Why you should care
Because who doesn’t want more cash? But what if it involves your conscience?
We tend to think of income groups such as the “top 1 percent” as being relatively stable collectives that, despite popular rhetoric, enjoy rather low levels of social mobility. But the truth is more complicated, and more volatile: The average American’s chances of attaining the American dream, at least in terms of a high income, are greater than we may realize, according to analysis in a new book. The researchers argue that “even when looking at shorter periods of time, affluence is a relatively common event” in America. Good news, right? Maybe not. That wealth is also typically short-lived. Read the story here.
The average commuter in large, congested cities like Los Angeles and New York spends the equivalent of 2.5 days stuck in traffic each year — and it’s even worse in other parts of the world. That’s a lot of time staring at the bumper in front of you. By placing advertisements on car bumpers, companies and brand managers not only gain access to prime, undeveloped ad space, they also grow brand loyalty by providing thousands of drivers with a sponsored commute. Whether it’s for gas money or a portion of your next car payment, wouldn’t you consider renting out your bumper? As Mark Twain once said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” If advertisers can figure out how to rent some real estate on your rear bumper, that small thing might just turn out to be your wallet. Read the story here.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, we’re told — or is there? Around the world, a smattering of businesses are experimenting with a new pricing model that lets customers pay what they want. Some of these firms are even managing to stay afloat. That’s partly because of something behavioral economists call “self-signaling.” When given the chance to choose how much to pay for a sandwich, album or taxi, very few of us are callous enough to pay nothing. But some are uncomfortable with making the decision what to pay: We then have to confront how generous or selfish we are. As with any business model that takes a bet on human nature, PWYW can be risky. Oftentimes it flops. Read the story here.