Looks like my favorite science and climate policy blogger Roger Pielke Jr. has been inspired by John’s beauty pageant coverage here on Power Line, because he’s got up on his fine blog a well-illustrated piece about the economic irrationality of Hooter’s: “Hooter’s Girls Are Not Hicks Neutral.” Wait a minute—I thought hicks were the prime clientele for Hooter’s girls?
Turns out I’ve got the wrong hicks in mind. Roger means John Hicks, the distinguished British economist whose theorems lead Roger to wonder whether Hooter’s represents true economic innovation, or just a modest variation of what economists call “factor inputs,” or, more precisely, a “biased technical change to the production function.” Oh-kay. If that’s how economists want to describe Hooter’s girls and their work uniforms, I get a better picture of why economists have trouble getting dates.
At least Roger points us to the company’s official history, which is a lot more comprehensible than the discussion of the fine points of Hicks-Schumpeter ideas on what constitutes technology-based economic innovation:
The first Hooters opened October 4, 1983, in Clearwater, Florida. During its history, the Hooters concept has undergone very little change. The current logo, uniform, menu and ambiance are all very similar to what existed in the original store. This lack of change is understandable given the tremendous success the Hooters concept has enjoyed. Hooters has continued to rank high amongst the industry’s growth leaders. Hooters has proven successful in small-town America, major metropolitan areas and internationally. . .
The “nearly world famous” Hooters Girls are the cornerstone of the Hooters concept, and as part of their job, these all-American cheerleaders make promotional and charitable appearances in their respective communities. Hooters hires women who best fit the image of a Hooters Girl to work in this capacity. The chain hires both males and females to work in management and host, staff, service bar, and kitchen positions. The Hooters Girl uniform consists of orange shorts and a white tank top. Pantyhose and bras are required.
Claims that Hooters exploits attractive women are as ridiculous as saying the NFL exploits men who are big and fast. Hooters Girls have the same right to use their natural female sex appeal to earn a living as do super models Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. To Hooters, the women’s rights movement is important because it guarantees women have the right to choose their own careers, be it a Supreme Court Justice or Hooters Girl.
Are you even allowed to say things like this any more? I like these guys. And I don’t eat there often enough to express my appreciation.