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barit1
17th Dec 2007, 14:19
Case Study #793


The 5-minute entrepreneur - or, How to make easy money from traffic jams:

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, the commutes in certain sections are absolutely horrendous. This guy was sitting in a traffic jam one morning watching all the people in the carpool lane drive by, while he was moving at snail’s pace. He decided that he needed to get someone else in his car so that he could get to work in a timely manner using the carpool lane, and at first thought that his only option was to start a carpool.

As he thought about it more, however, he thought that he (as in himself and his body) was actually a valuable commodity and he could sell himself, and that is exactly what he did. He walked to the freeway entrance and held up a sign that said,

“Traffic is bad. Spend 2 hours, or pay me $10 and get there in 20 minutes”

He said the first day he was picked up within 15 minutes. When he got dropped off, he walked to the other side (of the highway), held up his sign and got paid to go back the other way too.

On a typical day he makes 2 to 3 round trips during the morning commute rush hour, and 3 - 5 round trips during the evening rush hour. If there is an accident and traffic is really slow, his price doubles. He clears $100 - $300 a day sitting in a car so others can get to work and home faster!


Discuss.

Binoculars
17th Dec 2007, 14:21
Discuss what?

GearDown&Locked
17th Dec 2007, 14:23
All very nice, until the IRS gets hold of him ...

barit1
17th Dec 2007, 14:23
Binos clearly has not yet passed the entrance exam :}

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
17th Dec 2007, 14:33
No. It's just that he, like so many others here, can't stand it when someone quotes an article they saw somewhere else, adds no comments of their own and then in an attempt to disguise the futility of it all adds the phrase "discuss" as though it should excuse the original poster.

So what's to discuss?

Binoculars
17th Dec 2007, 14:38
Thank you, argh. (Readers Digest Condensed Version) I was hoping not to have to explain it.

The SSK
17th Dec 2007, 14:42
Well I was all ready to discuss this, but you two have put me off.

Binoculars
17th Dec 2007, 14:43
It doesn't stop anyone else; why let us put you off feeling better?

bnt
17th Dec 2007, 14:44
I read Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor (http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/view.html) journal, and the phrase "unintended consequences" pops up with alarming regularity e.g. in his essay Republic & Empire (http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/empire.html).

barit1
17th Dec 2007, 15:01
In a rare (for me) serious moment, I offer this micro-analysis:

Government tends to create benefits in an "either - or" manner: Either you are eligible for a benefit (use of the carpool lane, e.g.) or not.

This creates perverse incentives for people to become eligible (e.g. the enterpreneur).

When benefits are allocated on a sliding scale, and the incremental value of the benefit is LESS THAN the cost of eligibility, then the unintended consequence is avoided.

:8

barit1
17th Dec 2007, 15:18
GD&L says:
All very nice, until the IRS gets hold of him ...
No worries, mate.

One of the guy's regular clients is an IRS dude, who of course gets the service free. :E

GearDown&Locked
17th Dec 2007, 15:23
...of course :{

Come to think of it, he might even have full medical coverage, lawyer assistance, advise on the NASDAQ... wow, clever dude huh :}

ScottyDoo
17th Dec 2007, 18:29
No. It's just that he, like so many others here, can't stand it when someone quotes an article they saw somewhere else, adds no comments of their own and then in an attempt to disguise the futility of it all adds the phrase "discuss" as though it should excuse the original poster.

So what's to discuss?

Every now and then, one of your posts will come across as somewhat indicative of a level of intellect. What happened to all the rest...???

like so many others

Anyone in particular? (other than you and Waldorf, that is... :rolleyes: )

Um... lifting...
17th Dec 2007, 19:01
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slugging

barit1
17th Dec 2007, 19:10
Supply and demand at work, obviously.

But still an unintended consequence. It must drive the planners nuts. :uhoh:

Two's in
17th Dec 2007, 19:15
Giving a lift to a complete stranger stood on the side of the Highway - what could possibly go wrong?

goudie
18th Dec 2007, 00:20
Only in America .......................the home of the fast buck

Um... lifting...
18th Dec 2007, 00:58
Oddly enough, I don't think there are any problems with slugging in D.C. (never done it myself). It's all sanctioned with designated pickup points, and I expect security cameras... which may help.

I have my doubts about the S.F. story, else all the lads from the Tenderloin would have smoked this out... I don't think the guy can turn a nickel... I smell urban legend all over this one. But, the home of the fast buck isn't the U.S... but it is IN the U.S.

http://www.fastbuckfreddies.com/

goudie
18th Dec 2007, 16:49
but it is IN the U.S.


Good one Um. Tackiness knows no limits.

Bet he does a good trade though