcement for you:

You're idiots.
 
2005-07-08 09:48:03 AM  
[image from img.photobucket.com too old to be available]
 
2005-07-08 09:48:21 AM  
herne:

I think the tales of the Grey Mouser et al were released as D&D suppliments at the same time or soon after.

I can see how that would work. Great marketing! Did the author profit from the D&D addition? Hope so. I loved those books but I honestly never got to play D&D. Love the artwork on the book covers.
 
2005-07-08 09:48:42 AM  
See north corea is right where I said it was!
 
2005-07-08 09:49:07 AM  
So the thing is, hotel prices are always based on supply and demand. Let's say a hotel's "rack rate" - the highest price they charge, which has to be published in the hotel room - is $400 a night. If the hotel is 25% full, they'll sell rooms at $75 a night to get occupancy up. If it's 50% full, they'll sell them at $200 a night. And if they have one room left, that room will go for $400 a night. That's the price that Joe City Businessman would have paid Monday night if he had to stay in the city, if the hotel he went to was already nearly full. So to say it's "gouging" is only correct if they are selling a room they normally would have sold for $200 (based on the occupancy rate) at the full rack rate. If the room would have sold at $400 with no disaster, it's not 'gouging'.

Now, given the happenings of yesterday, the hotel managers should have overridden that rack rate and given them at least some kind of discount. That would have been the compassionate, not to mention PR-savvy, thing to do. But, some people ain't so smrt.
 
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