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Secret Gyms And The Economics Of Prohibition

Getty Images
Harvard University
Planet Fitness

Greg Rosalsky
Adrian Dennis
Jeffrey Miron
Tommy Guns


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San Francisco
New Jersey
Ann Arbor

the COVID-19 Prohibition

Positivity     43.00%   
   Negativity   57.00%
The New York Times
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"Anybody want a home gym partner or know of a speakeasy gym?" they asked — assuring readers in a follow-up post, "not a cop." "That is exactly what a cop would say," responded someone in the thread.Welcome to the COVID-19 Prohibition era, when gym rats have gone underground.Governments can legislate all they want, but prohibiting stuff with eager buyers and sellers is super hard, says Jeffrey Miron, an economist at Harvard University who has spent three decades studying prohibitions. He told her the gym was still open and she should come back.Christina knew the gym was ignoring state orders. When it comes to gyms in the COVID-19 era, it means potentially creating fitness environments that are even more likely to spread the virus than if they were legal and regulated. "When you drive something underground, your ability to regulate it goes away," Miron says.Christina learned that these swole, maskless bros were refugees from big chain gyms like the YMCA and Planet Fitness, which had followed state orders and closed. And, as the owner later told her, the gym was charging them all a higher membership rate.Higher prices are another classic unintended consequence of prohibition. And consumers got tired of the dry spell.The longer gym shutdowns last during the COVID-19 prohibition era, the more likely people will evade them.

As said here by Greg Rosalsky