This morning’s column is written in praise of institutions that are often the targets for derision on these pages: The New York State Legislature and the governor’s office. They usually deserve the brickbats thrown their way.

But in this case the boys and girls in Albany have actually done something right. They’ve gotten out of the way.

The issue: The state’s anti-scalping law. It was the law that capped the price of tickets to sporting events and other shows on the secondary market. Up until the end of May, it had been illegal to re-sell tickets in New York state for more than 45 percent over face value. No more. That restriction had been widely ignored by Internet ticket brokers and on online auction sites. The state Legislature last month voted to eliminate the cap. The governor signed it into law about a week ago.

It might be said that Albany was simply facing reality; that demand and technology were conspiring to render the state’s controls unenforceable and obsolete. Even so, it was a remarkable move in the fact that it went through the process rather smoothly, a victory for the free market.

And that’s why the legislation was a big deal. The issue itself, the resale of event tickets, is rather small in the scope of issues faced by the state: Taxes, education, social welfare, law enforcement. But the implications of lifting the cap are significant.

That’s primarily because it’s one less way that government is in our faces. It is a victory for the forces of the free market.

Let’s look at it another way: Suppose you own a home. Say you purchased it in 1997 years ago for $100,000. In Niagara County, that would have bought you a comfortable, if not lavish, place to live.

Now, 10 years later, a family comes along and offers you $175,000. You’d turn a nice 75 percent profit (not figuring inflation) on the deal.

But if a law like the anti-scalping law had been in effect for real estate, you’d be artificially limited to a sale price of no more than $145,000. Fair? Of course not. Property owners faced with those limitations would light their torches and storm the state Capitol.

Economic freedom and political freedom go hand in hand. The ability to sell something at whatever price the market will bear and the ability to purchase goods or decline to buy them are freedoms just as basic as those in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

A representative of an organization known at the New York Public Interest Research Group was quoted by the Associated Press as being against the law, that “greedy opportunists” would snap up tickets and jack up the prices. “I think this is a bum deal for consumers,” said NYPIRG spokesman Russ Haven. In this case, substitute the word “Americans” for “greedy opportunists.”

Groups like NYPIRG never met a government control they didn’t like. The problem with price controls is that they limit supply. So, while Big Brother might say you should only pay so much for something, it can’t force someone to produce it or sell it at that price. The collapse of communism was as much economic as it was political.

So here’s to the men and women of the New York State Legislature for passing the bill. Here’s to Gov. Eliot Spitzer for signing it into law. It might just be one small step for freeing up the market for event tickets. Let’s hope it results in one giant leap for the concept of economic freedom in the state of New York.

Dick Lucinski is the managing editor of the Niagara Gazette. His columns appear on Wednesdays and Sundays.