Are market-clearing prices so bad?

The state House of Representatives gave preliminary approval yesterday to a bill intended to crack down on private parking lot operators around Fenway Park who illegally charge exorbitant fees on big game days.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino sought the legislation, which would raise the fine for price-gouging from $300 to $1,000, after hearing that some lot operators were charging fans as much as $100 to park on opening day.

”The prices are so high, it’s hard for the average person to afford them," said Thomas J. Tinlin, the city’s acting transportation commissioner. ”If these open-air lot parking providers don’t want to do right by the people visiting the city and violate the terms of their license, we need to make them pay for that, and obviously $300 wasn’t getting it done."

Here is the story, courtesy of Michael Costello.  And here is a bit from the rock star who runs our development policy:

Scores of free tickets for the 2 July concert in London – won through a text contest – had been put up for sale [on ebay].

Live 8 organiser Bob Geldof branded the attempted sale of the tickets as "sick profiteering" and welcomed the move.

He said people had realised that "the weakest people on our planet" were being exploited and they were "sickened by that".

The minister for music, James Purnell, said he "wholeheartedly shared" Geldof’s annoyance and had asked the site to halt the sales.

Thanks to David Nishimura for that story; see also Lynne Kiesling.


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