Saturday, May 16, 2009

Deregulated Markets Punish Greed, Gougers

Perhaps it would be restful to give moral reasoning a rest and give economic reasoning a chance. Until recently, many states regulated ticket "scalping" by limiting allowable markups of ticket prices or by outlawing secondary markets for some events. Most of these states have repealed or relaxed those laws, even though a 1997 New York Times editorial demanded more aggressive enforcement of anti-scalping laws lest the public be victimized by "price-gouging ticket agents."

Actually, would-be price gougers are at the mercy of a public armed with information, which is what markets generate and communicate. Greed is worse than a moral defect; it is a cause of foolish pricing. That is why markets know it when they see it. And when markets are allowed to operate, greed generates its own punishment.

~George Will's column today in the Washington Post, based on this study on ticket sales on Stubhub.

6 Comments:

At 5/16/2009 11:54 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

If only that really was the case. It only encouraged it; UBS's and their friend Phil Gramm are prime examples of this action.

Perhaps it would be restful to give moral reasoning a rest and give economic reasoning a chance.
We did, and Wall Street got saved, while Main Street got damned.

Keep the anti-gouging laws in place. Bring them back to places that lost their minds in short order.

Actually, would-be price gougers are at the mercy of a public armed with information
...which most likely does not exist in the necessary forms.

 
At 5/17/2009 2:16 AM, Blogger Robert Miller said...

Seth, I don't think you are capable of putting together a coherent argument about how Phil Gramm directly or indirectly contributed to any of the current economic crisis.

Oh, you'll blather about deregulation this and deregulation that, but you really won't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. Your argument will likely have the depth of a drop of olive oil in a gallon of water.

Consider the gauntlet having slapped your face.

 
At 5/17/2009 6:51 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"If only that really was the case. It only encouraged it; UBS's and their friend Phil Gramm are prime examples of this action"...

Well now sethstorm we see that you have a values problem..

How does Phil Gramm's alledged greedy actions square with the Democrats forced charity with someone else's money?

How do UBS's alledged actions square with the Democrats' to cover up the results of their forced charity?

 
At 5/17/2009 8:42 AM, Anonymous feeblemind said...

Stubhub gets 15% from the seller AND 10% from the buyer for enabling the ticket trade? Wow! That is one heck of a sales commission.

 
At 5/17/2009 10:47 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

Taylor Swift was in concert recently at our local venue. Miss Swift insisted that ticket prices be only $20,00 a piece. She wants to build a large base of fans (she is far and away C&W's biggest selling recording artist). I would have been willing to pay several extra bucks to sit up-front (sorry Taylor but you have that allure).

Choices and information are the consumers friend. Transparency in all markets is the ideal. It seems to me that regulation is only helpful when it is the consumer's agent for clarity in markets. The hiddent hand of manipulators and liars need to be brought into the light.

 
At 5/22/2009 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was appalled at how weak the methodology of the "study" was. While I agree with the general conclusions, I can't see how such broad conclusions can be discerned from a review of the prices of tickets to one game from two different days.

This is the kind of "weak work, broad pronouncement of findings" that is so typical of climate science (see e.g. the hockey stick).

stan

 

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