No Kids, No Votes, No Souls, on eBay

No joke

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One thing we know about a culture based on money and trade: People will sell anything if allowed, and even when not allowed. eBay proved that point long ago and not half a year goes by without crazy stories of what people will buy and what they will sell. The latest: one German baby; one American Presidential vote.

No Women, No Kids

One may handily argue, given Americans’ tendency to vote with their pocketbooks, that one’s vote is always for sale; it’s just a matter of price. Another thing we know about authority: It can’t take a joke. (Neither can this lynch mob that formed in our comments section, either—though nobody was harmed, senses of humor were brutally slaughtered).

In Germany, a "nearly new" baby boy was put up for sale on eBay, starting bid at one euro. eBay was quick to remove the auction, even if the parents, in their early twenties, said the listing was for their own amusement. See what happens when discretionary incomes drop? Cheap thrills ensue.

German authorities, not historically known to have a sense of humor, took custody of the child while they investigated. Truly, a joke’s not funny if you have to explain it, and once authorities got it, so to speak, they gave the capricious couple back their baby. That will be a fun story to tell the kid in a few Christmases; might want to redirect college savings into a fund for extensive therapy.

The ink, if any was used in that story’s telling, was hardly dry when another eBay gaffe caught the attention of government officials. An uncommitted Minnesota man put up his Presidential vote for auction, starting price $10. Though Max Sanders, a college student, claimed it was a joke, Minnesota authorities finds it as funny as a stick in the eye.

Under a Minnesota law passed in the 19th Century and utilized in the 1920s to prevent vote-buying, Sanders faces felony charges, five years in jail, and a $10,000 fine. In case it makes a difference, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington says he’ll be auctioning off his own vote on eBay as well, as a protest.

So, one more time, a short list of things you can’t sell on eBay: children, yourself, your vote, your soul, anything illegal like body parts, drugs, or nothing. Toast with the Virgin Mary’s image? Fair game. A frozen hot dog from a Seattle Seahawks playoff game? Sure. Ted Williams’ frozen head? Probably should keep that on ice.


No Kids, No Votes, No Souls, on eBay
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