Taking the cramped seat available or paying double or triple for a wider seat is not a realistic choice nor a reasonable one.

Consumers don’t get a check-off list with a product. In the real world life is not granular, and the only way to get granular improvements which cost the seller money is to set a minimum standard that forces the sellers to compete in the market over how much they will raise the price. That helps keep the price increase to a minimum level.

Most passengers are very willing to pay an extra $10 to get an extra two or three inches but they will only have that choice through legislation. The airlines are under no competitive or financial pressure to offer that at a reasonable price. Again, look at the price differential between coach and business class.

Yes, the government is a terrible, inefficient answer to most problems. But it is often the only answer, a least-bad alternative. It’s certainly a better alternative than giving sellers who are in many ways not subject to market pressures free rein with the false claim that the fantasy market will solve all problems.

Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 17 novels and over 200 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

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