Finanical Disarray

I do not in any way diminish the losses that we are all suffering as the stock market drops. Anyone with retirement hopes and income tied with the stock market has worries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14000 only one year ago. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/19/AR2007071900447.html

Prior to the election of 2000, the market peak was 11700. By November 2002 it hit 7300.

The up and down nature of the Dow value made me wonder about what the value of something, anything really is (from stocks to tickets for a football game or a Broadway show)?

Had the prices of these stocks been too high? Weren’t they inflated by the ability of the seller to ask for the highest price that they could seemingly get? Isn’t this what the sellers of many other products do as well. Does the cost of a ticket for a sport have to be beyond the means of most people? Yes, many players make absurd salaries but owners reap larger than healthy profits and play tax games to make more while many citizens subsidize their stadiums. Does the price of a Broadway ticket need to be so high that only a sliver of the population can afford to attend. Producers would point to the high cost of the cast, crew, and musicians as the reason. Indeed perhaps some of the salaries of this group are somewhat inflated. Indeed with stars, the salaries are often insane. But producers also do not need to make gross amounts of profit.

Should the price on something be the most that the “market” can bear? Does that really reflect its value or is that a reflection of short-term opportunism.

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5 comments so far

  1. sittingpugs on

    Does the price of a Broadway ticket need to be so high that only a sliver of the population can afford to attend. Producers would point to the high cost of the cast, crew, and musicians as the reason. Indeed perhaps some of the salaries of this group are somewhat inflated. Indeed with stars, the salaries are often insane. But producers also do not need to make gross amounts of profit.

    Are there ‘darker’ forces at work here? Or a darker subtext I should say. It makes more sense to me for tickets to sporting events to be low enough that the widest audience possible can buy without having to save months’ worth of paychecks. More bodies in seats means higher potential for concession sales and likely more use of public transport (more bodies in seats also looks better televised).

    With Broadway, though, is there an (un)intentional or incidental desire to control the demographics of the audience? With tickets costly enough, precisely only that sliver of the masses would go?

  2. bla2222 on

    That’s something I had not thought about. If there is an un or intentional action going on among theaters then they are not only limiting their profits but they are limiting the spread of the theatrical bug and the words of the plays.

  3. sittingpugs on

    Thank heavens then for Off Broadway productions… and school plays and community theatre and DVDs, eh?

    High-end merchandise retailers don’t feel compelled to lower their prices. They know that they can report good earnings if a dozen people buy the shirts or jeans for $500 a pop per X number of days or weeks. These retailers don’t need for twenty-five people to buy $100 shirts or pants a pop.

    On the other hand, if fewer people are going to the theatre (declining interest, declining salary), then they might be able to make a small profit if the ticket prices are high enough.

    Broadways shows (as opposed to the symphony, the opera, or ballet) seems like it would appeal to the widest audience.

  4. Mari on

    What of risk? Who pays when the Broadway play is the biggest stinker since last weeks garbage? Stage hands and cast and other employees still need to be paid regardless if it bombs. So as an incentive producers to take a risk on something that may lose a lot of money, you get to make a lot of money if it is successful.
    If the opportunity for profit isn’t there then why risk it?
    Wide audience has it’s own problems as then you get the lowest common denominator, males between the ages of 16-35. Imagine a world where the entertainment is geared towards one sliver of the public. Oh wait I’ll just turn on the TV and yeah, there it is. Don’t expect great quality.

  5. bla2222 on

    I agree that risk deserves reward and that the reward needs to be a healthy amount. What I’m wondering is if the very large amounts that are both being paid to workers and stars and the large amounts that producers look for in profit are part of the larger cycle of a market gone mad. Are the salaries, fringe benefits, and profits so large that they create values for tickets, houses, whatever that are too high to sustain. Hence, we get the kind of crash that we are currently experiencing.


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