Nanny State

In Defense of Scalping


Ticket scalping, that is. Denver Post columnist and Nanny State author David Harsanyi explains why ticket scalping shouldn't be a crime:

Scalping involves two adults, voluntarily agreeing on an acceptable price for tickets. If lucky, folks find themselves close enough to faceoff, tipoff or first pitch to engage in a fierce negotiation, allowing one to snag tickets at cost or less. 

In fact, I am free to buy almost anything in this country then turn around and sell it for a profit. Why not tickets? Jim Caple wrote on the topic a few years ago at

Scalpers generally are portrayed as a seedy bunch of grifters only a few steps up the food chain from child pornographers, fantasy football participants and Pete Rose's circle of friends. I don't see it that way, though. Rather than a bigger blight on society than the Backstreet Boys, the scalper is a humble businessperson and a fan's best friend, next to $1 Heineken Night.

More here.

Harsanyi is the author of reason's November cover story, "Prohibition Returns!" If you were a subscriber, you'd already have read that excellent piece about how "teetotaling do-gooders attack your right to drink." So subscribe already (only $19.97 for a year's worth of reason).