There are lots of cries that the NYC marathon should be cancelled or postponed due to the storm and recovery efforts.

From a purely resource management perspective, which is clearly what many people are thinking about when weighing in on the status of the marathon*, I think the answer is clear – gouge. Let prices decide how to allocate resources. After all, is there any other way?

In the case of public services such as police and firefighters, the city (or whoever the relevant political entity is) should raise prices for the marathon (maybe there is a contract that prevents this for this year, but prices could be raised for future years). In the case of things like power and other privately or semi-privately supplied goods and services, the price system would work if it was allowed to. And note: if prices increased and the marathon and marathon participants still managed to outbid the storm battered locals, then there would be a lot of economic activity generated that would no doubt help the locals in other ways (ways that, implicitly due to the free market, would necessarily be of greater benefit to the locals than whatever goods/services they opted to forego due to the price).

-JD Cross

For example, this quote from the first link above:

Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, who earlier in the week supported the decision to hold the race, reversed his view on Friday. “The pain and suffering still unfolding in our neighborhoods is too deep for words,” de Blasio said after touring Staten Island on Friday. He added, “It’s convinced me the needs are simply too great to divert any resources from the recovery.”

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