Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A "fair market"

The other night I was driving by the largest agricultural fair in New England on a busy Friday night.  This fair runs the whole first week of October.   I have driven by this fair many, many times in my life and I noticed something each time about the prime parking spots near the entrance gates.  These spots happen to be on the lawns of the people that live proximal to the fairgrounds.  Depending on the time of the day, the day of the week, and even the weather, the cost of a parking spot changes.  On a rainy Tuesday midday it might be 4 dollars to park, but in the last Saturday night of the fair, you are likely to pay 12 to 15 dollars.

What I like about this is that I see it as analogous to the way prices fluctuate in a voluntary free market based on demand.  You can park a mile down the road for free, but if you just drove for 4 hours, 10 dollars does not seem that hefty a fee to be a 1 minute walk to the gate and the peace of mind that your car is safe. 


  1. But if you go inside, the prices for funnel cake are probably permanently painted on the side of the cart. No joke, I think that this represents the way that successful marketing can make supply conjure demand out of thin air. I mean, who really wanted an iPad until it was the newest apple product, and who wants a funnel cake any other day of the year?
    I think there are only 2 things Americans actively demand, cars and guns. We want em and you can't take em away. And with the demand for the next new thing, which I eluded to earlier, how is America going to react to China's hold on our rare earth metals? Will the free market drop bombs on them next?
    BTW, I heard spots on the lawn of the guy who hit Stephen King are subsidized by Clive Cussler and Dean Koontz.

  2. I'm not sure what you mean by "conjuring marketing out of thin air." Have you ever had a funnel cake? Their delicious!
    But more to my point, are those food vendors really operating free of mandated permits, licenses, random inspections and taxes? They are not in the same league of freedom as the lawn lots. BTW-The guy who hit Stephen King was found dead in his trailer four years ago. Mysterious, no?