Last night at a fund-raising event I met the chairwoman of the local classical orchestra. They have been struggling financially for years, and worse lately even though the second recession in three years ended this week.

She told me the musicians make $150-250 per day–and I didn't tell her this was about half of what a dental hygienist makes. We lamented that the symphony's efforts to interest young people in classical music had largely failed, and wondered why there wasn't greater interest in classical music. As this lady hailed from a formerly socialist / currently mafia part of the world that gets people kicked off spec-list, I explained that in free capitalist markets financial resources gravitate toward areas of greatest demand. Thus classical music is not much in demand by the majority of people, and marketing to them will not get results.

Afterwards we went to a nice restaurant and had dinner near the bar. The place was very busy–which seemed surprising for a weeknight just after another recession. Apparently the internet age speeds us up. We had a good view of the bar, as well as the two cute hostesses in their twenties. Nearby an older single model with colored hair and unbuttoned shirt was seated at the bar. You could tell because he wore a diagnostic shibboleth that used to be much more common: a necklace with a dangling gold-plated razor blade.

He kept stopping the cuter blond hostess and chatting with her. At first she was too busy, but eventually she heard him out for about five minutes; politely listening and making good eye contact. Suddenly grandpa handed her $100, saying "take this for your four year old".

When I was little an old Jewish man gave me a penny. I quickly did the inflation calculation and realized a value transaction had occurred, and that free markets would never die.


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