The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.
Share this story
Join 30,000+ readers each month and get the latest news and information from Western Pierce County direct to your inbox, daily, free of charge. Sign up here.
David Anderson says
A picture says a thousand words but here are 453 more.
Why I’m voting for Garage Sale.
1. A Garage Sale – at least for the seller – is about decluttering and downsizing the garage, simplifying and economizing the lifestyle.
Government on the other hand is about increasing the size of the garage.
When was the last time you witnessed government – at any level, in any department – chuck their identity associated with the accumulation of more stuff (explained to the public as ‘services’) and frugally – exercising significant self-restraint and will-power – jettison the junk, earning some government-type a best seller entitled “The Joy of Less: A Bureaucrat’s Guide to Minimalizing”?
2. A Garage Sale – primarily for the buyer – is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). The seller may or may not know – or care – about the value to you of that brand-new-shower-massaging-head-never-used-and-still-in-the-package but you do, especially if yours squirts sideways blasting you full in the face immediately upon opening the shower door and turning on the water.
Government on the other hand, not only does not know what’s in the Federal Registrar (how can they? This main source of regulations for U.S. government agencies is over 80,000 pages long) but nevertheless adds to this convoluted, not to mention cumbersome, manual on a regular basis so that, for example, in the state of Massachusetts, all children in daycare centers are mandated by state law to brush their teeth after lunch.
3. A Garage Sale is a happy, honest exchange between all parties concerned. ‘Make an offer’ is often heard early on and ‘free’ more often than not on the last hour of the last day if not before when a cash exchange hardly matters as much as not having to put the stuff back where it came from.
The Garage Sale host is eager to hear from the public that the transaction – offer, counter-offer, settlement – has been agreeable and amenable – often culminated with a handshake and a smile.
A government hosted public hearing however, ostensibly for purposes of hearing from the public, is a political stunt, a performance mandate, a box to check along the foreordained path the politicians have already bulldozed at least mentally.
Would that incumbents and challengers for elected office saw their constituents as garage-sale’rs. Angela Cooley writes “people see garage sales as a sort of interactive shopping experience. They’re going to ask questions, they’re going to haggle, and they’re going to pick up everything, especially if it’s breakable. You’ll do better if you don’t act pushy.”
Cooley titles her article “How to Have a Successful Garage Sale.”
Perhaps that would be another best seller: ‘How to Have a Successful Government – what I learned at the Garage Sale.’
Mike Darrah says
Awesome article and glad I took a moment to read it. You hit the nail on the head. All government officials should be required to pay heed, to clean up the garage.
John Arbeeny says
Wonderful analogy! Garage sales are the essence of economic freedom and capitalism and it works. Willing and able sellers; willing and able buyers. No government mandates; artificial constraints; burdensome regulations….just the unfettered ability of people to make decisions directly that affect their lives, goods and money even if on a small scale. Not only that, garage sales also foster a sense of community, the ability to interact with people you’d otherwise never meet, listen to stories you’d never hear, and peek into the life styles of others community members. No wonder local governments have often tried (and failed) to stifle this exercise of free expression through sign codes, business licenses and other meaningless regulations which serve no other purpose than to attempt to control people’s behavior at even this lowly level. Government inherently does not like things it can’t control or the opportunity of its citizens to enjoy this modicum of freedom from their interference.