Saturday, July 5, 2008

Of Course, the Answer is to Shut Down eBay

Yet another instance of someone doing something incredibly stupid by trying to sell something inappropriate on eBay:
A Minnesota college student looking to profit off his political indifference has been charged with a felony for trying to sell his vote on the auction Web site eBay.

The student, Max P. Sanders, 19, of Edina, was charged Thursday with one count of bribery, treating and soliciting, a felony under an 1893 Minnesota law that criminalizes the sale and purchase of votes.

In May Mr. Sanders set a minimum bid of $10 for his vote this November and offered to provide photographic documentation inside the booth.

Mr. Sanders, whose auction was halted before anyone bid, declined to comment. He is studying liberal arts at the University of Minnesota.

The state law was actively enforced during Prohibition, when “people would go into bars and dig out drunks and give them a $20 and try to buy their vote,” said Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County attorney, who said he did not know of any other modern abuses.

“We’re not humorless in the county attorney’s office and we’re not in the horse-and-buggy age,” Mr. Freeman said, “but we decided it’s something we just couldn’t blow off. Sometimes in this business we need to make statements.”

We don't need to enforce Prohibition-era laws--we have Republicans to suppress votes and claim voter fraud where there is none. With all of the fraud that occurs on eBay, and with the regular stories in the media about someone selling their baby, their soul, or their kidneys on eBay, isn't it time to shut it down? Or would that destroy the John McCain economy that doesn't exist? Between Craigslist and eBay and mySpace, is there any relief from the ridiculous stories about people who abuse the system and ruin it for everyone else? I'm being sarcastic--of course, you cannot just 'shut down' these sites. But that doesn't mean we can't be sick of the bullshit stories that are cranked out on a regular basis about them and the inability of people to use them properly.


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