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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Legal scalping!

The NYS legislature is poised to legalize scalping for concerts, sports games, and other events at venues with more than 6,000 seats. I've been wondering lately why the old scalping laws have not been junked in most states. The old argument - that scalpers can buy of reams of tickets and charge whatever they want, thus hurting consumers - is just not realistic anymore. Most tickets can be bought over the internet, and everyone has a fair shot there without waiting in line. Plus, almost no events allow unlimited, or even more than 8 at a time, purchase anymore.

I've found that psuedo-illegal scalping on Ebay is actually a great thing for people who don't have the money to go to an expensive, sold-out event. In a number of situations, I have purchased 4 yankees playoff tickets on the internet using a credit card, and then scalped two of them on Ebay for more than the cost of the enitre package of 4. That way someone who really wants to go can buy the tickets, and someone who can't really afford to go (like me) gest to go at a reduced cost (or for free.) Who knew legal scalping was a progressive redistribution program!

This is definitely a situation where the advantages of the free market outweight the problems of the free market.
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