Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Those Crafty Folks in Boise, Idaho

People have demonstrated over and over again that if regulators try to stop them from doing something they want to do, they will find a way to do it anyway.

In 2001 the Boise City Council passed an ordinance banning total nudity in public unless it had "serious artistic merit" -- an exemption meant to apply to plays, dance performances and art classes.

As you might imagine, at least one strip club eventually became a part-time art studio.

On what it calls Art Club Nights, the Erotic City strip club charges customers $15 for a sketch pad, pencil, and a chance to see completely naked women dancers.

Teague [the club owner] said he got the idea when a customer asked if he could get in for free to sketch the dancers. Realizing that "art classes" were exempt from the law, Teague decided to bill Mondays and Tuesdays as art nights, and let the dancers go without their G-strings and pasties.

In the two months since they began, Art Club Nights have drawn full crowds of 60 people but no police citations, he said.

Regardless of your views on the morality of this situation, you have to recognize the important economic prinicple underlying it:
People respond to incentives.
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