Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Propensity to truck and barter at $74.99

Adam Smith, 239 years ago, remarked that; 'It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature ... to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.' Which is limited to humans; 'Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that.'

Try telling that to the Tacoma, Washington police;
Frank Hilton sells a variety of tools and tchotchkes that he finds at garages sales and storage unit auctions.
He’s been selling at the swap meet for 30 years.

“The city … is making it really hard on me,” Hilton said. “I’m on social security, and I’m trying to supplement my income.”

Wayne Hudson has been selling tools, clothing and trinkets at the swap meet for five years.

“How many more rules will they pass until they shut us down?” Hudson said. “No one is out here selling drugs or guns or prostitution. We’re just trying to make a few extra dollars.”
They're complaining about new regulations designed to put the former Star Lite Drive-in theatre (now a week-end swap meet) under police control. Because the police have suspicion that stolen goods may be exchanged there. The new regulations require that sellers record details of every sale over $75, provide a picture of such merchandise and the buyers' name and address taken from official government ID.

Just because the police have suspicions that some are criminals, all Tacomans must submit, as Adam Smith put it (again, 239 years ago);
A puppy fawns upon its dam, and a spaniel endeavours by a thousand attractions to engage the attention of its master who is at dinner, when it wants to be fed by him. Man sometimes uses the same arts with his brethren, and when he has no other means of engaging them to act according to his inclinations, endeavours by every servile and fawning attention to obtain their good will.

Resistance is futile.

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