San Francisco Chronicle – February 25, 2006:

California residents who sell goods on eBay could have to pay a $295 fee and be regulated in the same way as pawnbrokers under legislation designed to crack down on the sale of stolen property.

The legislation being pushed by the state’s 700 pawnbrokers would replace a cumbersome paper-based system of reporting transactions of secondhand-property sales to local law enforcement with a statewide electronic database paid for by dealers.

Opponents say the bill would impose needless requirements on consignment stores, auctioneers, eBay trading assistants and the drop-off centers sprouting up to help consumers sell items on the Internet.

Ohio has already passed a law that could make Ohioan based eBay PowerSellers pay $200 for a license and post a $50,000 bond, plus…

the license requires a one-year apprenticeship to a licensed auctioneer, acting as a bid-caller in 12 auctions, attending an approved auction school, passing a written and oral exam. Failure to get a license could result in the seller being fined up to $1,000 and jailed for a maximum of 90 days.



  1. scott says:

    There’s a reason California will be the first totalitarian state. You people roll over and let them do whatever they want to you.

  2. Rick says:

    I’ll be sure to take down those garage sale signs right away too…

  3. sam says:

    this is bull-sh–, i hate is fuc—- state

    they really give it to you.

  4. Improbus says:

    Why isn’t eBay using some of its cash to buy politicians like other businesses do?

  5. Chris Vaughn says:

    You get what you let happen! Thank God For Georgia, but when they realize that income can be generated by this type of regulation, I’m sure the GA Democrats will propose legislation too.

    Chris Vaughn
    http://chrisvaughn.org

  6. James Hill says:

    Wow, and I thought Utah was bad…

  7. Me says:

    Is there anything at all left than can survive without being completely screwed up by politicians?

  8. Mike says:

    This is freaking outrageous! Glad I don’t live in California.

    IT IS NOBODY ELSES BUSINESS TO WHOM AND FOR HOW MUCH I SELL MY PROPERTY!!!

    That this is being lobbied for by a trade group tells a lot about the details of this. Government required licensing is a huge racket anyway. We are all grown-ups, and responsible for our own decisions we make as consumers. Four words: “research before you buy.”

  9. Mr Fusion says:

    IT IS NOBODY ELSES BUSINESS TO WHOM AND FOR HOW MUCH I SELL MY PROPERTY!!!

    Sorry buddy, but you are too late. It is the governments business for a few reasons.

    1) Most states impose a sales tax. Depending on the state, your transaction might require you to pay. If you don’t, you are evading taxes which is a no-no. Most states consider it a crime.

    2) The state has a duty to regulate ALL business taking place in their jurisdiction. This includes, as in the California and Ohio legislation, that the person selling the item knows what they are selling, is capable selling the item properly, when accepting consignments can take appropriate care of the items, can judge the true relevant value of an item, is bondable, and has an actual place of business.

    3) The Police have a duty to investigate scams, fencing stolen merchandise, not sending the merchandise, stealing credit card numbers, and any other type of theft and fraud.

    4) Some items, such as firearms and automobiles, need to be registered.

    The idea of having the state regulating another aspect of my life doesn’t excite me either. Unfortunately, those who don’t play by the rules have forced the state to impose upon all of us in order to protect us from those that would take advantage. As an aside, I just read in the local rag about the Police investigating some scam artists conning the elderly with home repairs. These scammers aren’t registered or licensed either.

  10. Mike says:

    Since I’d rather consumption be taxed than productivity, I fully accept the taxation of the sale of NEW products. There is absolutely no reason why used items should be re-taxed when they exchange hands.

    Now, part of the government’s role is to provide a venue and system for litigating cases of fraud. That does not imply that, in a free society, the government should make it its business to establish artificial licensing monopolies in order to prevent fraud from occuring.

    I should be able to contract with anybody I choose to perform a particular service for me. Because I am responsible for my own decisions, it would probably be in my best interest to verify beforehand that this person is qualified to perform the service being paid for (private, voluntary certification would certainly help with this). Also, if we sign a contract, and the other person fails to perform to the agreed upon requirement, then I have cause to take them to court for fraud and seek compensation for damages.

    The mission of police to investigate crimes such as larceny, should not be a legitimate reason to burden all commerce with unnecessary regulation.

    Lastly, (beyond the issue of revenue for road maintenance) why do automobiles need to be registered?

    This is off-topc, but in Virginia, where I live, there is an absurd law that if I buy a car in another state but for some reason don’t pay sales tax there, VA will charge me the tax when I register here — this is completely insane.

  11. BL says:

    If the Nanny State takes care of you all your life, you’ll never grow up.

  12. Mr. Fusion says:

    That does not imply that, in a free society, the government should make it its business to establish artificial licensing monopolies in order to prevent fraud from occuring.

    The Government is NOT establishing any “artificial licensing monopoly” to prevent fraud. A Constitutional duty of both, the states and the federal governments, is to regulate commerce. This is to stop predatory practices, lying to shareholders, filing false prospectuses, dumping toxic waste into streams etc. There is no Constitutional right to own or run a business. That is purely a legislated right, the same as driving requires a licensed driver or flying an airplane requires a licensed pilot.

    I should be able to contract with anybody I choose to perform a particular service for me.

    Sadly, again you are wrong. There is no constitutional right to perform any service for anyone. Again, this is a legislated right and subject to certain requirements. To practice medicine on another person, you need to be licensed. To dispense drugs, or practice law, or spray pesticides all require licensed people. It is called “for the public good”. So don’t suggest that you could hire Joe Blow to spray pesticides when he has no clue as to safety measures, toxicity, equipment,or proper technique and my property is downwind, right next door.

    The mission of police to investigate crimes such as larceny, should not be a legitimate reason to burden all commerce with unnecessary regulation.

    Wrong again, partially. Only part of the Police function is to investigate crime. Their major purpose is to prevent crime and keep public order. Since Pawnbrokers are a major receiver of stolen goods, it is only reasonable that they be subject to restrictions on how they do their business. Since conning the elderly is relatively easy or doing shoddy work is common, insisting that all trades people be licensed helps reduce crime and reduces suits being heard in court.

    Lastly, (beyond the issue of revenue for road maintenance) why do automobiles need to be registered?

    They are easily stolen. They can do a lot of damage when meeting another object while traveling at high speeds. Their operation does require some training and a level of capability. There are so many vehicles on the road, registration helps identify each specific vehicle. It keeps convicts busy.

    Many times regulations are a pain in the butt. They are there, however, for our own protection. Sometimes they are ridiculous, such as marijuana prohibition. Other times their object is self evident, such as having trained, licensed people take out your gall bladder.

  13. Mike says:

    The Government is NOT establishing any “artificial licensing monopoly” to prevent fraud.

    Really? The next time you want to pay somebody else to cut your hair, ask them if the government forced them to become licensed beforehand.

    A Constitutional duty of both, the states and the federal governments, is to regulate commerce.

    Having the power granted to the government does not equal a duty to do anything. And there certainly is no constitutionally mandate that the government infinge on people’s right to engage in trade with each other.

    There is no Constitutional right to own or run a business. That is purely a legislated right

    So I don’t have a right to sell carrots that I grow? Were we only granted that privilage “legislatively” by the Congress after the Constitution was ratified in 1789? A “business” or “corporation” may be an artificial construct for the purpose of granting them some of the same status and rights as “people”, but the people surely have the natural right to conduct business with one another. Your argument is absurd.

    That is purely a legislated right, the same as driving requires a licensed driver …

    No license is required to drive a vehicle on private land. And since the government has claimed for itself a monopoly of the roads and highways, licensing also creates an infringement of the people’s right to freely travel.

    Sadly, again you are wrong. There is no constitutional right to perform any service for anyone.

    Again, your argument is absurd. The Constitution itself is a contract between the government and the people. If the people don’t have the right to enter into contracts, then the Constitution itself would be invalid.

    Since conning the elderly is relatively easy or doing shoddy work is common, insisting that all trades people be licensed helps reduce crime and reduces suits being heard in court.

    Yeah, that’s a pretty good racket for whichever trade association the government has bestowed its royal blessing on in requiring that all people be licensed with them. It’s sort of like the states which require all workers to join the union if there is one. Just swell.

    But just wait, I think I’m more than capable of researching to find out if the guy who’s going to be doing landscaping around my house is reputable or not. And there would still be plenty of incentive for people to become privately certified, even if the government didn’t compell them to do so. It’s called being more competetive than the other guy.

    They are easily stolen. They can do a lot of damage when meeting another object while traveling at high speeds. Their operation does require some training and a level of capability. There are so many vehicles on the road, registration helps identify each specific vehicle. It keeps convicts busy.

    Ability to be stolen is not a valid reason for registration. As I’ve said already, there is nothing illegal about an unlicensed person driving a car on his private land, and that vehicle should not be required to be registered if that is what it is being used for.

    Many times regulations are a pain in the butt. They are there, however, for our own protection.

    Over regulation is also one of the largest drags on our economy (besides our insane tax code) and does far more harm than good. And that is a totally different issue from the loss of freedom.

    The government does not exist to protect us from ourselves.

    Other times their object is self evident, such as having trained, licensed people take out your gall bladder.

    The extreme libertarian position would be to not require government licensing of those professions either. I am not advocating that here.

  14. Sounds The Alarm says:

    Mr. Fusion,

    You heard that the USSR fell, didn’t you?

  15. baalhazor says:

    Former eBay exec Steve Westly is running for governor of California. I doubt he’d sign this through. I doubt Arnold would either come to think of it.

  16. Mr. Fusion says:

    Mike

    You asked questions and I answered them. Instead of replying to the answers you come out with wild retorts bearing no relationship to the issue. Find a good book on Civics and learn a little about Government, laws, and rights.

    And the next time you say the Constitution and laws are absurd, remember, it is your government and you have the “right” to vote them out of office.

  17. Mr. Fusion says:

    Sounds The Alarm

    Yes, I heard. Why do you ask?

  18. Mike says:

    No, I clearly said that your claim that people do not have a right to conduct business with or request services from others is absurd.

  19. Mr. Fusion says:

    And Mike you are wrong. I am making this up or pulling an argument out of the air. Take a Civics lesson. Shoot, you live here and don’t even know how your government is run?

    You do NOT have a “right” to request services or goods from anyone. Rights are enshrined in the Constitution. Laws regulate behavior. There is no such thing as a “natural right”, unless you are referring to Common Law.

    Common Law is subservient to to Legislated Law. Common Law would allow you to sell your carrots.

    Legislated Law is subservient to Constitutional Law. Legislated Law controls behavior. Legislated Law stipulates that the carrots must not contain toxic mold when you sell them.

    Constitutional Law is the supreme law of the land. Rights are given only in the Constitution. The first ten amendments in the Constitution are usually referred to as the Bill of Rights. Constitutional Law means you get a fair trial for selling toxic carrots.

    ***
    This is a copy of the “Commerce Clause”, better known as Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. It outlines most of what the Federal Government may do in regards to commerce. Each State Constitution is different. Any responsibility not enumerated in the Constitution of the United States are reserved for the States. Follows are four portions of the article.

    http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html

    The Congress shall have Power To … and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States …

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; …

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

  20. Mr. Fusion says:

    Correction,

    Post 20, second sentence, should be:
    I am not making this up,…

  21. RickHap says:

    Great posts Mr. Fusion.

    How about providing a good reading list for further study?

  22. Mike says:

    Mr Fusion, now I know you are coasting on half a clue.

    First of all, “legislated law” as you refer to it is really known as “statutory law” by everybody else.

    Natural rights are those rights that your possess by virtue of being human. The right to your life, the right to defend your life, the right to the products of your labor – those are natural rights. The right to self government is also one of those pesky natural rights that good ol’ Thomas Jefferson rambled on about in the darn Declaration of Independence.

    The Constitution serves only to set up a framework for a federal system of government and how the levels of government interact. And statutory law (to include ratified treaties) can only exist within the confines of the enumerated powers the people granted to the government when they created it.

    Now to your other major mistake, which I will assume is out of ignorance — The Constitution does not grant a single right to anybody. The Bill of Rights serves to prevent the federal government from infringing upon the various rights that the people were already assumed to be in possession of. A hint you should have picked up on is that they were not a part of the original document, and were only added afterwards because of the paranoid objections of the anti-federalists (and others) during the debate on ratification. Pretty clairvoyant on their part in retrospect, since it’s pretty clear that government knows no end to its desire for power at the expense of freedom.

    If that weren’t clear enough to you, maybe you should give a quick look-see at the 9th and 10th amendments before declaring again that we only have the rights that the government is kind enough to grant us. The people have the ultimate power, not the various levels governments.

    Lastly, the “commerce clause” does not refer to the entire list of enumerated powers granted to the Congress (by the people) in Article I Section 8, but only to the specific clause dealing with, you guessed it, interstate and foreign commerce.

    I am far beyond your high-school civics class.


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