It looks like the “Hannah Montana” ticket fiasco has finally caught the eye of Uncle Sam. On Monday, a federal judge prohibited the use of automatic software to purchase mass amounts of tickets from outlets such as Ticketmaster.
Little did I know that a Disney star, the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus no less, would be the harbinger of things to come.
The decision was brought on by a lawsuit Ticketmaster filed in April against a Pittsburgh company, RMG Technologies.
Ticketmaster successfully argued that the company’s software allows scalpers to move ahead of other customers in line and purchase mass amounts of tickets that can be resold at higher prices.
“They’re cheating consumers out of a fair shot at these tickets, and we’re not going to stand for it anymore,” said Joe Freeman, a lawyer for Ticketmaster.
Frankly, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised by this recent trend in ticket sales. Incidents like this, along with predatory lending practices that have brought us the brink of a real estate collapse in some economists eyes, are symptomatic of a much larger issue.
This “free market fundamentalism“, a combination of unregulated “robber baron capitalism” merged with merchantism, is also becoming known as “corporatism”. The usage has expanded to well beyond it’s original definition, one that was strictly industrial, and has come to include political and governmental structures.
The underlying belief is that free markets provide the greatest possible equity and prosperity, and that any interference with the market process decreases social well being. I, for one, disagree. I truly belive that there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”.
Corporations are similar to sharks in that they exist merely to consume and our pocket books are their food of choice. I don’t say this to imply that they are inherently evil or to be demonized in any way. They are a vital part of our nation’s fabric.
That being said, we should be hesitant to just “hand over the keys” to either the economy or our national treasury. Remember a shark is a shark and we all know that sharks tend to bite anyone & everyone, even each other.
“Moderation in all things” is universally considered wise counsel. We as a people should heed this advice.