Living Economics

Clowning with parking meters
A clown irks the police but pleases shoppers by feeding expired parking meters for tips

A street clown in Santa Cruz California has been stuffing change into expired parking meters to save shoppers from a $12 ticket. In exchange, the grateful shoppers and store owners gave him as much as $75 a day as tips.

Manager of Santa Cruz's parking programs was not amused. He accused the clown of feeding meters after a ticket had been issued and reducing the turnover rate of scarce parking spaces.

After several warnings, police gave the clown a citation for violating a municipal code that prohibited feeding people's meters without their permission, a $13 infraction.

The adverse publicity forced the city to drop the citation and repeal the ordinance against feeding strangers' meters.

  • Arizona Republic. 10/11/1995. "Mr. Twister Irks Parking Officers."
  • Phoenix Gazette. 10/27/1995. "Meter Readers' Faces Sad, but Mr. Twister Is Smiling."
Access Tools
• Advanced Search
• Browse Micro
Comparative advantage (14) Competitive strategy (27) Costs and opportunities (53) Entrepreneurship (3) Externality (29) Free Market Solutions (17) Free Ridership (3) Game Theory (22) Incentives (13) Income Distribution (25) Information (20) Labor Market (24) Marginal optimization (33) Market Demand (17) Market Entry (9) Market Exit (2) Market Intervention (12) Market Structure (29) Market supply (4) Material Flow (2) Miscellaneous (3) Price Discrimination (17) Pricing Strategy (47) Profit maximization (48) Property Rights (43) Regulation (16) Rent Seeking (2) Risk Taking (12) Scarcity (10) Tastes & Preferences (31) Taxes (7) Technology (9) Type of goods (31) What Price Means (28)
• Browse Macro
Boom and Bust (9) Budget Balance (12) Comparative advantage (13) Economic Development (1) Economic Indicators (6) Fiscal Policy (12) Incentives (1) Income and output (25) Income Distribution (5) Labor Market (6) Money and Credit (20) Regulation (5) Rent Seeking (1) Saving (6) Taxes (4) Technology (1) Trade and Foreign Exchange (30)
• Glossary
List All

• Microeconomics Lectures • Macroeconomics Lectures • Economics Cartoons
• Instructor Log in • Sample TOC • Video Tour
• Student Log in
Instructor Log in

Student Log in

Open Menu