.. Does God have the lowest price or does He/She Value Price ?...

Scott Adams in his blog today makes a passing point abt "competitive strategies", and I quote:

"And what’s up with the people who pray for material things? If you believe that God answers prayers for merchandise, it means the gap between the Almighty creator of the universe and Walmart is closing.

God still has the lowest prices and widest selection, but how long can that last?"

Now to this assertion (That I do not really agree is true) and I have a question:

Why is God not Value-Pricing??

I know the one in Thirumala-Tirupathi (that I was taken to this summer when I was in India) does.  Here is a wiki article about the temple for background:

"Hindus believe that this richest Hindu temple is the second most visited religious center after Vatican City . About 60,000 to 150,000 devotees visit the temple complex every day donating nearly $2 million every month (This number is NOT adjusted for PPP* Purchasing power parity). Complex queueing theories and emerging technologies have been evaluated and implemented to manage the large and unmanageable crowds by the TTD. The deity has also over 1000 kg of gold and diamond jewellery, making it one of the richest temple treasures."

Now back to the question - why is God not value pricing? At Tirupathi it is a working example of how value pricing works:

  • Sarvadarsanam (Visit for all): FREE as it is open for 50,000 ppl a day!!
  • Special Darshan Queues: For about $1-$1.5 (Token queuing system)
  • Morning Sevas (offerings): $3 (for batches of 200 ppl)
  • Special Morning seva: $5 (for batches of 1000 ppl)
  • Various levels of other (about 15) sevas: $25-$300 (for batches of 5-10 people)

Obviously for higher prices, the queue is shorter, quicker and the "time" in front of the main deity is longer. When I Was there we were on the $150 ticket which still meant we had to wait 4 hrs in a queue standing barefoot in Indian summer to get our time in the main idol, wherein the actual "viewtime" was about 30 seconds. If thatz for a top tier $150 ticket - go figure what it is like for the FREE crowd where 50,000 ppl queue at 70% humidity on a 120 degrees Indian summer!

*That* is Value pricing. And God does it excellently. Atleast in Tirupathi!

So Scott, I am not sure God has the lowest prices, but She/He defnitely does value price for a really vast portfolio.