Can the USPS Deliver?

You’ve got mail? Maybe not on Saturday. As explained in a Teaching Company lecture (#28), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) faces competition from UPS and FedEx, from email, faxes, and texts. Their salaries average 30% higher than the private sector,…

Coupon Economics

When Starbucks raised its prices during the beginning of 2010, it lowered the price of a tall regular to $1.70. But, if you wanted a splash of foam, a shot of espresso, or a touch of flavor, the addition could…

Popcorn Margins

Higher quality film? Better projectors? Online ticketing? No. The “most important technological innovation since sound” was the armrest cup holder (according to a movie theater owner). Please think about a cup holder. The cup holder makes huge popcorn buckets manageable.…

Pricing Airline Tickets

During the 1970s, a ticket to fly between New York and Washington, D.C. cost $50 whereas one between Los Angeles and San Francisco-almost twice the distance-cost only $40.  Why? Before deregulation in 1978, the interstate airline industry was subject to extensive…

Baseball Games and Airline Fares

How much will the San Francisco Giants charge for a baseball ticket? It all depends on, “past ticket sales, the day and time of the game, the teams’ records, the pitching match-up, the weather, the going rate on resale Web…

Can the Post Office Deliver?

Having just read a Washington Post article about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), I started thinking about its future. But first, its past: While we have had postal services since the 1600s, Ben Franklin transformed the system. Appointed Deputy Postmaster…