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Economics of Lap Dancing · 2005-10-26

There was this article by a former lap dancer Elisabeth Eaves, which had astonishingly sound economic reasoning on the topic of high price 'lap dancing establishments'. I found that one at Improbable Research, where it was featured for the mentioned economic reasoning.

Today the register does feature the story behind. A IT Firm's CEO, Robert McCormick, spent the amount of 241.000$ in one night out at the Scores in New York City. Watch the urban neon interiour here. Now he refuses to pay, claiming that he was a victim of fraud. Since the story made it to the register without mentioning it's 'economics of luxury' implications, I'd like to cite from Elisabeth's article, which one should read completely. Actually I perfectly agree with Elisabeth. A lap dance club is some kind of a Dior handbag for men, or is it not?

Nevertheless, the Manhattan district attorney's office is investigating allegations of overcharging at Scores. To which I say, as someone who has worked in strip clubs, you've got to be kidding - there's no such thing as "overcharging" in this industry.
Does Christian Dior "overcharge" when it sells a handbag for $13,000? That depends on how you look at it. If you see the handbag as a few pieces of stitched leather, the price is grossly inflated. If you see it as a source of heady self-worth - a passport to an exclusive club - then it's hard to say what price would be too high.
This is the economic logic relied on by purveyors of luxury goods. It's not about the utility of the product. It's about making the customer feel as if he has arrived.
-- Elisabeth Eaves at the NYTimes

Right, very often it is not about the actual utility but about the social implications of a certain good. For this reason, Mr. McCormick is probably very happy about the publicity he and his firm gets, which is better then the publicity it gets for it's business recently.

(via ElReg, Improbable Research, NYTimes)


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