Tags: Emerging Threats | Hollywood | bots | scalpers | tickets

Congress Works Hard to Earn Our Disrespect

Congress Works Hard to Earn Our Disrespect

(David Wood/Dreamstime)

By Tuesday, 01 November 2016 05:36 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The Republican majority in the U.S. Senate is faced with a number of problems deserving its complete attention. These potential calamities require a comprehensive legislative and communication strategy. 

I’m wondering how the majority will respond to Hillary’s nomination of Obama to the Supreme Court, defacto amnesty to now and future illegals, the continuing merger of the Justice Department with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the plethora of unconstitutional executive orders sure to follow the swearing-in.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will have his work cut out negotiating the terms of surrender. Meanwhile, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., will be too busy to help.

He’s focused on rescuing Ticketmaster.

It’s a remarkable display of legislative trivialization. Moran, via Roll Call, is sponsoring legislation “designed to stop automated bots from stockpiling tickets” to shows and concerts.

Moran thinks this is such a good use of the Senate’s time that he’s holding a hearing, “Scalpers have long been driving up ticket prices and harming consumers, but their methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated. It's hard enough to get tickets to high-profile events without the added struggle of having to battle bots online."

This sounds less like a job for a career politician and more like a task for Optimus Prime.

Why would Uncle Sam care about ticket markup?

Katie Peters, a lobbyist for Pandora-Ticketfly, claims, “Scalpers siphon off nearly $5 billion in concert ticket revenue every year, hurting people across the music ecosystem —from fans and artists, to their local concert venues and promoters.

"We applaud Sen. Moran for introducing this legislation to make sure those who create and take part in amazing events are properly rewarded."

Peters is either completely ignorant of ticket pricing, or more likely, assumes the American public is. Scalpers function by adding a markup to the original ticket price, so they don’t cost “artists . . . concert venues . . . or promoters” one thin dime.

Their compensation is already factored into the original cost of the ticket!

What Pandora-Ticketfly objects to is someone else horning in on its “convenience fee” scam. They assumed tacking on a totally unjustifiable $10 to $25 monopoly fee on top of the base price of the ticket was all the market could bear.

Now they find outsiders are adding to that and still moving tickets.

I might have more sympathy for these privateers if Ticketmaster and the rest didn’t have exclusive agreements with artists and promoters that allow them to gouge consumers with extra fees.

In fact the ticket “convenience fee” is the progenitor of the “luggage fee,” “seat selection fee,” and so to be announced “urinary relief fee” that airlines have inflicted on the flying public.

And Sen. Moran is doing his best to defend this anti-competitive crony monopoly.

Both Ticketmaster and Pandora are located in California, home to many hyperactive leftists, yet a Jayhawker is carrying their water. And carrying it free of charge, since I can’t find any campaign contributions from the “convenience fee” cartel.

So I blame his daughters. He has two and I’m guessing since he’s from Kansas, lobbyists haven’t been coming across with the really good free tickets, which means the girls have to get theirs the same way the indictables do.

So they’ve been warting dad about the trouble they have snagging tickets.

When individuals try to buy tickets online they’re thwarted by software “bots” that flood ticket sites with orders. By using the power of technology scalpers control the ticket inventory and make consumers buy from a single supplier at an inflated price with mandatory fees.

Think Obamacare except instead of seeing a nurse practitioner, you hear a singer.

Scalpers make their money by adding to the list price. Car dealers to exactly the same thing when they charge buyers more than the sticker price for cars that are in demand, but evidently Moran’s daughters aren’t in the market for a new ride.

I don’t understand the RINO outrage over Donald Trump’s Constitutional illiteracy when Congress is full of Jerry Morans that think regulating who can buy a ticket to "Mama Mia" is a legitimate function of the federal government.

A concert is a quintessentially local event. If Kansas residents are angry about scalpers there is a perfectly good legislature in Topeka. Besides, the prices scalpers charge evidently aren’t too high because they are able to re-sell the tickets.

The scalper markup really is a convenience fee, because you don’t have to race to buy online the minute tickets are available. What’s more, Moran’s law isn’t self-enforcing.

Some bureaucrat will write regulations, issue directives, hire enforcers and request a larger budget, which is why we have a $19 trillion debt.

Congress lacks respect because they avoid the tough jobs and crow about the legislative minutia they do pass. You might say small bills for small minds.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.




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Congress lacks respect because they avoid the tough jobs and crow about the legislative minutia they do pass. You might say small bills for small minds.
bots, scalpers, tickets
Tuesday, 01 November 2016 05:36 PM
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