Elizabeth Warren hates happy hour

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is really upset some businesses might have different prices at different times of day or week.

As I write this, I am drinking a temporarily discounted beer and eating temporarily discounted onion rings. Customers who show up after me and order the same onion rings and the same hazy IPA, which cost the bar the same, will pay 50% more.

What would Warren do if she found out about this price-discrimination scheme called “happy hour”? (I am not naming this establishment because I do not want the senator siccing the Federal Trade Commission on the pub.)

Economist Jason Furman highlighted a similar scheme by movie theaters.

In fact, now that I think about it, if I get on the Washington Metro before 7 p.m., I will incur surge pricing, which Warren hates. I wonder if she believes the transgovernmental Metro agency is a price-gouger.

Look, I don’t know what Wendy’s means by dynamic pricing, but the company says it simply wants the ability to change prices on the fly. This could mean “surge pricing,” or it could mean a discounted Frosty to compete with a rival discounting a Freezee, or whatever.


It could mean higher burger prices if there’s a mad cow outbreak, or it could mean suddenly low prices if, like Burger King this week, you see a chance to make a competitor look bad.

The bottom line is this: Elizabeth Warren came into politics as a supposed wonk on economic matters, but these days, she’d rather play dumb populist.

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