We hear people spouting off every so often about how the soon to be renovated Dolores Park is capitalist’s wet dream, with the invisible hand of party positivity letting folks buy and ingest whatever they damn please. However, Priceonomics’ recent piece is the most thorough argument in favor of this we’ve yet read. A peek at their findings:
You’d never know it from experiencing a Saturday in Dolores Park, but there exists a tireless set of park rules and regulations in the San Francisco Municipal Code. Smoking is prohibited, public drinking is prohibited, and vending food and/or alcohol is strictly defined as illegal. Add to the mix city violations — drinking in public, peddling without a permit, marijuana possession (albeit the lowest priority of the SFPD) — and it’s a wonder that Dolores Park continues to function as it does. […]
So, is Dolores Park truly a free market economy? Not entirely — but it’s probably as close as you can get in San Francisco. The forces of supply and demand are minimally impacted by laws and regulations; goods are sold at freely set prices, adjusted based on desirability. The vendors are more often at the mercy of sunny skies and generous crowds than legislation and police. By most accounts, Dolores is a capitalist’s utopia, and both the vendors and their clientele intend to keep it that way.
Read the whole piece for insight into the park’s history, and analysis on the various sellers the park is host to.