the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

Struggling musicians

A simple experiment. Think of a band or artist you really really like. There's a concert coming up. Think of the maximum amount of money you'd pay for a ticket to go and see them.

Now imagine the government decides that something needs to be done to help struggling musicians. So it passes a law setting a minimum price for concert tickets. If the number the government settles on is lower than your maximum, then you're still OK, even though you have less money to spend on something else. Imagine that price ends up being 10 quid more than the number you'd just decided on. Now what could you do?

  1. you don't go to the concert. As much as you like that artist, you either can't afford, or can't justify spending that kind of money to see them.
  2. you decide to skip this concert, maybe only go to the next one, or the one after that.
  3. you settle for buying a concert DVD.
  4. you decide to pay the extra 10 quid. First of all, you were cheating - the first 'maximum' price you thought of wasn't the really the maximum, was it? Even so, imagine the government's price is 20, 30, 40, 50 quid higher than your maximum. At some point you'll be saying 'no way', and settling for option 1, 2 or 3. And long before you get there, heaps and heaps of other fans have settled for option 1, 2, or 3 already.

All the government wanted to do was help struggling musicians, and everyone thought it was a very decent thing to do. Yet artists are worse off, because they have smaller audiences, and you're worse off, because the government has prevented you from doing something you wanted to do.

{2010.07.17 15:53}

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