Busted Halo
January 14th, 2009

The High Price of History

Shameful exploitation or simply capitalism at work?


In the run-up to the inauguration, residents of the District of Columbia and surrounding areas are clamoring to capitalize on the flood of people who are expected to descend on the city in just a few days. Some people are hoping to make quick cash by renting their homes for astronomical sums (in some cases thousands of dollars for only a few nights stay). In this first installment of his video blog about life in DC leading up to the inauguration, Marc Adams explores the morality behind hitting visitors who want to share in the historical moment with exorbitant prices. Should people feel a sense of guilt or is it simply capitalism at work? Two people in a DC neighborhood give their take.

The Author : Marc Adams
Marc Adams is a contributing editor at BustedHalo.com. He writes from Washington DC.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Michael

    Many people think capitalism is a about greed…it actually is not. Many people abuse capitalism and are greedy, but capitalism is not based on greed. Adam Smith, the father of modern day economics, actually argued that greed would lead to economic ruin. It also leads to spiritual ruin! So, please, let us not confuse capitalism with greed.

  • Amy

    I think it’s wrong in the sense that you’re only allowing the rich to have these kinds of experiences. Middle- and lower- class folks will never have the chance to attend these events because of the outrageous price gouging described in the video.

  • Karen

    This has been going on forever – it happens in every Super Bowl City every year. Here in Tampa, signs went up long ago advertising to local homeowners to “rent their homes during Super Bowl”. It is a simple question of supply and demand. As you stated, since the supply is high, the prices have adjusted themselves. I stayed in a hotel room in downtown Washington DC two years ago and spent $695.00 – it was the only room in town. I think THAT’s a lot of money for one night, one room, – I’m not sure what your question is – Is it morally wrong to make a profit? If you think so, you need to move to another country, perhaps China, or Cuba.

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