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The moral dilemma with Bieksa's Buddies


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#1 bure's triple deke

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:24 PM

With Bieksa's charity game one night away, I thought I'd play devil's advocate to his comments regarding scalpers in the Province's front page last Thursday. This still...kind of...qualifies as Canucks talk, yah?

http://burestriplede...as-buddies.html



The moral dilemma with Bieksa's Buddies

In lieu of the past month's lockout, Kevin Bieksa has rapidly assumed the position of Vancouver's off-season darling. He skates alongside the city's young and aspiring hockey players. He gives us near-NHL-calibre hockey in the name of charity. He even admonishes the local scalper community for driving up the ticket prices. It's as if Captain Planet died and was born again as an NHL defenceman.

That said, I hope you'll forgive my reservations about that third act of valour. For those out of the loop or who need refreshing, Bieksa was featured on the front page of last Thursday's Province for lashing out at scalpers reselling his game's tickets for as much as five times the original value – a healthy $100 per seat! My first reaction when reading the article was, alongside all similarly honest and hard-working folk (of course), "Good on ya, Juice!" About time someone publicly called out the black-hearted among us, no?

But somehow I found myself magnetically drawn back to that inflated figure: $100 per seat. I have four tickets. (Open my calculator app...) Well that takes care of half the month's rent for a lot of people.

Do I dare incur Bieksa's wrath? Don't get me wrong. I don't find it a morally thrilling endeavor to scalp, but is it really the evil he makes it out to be? First things first, is Bieksa or anyone else particularly surprised that this is happening? Surely he knows how much actual Canucks tickets can go for on Craigslist. And I'm pretty sure anyone within a square mile can hear the scalpers outside Rogers Arena on a game night. Obviously Bieksa takes special offense here as this is his event, but if it's on moral grounds that he disagrees with scalping, where has his outrage been all these years?

Most importantly, however, what exactly is the moral dilemma presented by scalping? I ask the question out of genuine curiosity, because the situation at hand puts me between an easy paycheck and a code of conduct that Bieksa likely shares with many others. His objections stem mostly from the fact that the tickets are for charity. I understand the stigma associated with making a profit in that context and I do question the morality of it myself, but objectively speaking, there are zero proceeds being lost here due to scalping. The maximum amount of money has already been made for the organizations in question. For that reason, I struggle to see how the charities are relevant in this situation. What we have, I believe, is a discussion in the morality of business.

Never in my life as a liberal arts student did I think I would be an advocate for capitalism, but let's consider other comparable scenarios here. In the business of real estate, you might buy a house and sell it for profit as the market turns in your favour. In the business of living out of your parents' basement, you might do the same with a well-packaged action figure or hockey card. No ethical dilemmas there, I would imagine.

Or say, for example, in another completely random scenario, that you're a professional hockey player and the commodity you possess is your athletic ability. Take the value of your ability on any given year. Due to a wealth of factors, including market demand, free agency, salary inflation and the terms of the era's (yikes) collective bargaining agreement, can you possibly imagine a situation in which you might be paid more than what your same athletic ability was worth at an earlier time? If you can't, then you clearly do not follow NHL hockey or any professional sport, for that matter.

Here's the thing: In this current lockout and all the frustration surrounding it, does anyone ever blame the players for accepting the money thrown at them all these years? No. And nor should they. Surely, when the opportunity arises, you sell to the highest possible bidder. At the very least, you sell according to the given market value. For that reason, I fail to see why I should be morally prevented from re-selling my tickets.

I speak mostly as the devil's advocate, because you won't actually see my tickets on Craigslist. I willbe happily going to the game in place of a student's fortune. And for the record, Bieksa deserves a tremendous amount of respect for what he's been doing in the community. I simply think his comments regarding scalping could be understood differently with an alternate perspective.

So here's to watching one-half of an NHL scrimmage tomorrow. And here's to those making an exorbitant profit on them, too.

-HC


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#2 Drive-By Body Pierce

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

Anyone know if said event is to be televised?
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#3 flapjacks

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:44 PM

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You gotta be a jerk to scalp tickets for a charity game. I don't see why anybody would bother justifying their actions if they do so.

Edited by debluvscanucks, 18 October 2012 - 01:22 PM.
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#4 CanucksSayEh

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:27 PM

Interesting, it's definitely easy to call out certain shady, yet legal, ways of income when you make a legit NHL salary. Most people aren't going because it's a charity game, they're going because the players are fighting to make 5 mill a year vs 4.7 and this is the closest we're gonna get to a canucks game until the lockout ends. Not something I would do to begin with, but maybe if scalpers donated a portion of their profit that would be suitable.

Ps: nucks' ticket prices suck.

Edited by CanucksSayEh, 16 October 2012 - 08:32 PM.

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#5 Forsy

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:43 PM

I believe the reason for the outrage is that the game was: 1) it was a non-profit/charity event, and 2) to provide "fans a cheap opportunity to see players play during a lockout”. Capitalism, and freedom in our country, of course, gives the person a right to purchase property early, and sell to others for profit at a later time. But Bieksa is not arguing against all scalping at this moment in time, he is talking about Scalping in a charity event.


On a separate note, scalping is different from standard forms of middle-man/distribution practices of capitalism. Middle men are there to facilitate the transfer, purchase, export/import or delivery of goods, from sources (ie. overseas) that would otherwise not provide the goods at the expected price (among other reasons). Usually middle men are able to provide lower prices than an individual, because they are able to purchase in bulk from a manufacturer or supplier. The effort and risks they take on justify compensation via mark-ups and profits. Scalping, on the other hand, is the purchase of goods that are easily obtainable by anyone who wishes to purchase those goods. Therefore, scalpers are not providing any valuable service, and thus are only parasitic to the event industry. This is where a moral argument can be made against them.

Similarly, even if somehow, scalpers only sold tickets that people would otherwise have thrown away, their compensation is grossly disproportional when compared to the minute service they provide (last minute tickets available for those who are desperate for tickets). A common example of grossly disproportionate compensation for services rendered are banking services/credit facilitation/bank loans.

Edited by Forsy, 16 October 2012 - 08:47 PM.

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#6 ruffdeezy

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:20 PM

Free market capitalism is the answer

The charity gets it's money either way

People willing to pay more for the ticket help the scalper who is trying to make a living

This is economics

In terms of morals, it's not the best of ideas, but it doesn't hurt the charity one bit.

Edited by ruffdeezy, 16 October 2012 - 09:20 PM.

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#7 GSS Corp.

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:30 PM

Free market capitalism is the answer

The charity gets it's money either way

People willing to pay more for the ticket help the scalper who is trying to make a living

This is economics

In terms of morals, it's not the best of ideas, but it doesn't hurt the charity one bit.


Well said, but personally I wouldn't make money out of these tickets. Just sold mine for how much I got them for.
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#8 bossram

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:42 PM

Is it a little disturbing that people are profiting off of a charity game? Probably. It is morally wrong to resell something for market value?Probably not. It's how our capitalist system works. The article gives great examples of this. The only problem in this situation is that the tickets are for a charity game.However the charity does not lose any potential money from the proceeds, so I don't really see a problem.
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#9 bd71

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:45 PM

I'm impressed anyone would pay $100 to see a scrimmage against a University team! That's desperation for quality hockey right there!
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#10 jovocop55

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:57 PM

i think people are just over reacting too much.. i mean maybe it's not a good idea to make money but it's been like this for years.. it's just the brokers i hate, like those ppl they interview on the news, they had like 300-400 tickets up on their site..
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#11 Taelin

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:17 PM

I think it's morally wrong to profit off of a charity event. It's basically making money off donations.
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#12 Bang Bang Boogie

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:28 PM

Don't buy it from the scalpers. NHL hockey is coming back soon anyways.
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#13 Forsy

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:39 PM

Free market capitalism is the answer

The charity gets it's money either way

People willing to pay more for the ticket help the scalper who is trying to make a living

This is economics

In terms of morals, it's not the best of ideas, but it doesn't hurt the charity one bit.

If anything, the moral argument is weakened by the rules of capitalism, but scalping is plain bad for economics. People pay scalpers for a service that is unnecessary, and if anything, they only disrupt the operation of ticket selling to event customers. Society pays more for a service that makes the process of buying tickets slower!
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#14 Derp...

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:33 AM

If they scalped the tickets and gave the money to the charity good on them... Chance of that happening almost 0%... But hey thats how life is right. Take what you can get and sell it to the highest bidder and who gives a crap as long as you make money. That's how many wealthy people opperate! Why are we in a lockout? Because the people with the goods in demand want to make more money at almost any cost... Smart people scalp tickets, good people start charities, and dumb people buy $100 hockey tickets, guess I'm a dumb person during the regular season. Any one else?
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#15 n00bxQb

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:36 AM

You gotta be an asshole to scalp tickets for a charity game. I don't see why anybody would bother justifying their actions if they do so.

If you scalped the tickets and donated half the proceeds to charity, I'd say you're doing a great deed.
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#16 jovocop55

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:20 AM

If they scalped the tickets and gave the money to the charity good on them... Chance of that happening almost 0%... But hey thats how life is right. Take what you can get and sell it to the highest bidder and who gives a crap as long as you make money. That's how many wealthy people opperate! Why are we in a lockout? Because the people with the goods in demand want to make more money at almost any cost... Smart people scalp tickets, good people start charities, and dumb people buy $100 hockey tickets, guess I'm a dumb person during the regular season. Any one else?


if u are good in scalping tickets, then u can make good $$$$.. problem is vancouver market is pretty bad recently since most people buy tickets last min... a few of my coworkers scalp their canucks tickets, during that stanley cup run, they made over $10k each..
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#17 Bodee

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:39 AM

There is no grey area here. It is wrong to scalp charity tickets. When you claim "that's how life is" you are already on the way down.

Why is everyone quoting capitalism?............There can be no capitalism without regulation and morality. That has been proven now beyond doubt, so why quote a discredited economic system as justification for taking greedy advantage of a charity event.

We have all been duped by capitalism and yet we continue to give it credence.

It has been a system fed to us by the mega rich as a way of their becoming even richer through the greed of the ordinary man. The Western World is going down the drain and soon even the most avid disciples of this evil system will finally come to realise that we have spent the last 50 years digging our own graves.

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#18 RainCityFC

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:32 AM

We aren't Americans... we're not capitalists. Just because you hear the word on TV doesn't make it true. Canadians are socialists. Our country morals are baed on the nationalism introduced in the last century including healthcare, social programs and subsidies of many varieties. In general, our entire system is based on regulating profits and providing handouts to whomever b!tches loudest. For me the reason that this Scalping issue is annoying is that we all work so hard to pay into a system that mostly screws us while we aren't using it and when we need it is barely enough to be considered help. So when some bunch of d-bags decides to take a morally good event that supports people in need and tarnish its integrity with one more way for people to screw the system... it stikes a chord. We all know the Canucks organization is a business out to make a proffit and paying markup is already part of the deal... we make a decision about how much we are willing to pay and go forward from there. If I want to go to a charitable event and support the charity the VALUE matters... for example if I knew only $15ish of my $100 dollar ticket price was going to charity while the remainder was going to costs not associated with the charity whatsoever, there is no way I would support that. From KB's perspective he is trying to support a charitable cause and people are taking advantage of that. If people were willing to pay $100 for a seat he could have sold for that price to start with and donated to several organizations in need. The whole thing stinks.
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#19 stexx

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 10:14 AM

well ubc is a public university making a buck off this charity game, they raised parking prices from $6 to $10 for the game. Guess the scalpers arent the only scum
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#20 Taelin

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:22 AM

well ubc is a public university making a buck off this charity game, they raised parking prices from $6 to $10 for the game. Guess the scalpers arent the only scum


Oh UBC...you never change...
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#21 CHodgson9

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:18 PM

People (scalpers) who identified that there was an arbitrage opportunity between the cost of tickets and fans willingness to pay (especially given the small venue), are perfectly within their legal rights to do so. If a man who sold 4 tickets at a profit of $100/ticket gets to pay half his family's rent by scalping, after losing his job, I would appreciate this persons resolve to make money. The qualms people have with this profiteering is absurd, because in a free market system, anyone could have bought and scalped those tickets, and given all the monies to charity. Whether you choose to agree with the outcome, permitting the system in one scenario and forbidding it in another scenario is not equitable.

The charity gets its money either way, but if Bieksa's Buddies had a good marketing/strategy person, they would have determined a higher ticket sales price and raised more money for the charity, rather than having any portion go to opportunists.

In an economically efficient system, if there are 5000 seats at a venue, and the top 5000 people are willing to pay exactly $100/ticket, the total economic value is $500,000. If they priced it at $20/ticket ($100,000) in value, there is still $400,000 of economic value to be realized. If that gets realized by scalpers, or charities, or players, it's good to have the economic activity.
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#22 Boudrias

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:40 PM

We aren't Americans... we're not capitalists. Just because you hear the word on TV doesn't make it true. Canadians are socialists. Our country morals are baed on the nationalism introduced in the last century including healthcare, social programs and subsidies of many varieties. In general, our entire system is based on regulating profits and providing handouts to whomever b!tches loudest. For me the reason that this Scalping issue is annoying is that we all work so hard to pay into a system that mostly screws us while we aren't using it and when we need it is barely enough to be considered help. So when some bunch of d-bags decides to take a morally good event that supports people in need and tarnish its integrity with one more way for people to screw the system... it stikes a chord. We all know the Canucks organization is a business out to make a proffit and paying markup is already part of the deal... we make a decision about how much we are willing to pay and go forward from there. If I want to go to a charitable event and support the charity the VALUE matters... for example if I knew only $15ish of my $100 dollar ticket price was going to charity while the remainder was going to costs not associated with the charity whatsoever, there is no way I would support that. From KB's perspective he is trying to support a charitable cause and people are taking advantage of that. If people were willing to pay $100 for a seat he could have sold for that price to start with and donated to several organizations in need. The whole thing stinks.

'The whole thing stinks.' Why so? Bieksa sold all his tickets for the event at the price he wanted. The charity still receives all of what Bieksa's Buddies planned on donating. If someone bought a ticket at $100 then obviously he saw value and wanted to attend the game. The anger appears to be that someone profited by selling their $20 ticket for $100. So what? I might agree if there was no limit to the number of tickets that one person could buy.

I have to assume therefore that Kevin had two objectives; 1) raising money for a charity 2) providing cheap hockey entertainment for the limited number of people who could attend that particular game. I suggest that he accomplished his objectives.
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#23 stexx

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:14 PM

I think it's morally wrong to profit off of a charity event. It's basically making money off donations.


ironically almost every charity makes money off donations, even a charity as great as the terry fox fund pays its top employee over 100grand a year.

now im not saying they arent entitled to a wage but 125k a year off of donations is pretty steep for 1 employee and terry fox is a GREAT foundation. Many others are milking the proverbial cow much worse with CEO/executive salaries in the 500k range.

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Edited by stexx, 17 October 2012 - 02:15 PM.

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#24 Oh Whisht

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:12 PM

I don't see any problem here.

As others pointed out, the charity got the money they asked for. If a legit ticket owner wishes to sell their tickets, they can do so at whatever price someone is willing to pay. It's not for anyone else to decide what they should accept for their own property.

No one is getting hurt here. No one hurt the charity. Certainly if there were still tickets left at face value, no one would buy one for 100.00. No one will pay 100. if they don't feel it's worth it, or can't afford it. If no one buys them, then I guess the market wouldn't bear a 100. ticket for the event.

There's also no reason to think the seller should donate the money. They already 'donated' by buying the ticket to start with.
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#25 Canuck Surfer

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 04:00 PM

We'll fix em!

Anyone got details to contact Eliot Ness??? ;)
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#26 mbal23

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 04:57 PM

Interesting, it's definitely easy to call out certain shady, yet legal, ways of income when you make a legit NHL salary. Most people aren't going because it's a charity game, they're going because the players are fighting to make 5 mill a year vs 4.7 and this is the closest we're gonna get to a canucks game until the lockout ends. Not something I would do to begin with, but maybe if scalpers donated a portion of their profit that would be suitable.

Ps: nucks' ticket prices suck.


Season tix aren't bad I went to a game in 2011 and the tickets were 168$ for third row from the glass...
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#27 hotelierhockey

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:44 AM

Who's playing in the game????
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#28 riffraff

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:17 AM

"Morals? We don't need no stinking morals."
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CanucksSayEh, on 12 March 2013 - 10:12 PM, said:
When the playoffs come around, nobody is scared of getting in a fight, but every night, they get their mom to check under the bed for Raffi Torres.

#29 debluvscanucks

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:41 AM

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You guys supporting scalpers are missing the point....scalpers go purchase a number of tickets with no intention of using them except to profit. Those tickets would have been available at a modest price to those wanting to go - they now become unavailable, unless you're someone with $$ who can pay through the nose for them. So to say "it doesn't hurt anyone" is incorrect - it hurts the people who would have had those tickets at face value and the price they were set at.

I saw some young (diehard) hockey fans that I know at the door, trying to buy tickets (and the argument they waited too long doesn't apply, as they tried desperately on the day they went on sale). They would have been unable to attend because tickets sold out - some of which were scalpers gobbling them up. (FTR, they needed more volunteers selling 50/50, so they did get in afterall). Families with children can't always afford multiple tickets to regular games but, in these events that are priced more reasonably, it becomes an opportunity to do so. Why should scalpers ruin that opportunity?

And I hope these scalpers are reporting this "income" on their taxes? I pay taxes on money I've "earned" so why shouldn't they?
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#30 Dogbyte

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:23 AM

I agree that scalpers taking opportunities from normal people sucks but that's how we live here in Canada. Get as much as you can and screw everyone else. LOL at Bieksa calling people out. Anyone that makes over 4 million dollars a frickin year playing hockey shouldn't be lecturing anyone regarding money.
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