Editor's note

Reports of price gouging by airlines before Hurricane Irma prompted outrage. Yet what is most notable about carriers like Delta jacking up the price of a last-minute ticket out of town is that it’s actually business as usual – and not only for airlines. Companies from Uber to Disney are increasingly using “dynamic pricing” to extract every cent they can from consumers by raising prices at times of high demand. While these companies and some economists say it makes markets more efficient, the reality is it leads to an economy that makes all of us a lot poorer, writes Ramsi Woodcock, who researches law and economics at Georgia State University.

The International Olympic Committee yesterday officially announced the 2024 and 2028 games will be in Paris and Los Angeles, respectively. But images of the happy host city mayors mask deeper troubles with the Olympics – and their effects on cities, writes John Rennie Short of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.

And as fans wait impatiently for the next season of the Game of Thrones, USC Annenberg School for Communication’s Diane Winston argues that the appeal of the show lies, in part, in its ability to allow the audience to “contemplate and debate fundamental concerns about the meaning of human life.”

Bryan Keogh

Editor, Economics and Business

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Delta, shown over Tampa in 2014, and other carriers jacked up fares ahead of Irma due to high demand. They later capped prices. Drew Horne/Shutterstock.com

Irma price gouging highlights sad truth: Consumer fleecing is the new normal

Ramsi Woodcock, Georgia State University

Some consumers were alarmed that airlines were charging thousands of dollars to get out of the hurricane's path. That's actually business as usual for more and more companies.

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