Thursday, April 16, 2015

Selling for Cash

The American Revolution was all about taxation. The War of 1812 was also all about taxation. Jean Laffite was on the side of ordinary consumers, as he offered bargain prices. People went to his yard sales to buy goods at a price below that which was paid in the stores. Some of the goods had been looted from enemy British ships, that is true, and some of the merchandise had been smuggled in, despite the Embargo Act, and none of it paid proper duties to the local authorities, and this angered other merchants who did deal with the enemy, despite the Embargo Act, and offered similar goods for a much higher price. And to add insult to injury, the Laffites sold their goods for cash!

From Page 321 of  Theodosia and the Pirates: The Battle Aganst Britain

Jean Laffite sold things for cash. Some merchants complained that this was not fair. He was depleting the specie supply! But what were they really complaining about? Established merchants do not want competition from people who do not have their overhead.

Today, brick and mortar stores have been fighting sales on the internet. In my state, I can no longer be an Amazon associate because of the taxation laws that have been passed. And in some states, the government has moved to outlaw cash sales outside a regular store. Who benefits? Not the consumer.

In Louisiana, it is now illegal to buy and sell things for cash at a yard sale.

Supposedly, this is meant to prevent the sale of stolen goods. But everyone knows that it's all about the sales tax that big stores have to collect from the customer, and that small individual sellers have been evading so far.

When cash is outlawed, only outlaws will use cash! What is deeply ironic is that today cash is just worthless paper money. What on earth is preventing the people of Louisiana from going back to the gold standard?


  1. Who benefits from banning garage sales? I can only see this new regulation at hurting poor people and working class people, and states such as Louisana tend to have some of the poorest people in the country. Who is proposing this legislation, and do they have a reason behind it? Garage sales have been fun and affordable ways for people to buy clothes and toys for their kids. Just because some dodos sell stolen items at a garage sale does not mean people are going to stop stealing things. I also was told recently by a man he had his bike stolen three times, and the police recovered it. However, he did not have the serial number on his bike, so he cannot get his bike back. So even if you ban garage sales, people who do nefarious things like bike theft are just going to look for more shady ways to do things. Banning a garage sale just hurts law abiding citizens.

    1. Hi, Julia. I share your sentiments. This certainly is intended to harm the poor and all ordinary purchasers of secondhand goods. But they are not actually banning garage sales in Louisiana. They will let you have a garage sale if you get personal information on all the buyers, and incidentally, if you collect sales tax from them.