Legalizing ticket scalping will lower prices

Allowing a secondary market to function freely would save on state resources.

I would like to respond to the March 28 editorial, “Stop ticket scalping; do not legitimize it,” calling for opposition to my proposal to legalize ticket brokering.

I’m surprised (and dismayed) at the final comments urging me to support stricter enforcement of the ticket scalping law. I first became interested in this issue during the 1987 World Series, as an example of the misappropriation of police resources.

At that time, 15 police officers worked for four days to arrest 30 scalpers. At the same time in Minneapolis, there were 370 offenses reported for crimes such as rape, assault and burglary, with 183 arrests made. It’s interesting that for the scalping incidents there are no offenses listed, only arrests because there are no victims.

Further insight into this use of police resources is that the undercover activity necessary to apprehend scalpers is one of the most expensive and time consuming types of police activity.

People don’t even need to buy tickets on eBay. They can buy them by phone from states such as Wisconsin, New York, Illinois and Texas, where brokering is legal, regulated and taxed.

The editorial board needs to go back to economics 101. Outrageous prices arise from a lack of competition created by state law. Competition would lower prices. As with other businesses, legalization diminishes risk and reduces price.

As I have said before, scalping a ticket is a willing transaction between individuals and involves a seller with an item that a buyer values enough to pay a premium. There should be no public interest in interference with this proper exercise of the economics of a free market system of efficient resource allocation.

Phyllis Kahn represents areas including the University. Please send comments to [email protected]