I don’t think it’s about appealing to the masses: It’s about involving your readers (customers) in the pricing process by asking for their opinion about what something should cost.
I don’t believe in offering different grades of work: All of our work should be the best we can make it. We shouldn’t be creating sub-par work just so that we can make more money by having something to sell — that disregards the humanity of those we’re selling to (it’s essentially telling people that they aren’t equal and therefore don’t deserve the best we can offer… it’s maintaining the status quo of inequality).
We don’t need to maintain a status quo of inequality just because one already exists. Companies like Apple are built around the societal norms that came with the industrial revolution. Apple has learned how to play the game of exclusivity and as a result, they’re helping maintain inequality. But the industrial revolution is behind us and we’re now entering a new revolution, the digital revolution.
I believe we need to stop accepting things as they are and start thinking about what makes the most sense. It’s easy to look at and implement systems and models that have been used and tested for decades (or even centuries), but our culture is changing and we need to keep up. People are more willing to throw away the old and explore what happens when we instead do what makes sense. (The Occupy Wall Street movement is clear indication of this willingness to question the status quo.)
You asked how can we be fair. I believe we can be fair by including everyone, by taking into account everyone who consumes our work. In a connected world where we can’t possibly know who might be consuming our work, the only way to be fair is to include everyone. I’m not saying we should generalize and speak to everyone. I’m saying that we should include everyone who’s listening and offer them involvement in the business decisions that directly affect them.