• You Can’t Win this Battle

    Well I decided to battle the virtual waiting room for Boston Red Sox tickets. Its a battle you can’t really win with all the markups and convenience fees. But you can try to minimize the damage by getting the tickets from the red sox, instead of their official online markup dealers AceTickets. How to get the tickets? Wait in the virtual waiting room for single game tickets. Sounds pretty simple, its not. If you go to the Boston Red Sox home page to buy tickets, they will inform you that they are not on sale yet. Try to find out when they go on sale, and it will not be posted anywhere. On January 28th, it was posted on the red sox site that tickets to single season games go on sale Saturday January 30th at 10am. Wow, thanks for the 2 day heads up. Its like they are trying to hide it from the public.

    Waiting Room

    Waiting Room

    So what do you do, get into the virtual waiting room, and hope you get picked for tickets. I’ve tried this before. Some days I’ve been in from 10am-4pm, and still never got tickets. I’ve got tickets before too, so its a crap shoot. About 2 hours in, almost all the weekend games had “limited availability”. Around 1pm I amazingly got in! Knowing all the “good” games were sold out, I tried for bleacher (lowest cost) seats to two mid week games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in June. I was able to get bleacher seats on Tuesday, but Wednesday they were sold out and I ended up with more expensive right field seats.

    My $28 bleacher seats came with a $4.25 convenience fee, and the total order has a $7 processing fee too. But how does this compare to buying the same tickets through the Official Boston Red Sox ticket resellers? Well 4 tickets in the same section go for $67 each, with around a $4.50 service charge. How is this legal? Well the anti-scalping laws are very vague:

    “The statute says they can charge a reasonable mark-up,” Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said. “We can’t assess what a reasonable mark-up is … because the statute is very vague.”

    So, with almost 2/3rds of the seats at Fenway reserved for season tickets, another portion allotted to Sox Packs, more tickets to Yankees games available through email lottery, there just isn’t that much choice of how to get your tickets. Here’s a link to an interesting older article on ticket sales, things haven’t changed much in 2010.

    Red Sox fans squeezed by ticket resellers – SouthCoastToday.com

  • My Thoughts on Health Care…

    Well I’m not trying to get all political on everyone, but I can’t understand why the Republicans in Congress are all opposed to the Public Option Health Care plan, which I believe to be a fantastic way to guarantee everyone in the US a low price health care choice. Here’s how the Yugo, the digital TV converter box, and your US government can save health care.

    Health Care

    Health Care

    The Government run Public Option, defined to be non-profit, and as a low cost alternative form of health care coverage for any American, is kind of like the Yugo automobile. Its cheap, and nobody really wants one, but if you have to, just have to own your own car to get somewhere, the Yugo was the low price el-cheapo car that you could buy to get you from point A to B. None of the major automobiles were threatened by the Yugo. It cost like $4,000. So all the big manufacturers, Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc… they kept producing cars, and Americans kept buying them. You could buy a $15,000 car, a $30,000 car what ever you wanted. But, if you had little money and still wanted a car, you could buy the low priced Yugo. What the Yugo also did was keep the big auto makers honest. If there was no $4,000 car available to the masses, what was there to stop all the car manufacturers from getting together and making a common low price for their automobiles of say $25,000. Everyone would be screwed and have to buy our cars for whatever the consortium of auto makers wanted to set their bottom line at.

    The Government Run Public Option is the Yugo of health Care. It is cheap, and provides a basic health care option for everyone in the USA. Without it, there would be no way to stop all the medical groups from getting together and jacking up the price on everyone. This seems to be what the Republicans in congress are all upset over. All their special interest lobbyists whispering in their ears about all the money they will be losing if the Government steps in and makes everyone offer a fair price.

    Now for example, let’s say there is no public option. When you go for a doctor’s visit, it may take you 3-4 weeks for an appointment, and your co-pay could be anywhere from $25-$55 dollars. When mandatory health care goes into effect, all the insurance providers may get together and decide, “hey, you know what, health insurance is mandatory, so let’s all make co-pays $45 minimum.”. So now you are all paying anywhere from $45 and up for health care.

    But, with the public option, you can get low cost health insurance with a mandatory government rate base of say $10 for a co-pay. Sure, the doctor may not be so good, and it may take you 12 weeks for an appointment, but the low cost option is there. Will all the other insurers keep to their $45 minimum? Heck no. Why would anyone pay 4 times the cost for health care? The result is a bell curve of co-pay rates with the government option at $10, some at $20, and yes, even some at $45 because hey, if you are a millionaire, who cares if you pay $45 for health care right? It keeps everyone honest people!

    But, you know what, this is a free country, capitalism will keep everyone from getting together and charging that $45 rate. Someone will always yield and come in at $40 or $35. Are you sure? Here’s another example. Does everyone remember when TV switched from analog to digital and we all needed to buy those converter boxes so our TVs would work? Remember how the government gave out tons of those $20 coupons so we could all afford the converter boxes? Well what happened? EVERY manufacturer upped the price of their converter boxes by $20, that’s what happened. You could find some for $29.99, but that was really rare. Most cost $39.99. So yeah, you got $20 off, but still ended up paying $20 for those boxes, and instead Uncle Sam got stuck paying a ton of money to the converter box manufacturers who pocketed all that money.

    What they should have done was paid a company to make $20 boxes, and then let anyone else make converter boxes and charge whatever they wanted. Sure some companies would come out with fancy boxes with more bells and whistles, but most companies would try and reach that lower price point of $20. But instead we all got stuck paying $40 per box, yeah $20 was government money, but that just increased the deficit and raised your taxes, so YOU paid Radio Shack and Sony for those crappy converter boxes and $20 government coupons.

    So when you are paying a ton of money, and the small business man who is required to provide the expensive health care plans to his employees goes out of business, you can thank Joe Lieberman and his greedy buddies for those high rates, and for killing the public option.

    Yeah, Joe Lieberman, the guy who’s own state doesn’t even like him. – Lieberman’s Approval Ratings Tank In Connecticut

    Joe Lieberman”More than 80 percent (81 percent) of Democrats now say they disapprove of the job Lieberman is doing with only 14 percent approving. Among Republicans, 48 percent disapprove of the senator with just 39 approving. And among independents, 61 percent disapprove of Lieberman’s antics with just 32 percent approving.”

    “It all adds up to a 25% approval rating with 67% of his constituents giving him bad marks,” the study concludes. “Barack Obama’s approval rating with Connecticut Republicans is higher than Lieberman’s with the state’s Democrats.”

    You should read that last line again.

    “Among voters who support the health care bill 87% disapprove of how Lieberman handled it with only 10% supporting it. But by voting for the final product after getting it watered down he also managed to earn the unhappiness of constituents opposed to the bill, 52% of whom say they disapprove of what Lieberman did to 33% in support. Overall just 19% of voters in the state say they like what Lieberman did on the issue with 68% opposed.”

    So good for you Joe. You killed the public option, and nobody in your own state even wanted you to do it. Who did you sell out to for that vote Joe? You greedy old man.

    Joe Lieberman

    Joe Lieberman