Want in on inauguration? It’ll cost you

Marketplace Staff Jan 19, 2009
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Want in on inauguration? It’ll cost you

Marketplace Staff Jan 19, 2009
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Scott Jagow: Maybe pure, unfettered capitalism isn’t dead after all. Scalpers are having a field day with the Obama inauguration. Tickets that were passed out for free are being sold for . . . uh . . . not free. Danielle Karson has more.


Danielle Karson: Scroll down the hundreds of ads on Craigslist and you’ll see inaugural tickets being hawked for anywhere from $200 to 10 times that amount.

“John” is selling tickets to the parade for around $300. He thinks of it as Economics 101:

John: This has been commoditized like any ticket to any event is, and this certainly is the super bowl of politics, and you have to expect to put aside a little cash for it if you want to be there in person.

And the entrepreneurial spirit shouldn’t bring the police to your front door. Michael Abramowicz is a law professor at George Washington University:

Michael Abramowicz: There probably isn’t much to worry about. D.C. has law governing sale of tickets in public places, but doesn’t appear to claim those who buy tickets through the mail are violating D.C. laws.

Ten-year-old Jasmin Taylor hopes to barter three tickets to the swearing in, in exchange for baby sitting services.

Jasmin Taylor: I’ve always wanted to be a president, and so being able to see a president be elected go in office is really exciting.

So while some folks are doling out hundreds, others — maybe including Jasmin — will watch history being made, free of charge.

In Washington, I’m Danielle Karson for Marketplace.

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