Coke has just introduced a new concept in vending machines. The new Coke dispensers will adjust the price depending on the weather. If it is really, really hot, you will have to pay more for a Coca-Cola. If it cools down, thereby, presumably, reducing demand, the price also goes down.
The first question, of course, is does the price go lower than what you pay now? I doubt it. But I don’t think Coke really cares. Once the public has accepted these machines (I’m sure they’ll be asking for your vote any time now), the price can go where-ever Coke thinks it can go. Which is up, of course. Coke will tell you that “market conditions” should determine the price.
So, if it’s hot and dry outside, and you’ve been working up a real sweat, and you see this vending machine… you are going to have to pay more. Well, why not? If you go to the hospital and the doctor notices that you are really, really sick, why shouldn’t he charge you more for treatment? Rents go up when the Olympics come to town.
I could be in favor of this idea. Hmmm. Might be good. But, let’s say that it is a really hot, dry day, and the vending machine runs out of Coke. Well then, along comes Mr. Truck-driver with another big load of Coca-cola. And he knows that Coke is going to make a killing in this hot weather. So he says to Coke, “my hourly rate has just doubled. It’s hot. There’s people lined up to buy your product. I’m merely taking advantage of market conditions. Pay up.”
And it doesn’t end there. Car sales go up? Ford workers get an increase. Enrollment goes up? Up goes the salaries of the teachers. The computer network breaks down? Ahhhhh. Too bad. But the technician and systems support person now costs $500 an hour instead of $150.