For those of us just born yesterday Hannah Montana is a television show on the Disney Channel. It is a series about a little girl named Miley Stewart, played by Miley Cyrus, daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, who is an average teenager by day, but becomes super singing sensation Hannah Montana at night. The show has become so successful that Disney has produced an entire line of Hannah Montana products. The Hannah Montana products have become so successful that Disney can put Hannah Montana concerts and put Miley Cyrus on tour with her marginal talent and the marginally imaginative songs that are part of her repertoire.
Although I’m not born just yesterday, I have to confess that I am new to the entire Hannah Montana experience. Until just about a week ago I would’ve guessed that Hannah Montana was a daughter or some other female relative of Joe Montana, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
But little girls everywhere have made the formulated and packaged phenomenon known as Hannah Montana a true money making phenomenon. Hannah Montana tickets are on sale and going for thousands of dollars on eBay and on other internet sites. The tickets for the Hannah Montana concerts will go on sale and within minutes the concerts are sold out. And then the next thing you know ticket scalpers are selling what tickets they were able to obtain at more than a three thousand percent profit. Now that’s what I call efficient and productive capitalism.
But wait a minute. People are saying that this whole selling things for whatever the market will bear is unfair. Too many little girls are disappointed and their parents can’t afford to pay the profit some people think they are entitled to. Now who is throwing a pity party? This is capitalism at its finest. Why are some people complaining now?
Somehow, the scalpers have access to software that gives them an advantage in the procurement of tickets. The little Montana fans and their families probably could have used the same software but they didn’t have the personal drive or ambition to get the tools necessary to better prepare themselves for the competition that is obviously part of the ticket buying market. Now that someone is better at obtaining the tickets some people want to make the charge that the dealers have an unfair advantage and are taking that advantage to its full potential in an open market.
Boo freaking hoo.
I guess these people are now looking to throw a no ticket pity party. In all honesty Hannah Montana adds no real value to anybody’s life other than her family and the people who make money off of her. It’s not like somebody needs to go to a Hannah Montana concert in order to feed their family or to provide medical care for themselves or to obtain an education so they can pull themselves up by their bootstrap. But somehow America is supposed to feel the pain of these little girls who are unable to get a hold of tickets so they can be part of this canned and carefully manufactured frenzy.
For some reason, a great many of us in the American culture of capitalism and fairness for everybody think it is unfair that a free market system is taking advantage of children and their pent up demand for the rock star concert entertainment stimulation. It’s okay to have laws to curb capitalism when someone uses their resources to buy up tickets and resale them for a significant profit. Suddenly, people understand the unfairness of a free market system that, when left unchecked, leaves a great deal of room for manipulation and enrichment. After all, some people did manage to get tickets at reasonable prices. Doesn’t this prove that the system is fair? Is this not the same logic to prove racism is dead, the fact that there are minorities who have managed to thrive in the system? If one person can get tickets then what’s the problem?
Is it fair to use the manipulation of teenage girls to prove a point about capitalism run amok? Absolutely! Where else can people get a better appreciation for the differences between someone who is financially strong and market knowledgeable taking advantage of someone who is financially weak and unaware of the workings of a free market system? These little girls had parents who helped to nurture their children’s fixation on the Hannah Montana mess. Why didn’t the parents do a better job of providing for their daughter’s hopes?
In order to help ease the disappointment of a lot of teenage girls, and probably some boys, more concert appearances have been added to the tour list and some of the venues have managed to add hundreds of more seats by making some alterations in the stage arrangement. New rules have been implemented to the Ticket Master’s exclusive distribution arrangement where buyers are limited to a maximum purchase of just two tickets apiece. It is hoped that such marketing changes would prevent someone from selling a sixty dollar Hannah Montana ticket for two thousand dollars.
Where is all the phony outrage for such artificial mechanisms of socialist economics constraining America’s free market system? Surely the protection of scalpers rights in a free market takes precedence before any attempt for a more even and equal distribution of resources. Obviously somebody somewhere sees the necessity of putting priorities on something other than making a fast, healthy buck. Maybe we could actually apply this lesson to other areas of our American economic system.