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A New "Massachusetts Miracle"

Today's Boston Globe featured something truly astonishing. They published an op/ed piece by a professor from Wellesley College that actually made sense.

Professor Karl Case teaches economics there, so I guess it's not too astonishing that he has his head fairly well attached to his shoulders. But I was still flabbergasted to see someone from his institution given access to the sacrosanct pages of the Boston Globe to espouse a principle I've always believed in -- that "scalping" is yet another of those "victimless crimes" that the government has no business in enforcing. It's capitalism plain and simple, and further it's hardly a matter of "life and death" -- it's all about entertainment. Nobody's ever died from not seeing a certain game or concert or other event.

A little while ago, I read that the legal definition of "vice" was "a crime without an unwilling victim." Drug use, prostitution, gambling -- all lack someone asking the authorities for help. The libertarian in me is having more and more issues with the role of government in fighting them with the full force of the law.


Comments (8)

The Bear, The Bears, The Be... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

The Bear, The Bears, The Bears, The Bears, The Bears..The Bears...

Yes and no... When ticket... (Below threshold)
JackC:

Yes and no... When tickets to s show or convert or sportign event go on sale, and I am in line or tring to call or tring to get tickets thought the internet at the exact instant they go on sale, and I can't get tickets because of all the scalpers who are trying at the same time, well, maybe I'm not truly a victem but it still sucks. It sucks that I can't get tickets because there is some bastard wo is not at all interested in the show/concert/game who managed to get the ticket before me just to sell to some one else.

owever, I don't really want the police/FBI/or whatever using up my tax dollars chasing after them (give me back my tax dollars and I would be able to afford the scalped tickets!).

Thats why I believe in Karma... it makes me feel better that thes scalpers will get their just desserts some time in the future.

Thats why I believe in Karma

It sucks that I... (Below threshold)
macofromoc:

It sucks that I can't get tickets because there is some bastard wo is not at all interested in the show/concert/game who managed to get the ticket before me just to sell to some one else.

you mean managed to get a whole bloc of tickets

I can't really think of ano... (Below threshold)
John:

I can't really think of another example off the top of my head where the government would be involved in a non monopoly transaction between two individuals that's not illegal for it's own reasons, e.g. murder for hire.

Frankly if I've got season tickets to, say, The Bears, and all of a sudden after 21 years, they could win the Superbowl.... Well, my "property" just got more valuable. I should be able to sell it for as much as I can get for it. If I had stock, or real estate, an antique, or a rare car, or whatever have you, I'd have no restrictions on my being able to sell my property.

I think the anti-scalping efforts are promoted mostly by the big ticket retailers (who do by tickets in blocks, and sell them for a profit)... Ever deal with Ticketmaster? That's not a charity operation.

Fine... No more scalping, but when the Ticketmaster owners decide to cash out and move to warmer shores, they should get only what they put in. Cash in, plus a reasonable rate for their labor, but nothing else. That's just more ticket scalping, but on an industrial scale.

I can see the hesitation in... (Below threshold)
mikem:

I can see the hesitation in criminalizing ticket scalping, although I think it accomplishes some good. Average Joe gets to go to the ballpark etc.
With illegal drugs I think the "decriminalizers" are taking a simplistic view, not thinking things through. There would be NO market for once illegal narcotics and habit forming drugs because there would be no marketers. What company or business would survive the first month with the wave of lawsuits that would be filed as addicts, their victims, and lawyer groups went after their money?
The actual sale of drugs would immediately go back underground and "illegal" with all the violence that we have now.

The Bear, The Bears, The... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

The Bear, The Bears, The Bears, The Bears, The Bears..The Bears...

What did Horace say, Winnie?

I agree with everything you... (Below threshold)
Steve G.:

I agree with everything you said, except for the illegal drugs example. If someone's addicted to a drug, they are willing, but not voluntarily so. Yes, they may have made the first 1 or 2 decisions to poke or snort. After that, their will is no longer completely their own. Eventually, their will is not their own at all. There is a state of unwilling victim in that case.
To the topic - ticket scalping may be irritating to some. To me, it's a purely capitalistic response to an opportunity. If the ticket buyers were to leave and not pay the price, the scalpers would go bankrupt rapidly. You can only sit in one seat at a time, so a block of tickets is only worth something if you can sell them.

Enforcing scalping laws is ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Enforcing scalping laws is a placebo for the general public & fans that often foots the bill for Stadiums and/or Teams in some way to think they have a chance to attend an important game.

Heck, the game is even institutionalizing scalping with various combinations of internet auctions by season ticket holders and such.




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