30 January 2008|
A new paradigm for basic economic theory has arrived. Here, we illustrate the basic principles of supply and demand, renewable/nonrenewable resources and American capitalism with an analogy that easily resonates with young audiences -- the bar scene.
The Venue= The Marketplace
Each venue appeals to a unique crowd. Dimly lit bars with deafening guitar sounds echoing through floor speakers will appeal to a totally different crowd than an upscale sushi restaurant which turns into trendy hip-hop club after-hours. The venue determines the clientele. Some venues will attract fewer patrons with more disposable income while others will attract more patrons with less disposable income. The fewer venues exist in an area, the more diverse the customers.
The Females= Currency
Females are the principal commodity in a bar. Although they spend much less money on food and drink than males, bars welcome females with open arms. The female is the facilitator who attracts the less frugal male to the bar. Bringing females to a bar is a conspicuous display of your wealth, but in this case the currency has 34-Cs. Rolling into a venue with an attractive female on each hip is like pulling up to an awards show in a Bentley Continental GT - completely unnecessary, yet thoroughly effective at getting your point across (namely, I have more of *everything* than you). The old maxim, “you need money to make money” is often times true, but would more valid (albeit less poetic) if it were to read “it is easier to make money when you don’t need money.” Women would much rather be with the guy surrounded by other women than with the guy surround by two empty bar stools. It's a simple case of supply and demand.
The Bouncer= Regulation
The bouncer determines acceptable behavior in the marketplace. Patrons of the marketplace are expected to follow unwritten rules of behavior to maintain good standing with the market. To be concise, the marketplace is never truly free of regulation. For the bar, it makes economic sense to have some sort of regulatory control over their domain. The bouncer, while costing the bar resources, provides value by protecting patrons while they are inside the market place. The patrons are indirectly paying for the services of the bouncer when they pay for their $6 pint of draft. This artificial regulation makes the market a safe and balanced place for the consumers. A successfully maintained atmosphere of open competition attracts the male customers, who know that their private property (their collective asses) won't be kicked without intervention from the bouncer. (Although our CFO still managed to obtain a black eye while visiting the marketplace).
The Males= Consumers
Males are the reason why a market is profitable. They are the primary consumers of a bar’s main product—alcohol. Their demand for this product keeps the market profitable and increases in competition between rival markets. This competition forces the market to increase its quality of product and thus the quality of life is raised for all participants.
Alcohol= The Product
From the standpoint of profitability, alcohol is a perfect product. It is cheap to produce and can be made from renewable resources. Consumers are willing to pay premiums for it in certain marketplaces (read: bars, clubs). In addition, after a relatively short period of time, the user needs to consume more to maintain its effects. But the quality that makes alcohol such a desirable product is that it sells itself. Patrons of the marketplace will readily hand over their cash without coercion in order to consume this wonder product. The bar is a candy store for adults only.
The Bartender= Value-added service provider
The bartender is the classic middle-man (or middle-woman if you’re at Beach Girlz Xtremez in Orange County). They transform a raw good into a more consumable product by adding value to said raw good. For example, the bartender unites 1 2/3 oz. of gin and 1/3 oz. dry vermouth into a cocktail glass to make a dry martini. Although the gin and vermouth are valued at a fraction of a dollar when sold separately, combine the two in an overly-crowded, overly-affluent market and you’ve got yourself a $12 cocktail.
The Dive Bar= The Black Market
Free from the restrictions of price controls and with fewer barriers to entry (fake IDs are more readily accepted, the company of less attractive females is permitted, and generally less bling is required to get in), alcohol is traded at a much lower price, and final goods can be acquired cheaply. Don’t expect to find a Grey Goose martini here, but if you don’t mind having a rum and Coke mixed with Albertson’s brand moonshine, you’re in business. Due to the shady nature of most dive bars and a lack of significant regulation, patrons must be aware that these markets are often prone to disruptions and occasional outburts of violence, but they remain competitive for the above reasons.