Spontaneous Order: Baseball Edition

This past weekend, I was in Cooperstown, New York for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  This was my first time to this hallowed ground.  Myself and some 50,000 other pilgrims made the journey (including many folks from as far away as the Dominican Republic) to this small town of 1,822 people to witness John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martinez’s induction into the Hall.

How could this town of 1,822 handle an increase of 2,644.2% for the weekend?  It was not by central planning, but by market forces.

Throughout the town, people were selling parking spots on their lawn.  Some were selling all-day parking for $20, others for $40 (but $20 seemed to be the norm).  Local businesses did the same, renting out spots in their lots.  All along the streets of the tiny village, kids and adults were selling bottles of water, cookies, brownies, lemonade, and other goodies to the hungry and thirsty tourists.  The whole town pitched in to help feed and comfort the deluge of visitors.  It was as if guided by some invisible hand, these individuals expanded the supply of the town in order to meet the demand of the tourists.  It was truly a sight to behold.

4 thoughts on “Spontaneous Order: Baseball Edition

  1. Jon, I love stories like this. They demonstrates the very essence of free markets and mutually beneficial trade.

    If I might be a little cynical, though, where were all the regulators and enforcers? Cookies, brownies, lemonade without health department approval? Selling parking without the proper permits and licenses?

    Oh, the horror! 🙂

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  3. Further, the rule of law itself is an evolving product of ongoing decision making, so it likewise takes a shape not intended by any legislator. Does this mean that every order is tautologically a spontaneous order?


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