Sometimes, the proper response to legislation is just “Huh?”
Too often, though, our incredulity reaches the shivering heights of repulsion. In those cases, we should challenge the legislators who proposed, promoted, and voted for the law. The challenge might as well be in the form of a question: “Don’t you feel creepy for sponsoring that kind of thing?”
I would have felt creepy even contemplating a vote on Louisiana’s HB 125, which, in the cause of preventing transfer of stolen property, prohibits people from buying stuff at Goodwill and similar secondhand stores with cash.
Yes, you read that right: CASH. Greenbacks. Federal Reserve Notes. “Legal tender.”
I’ve always associated such kinds of prohibitions — not allowing cash to leave the country, for example — with poor and/or socialist countries. Real backwaters. The Second or Third World.
But here it is, in Louisiana. A fully recognized state of the union (at least by everyone but FEMA).
The law passed — indeed, in the words of one report, “flew . . . under the radar” — so quickly that “most businesses don’t even know about it.”
Besides non-profit resellers like Goodwill, and garage sales, the language of the bill encompasses stores like the Pioneer Trading Post and flea markets.
Lawyer Thad Ackel Jr. feels the passage of this bill begins a slippery slope for economic freedom in the state.
“The government is placing a significant restriction on individuals transacting in their own private property,” says Ackel.
Somewhat inexplicably, pawn shops are exempted from the prohibition.
What a sorry state.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.