Friday, June 2, 2017

"Let your yea be yea..."

Joseph Bottum doesn't like to bargain. I don't either. Bottum:
.... Fixed pricing was brought into general use by the Quakers, first in Great Britain and then in Pennsylvania. The success of Quaker-owned department stores in the 19th century spread the practice of price tags to nearly all retail sales in America. (Excluding horse-trading—and the manners and morals of horse-lots would pass in turn to car dealerships, where buyers and sellers alike expect to bargain.)

Moral concern drove the idea of openly displayed prices. Haggling was a species of lying: sellers dishonestly overvaluing their wares, and buyers dishonestly undervaluing them. The Friends were instructed to let their yea be yea and their nay be nay, using honest measures and holding to fixed prices. And thereby even the marketplace, the center of commerce, could be evangelized—freed from deceit and the cruelty of trying to get the better of other people. ....