In honor of St. Patrick's Day, the Heroes of Capitalism blog has an entry on Arthur Guinness, founder of the Guinnes brewing company. A true hero, indeed! They mention that "Guinness signed a 9000-year lease in 1759 with St. James Gate Brewery for an annual rent of £45."
Now to Jay Leno. He is doing a free show in Detroit. He mainly wanted it to be for people who have lost their jobs. So free tickets were given away. But some of them are getting sold on eBay, reportedly for as much as $800. Leno does not like this, which you can read about in Leno: Take tickets for free show off eBay. He doesn't want people making money off the idea. But an unemployed worker might be better off with $800 than going to see Leno's show. I don't think Leno should object to that. Either way, unemployed workers are helped.
But Leno brought this on himself. People only had to say they were unemployed to get the tickets. Since we know that there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is the possibility that some people who are not unemployed got tickets for the sole purpose of selling them. Maybe Leno should have required proof of being unemployed, but still let people sell them. Let the unemployed worker choose what makes him or her better off, money or Leno's show. Leno also could have charged for a show in Detroit and tell everyone he was going to donate the money to the poor or unemployed. A benefit show.
Harvard professor Greg Mankiw also addresses this issue with Jay Leno disses the free market.
Update: EBay Halts Sale of Free Leno Tickets