City Desk

Does McCain Want Me to Sell Stolen Goods?

Factcheck.org has a nice rundown of all the facts the candidates got wrong in the debate last night. McCain's creative interpretations of his "tax cuts" and health care plans are old hat. But what's this about eBay? McCain said 1.3 million Americans make their living off the online marketplace. Wrong. The number, according to Factcheck, is more like 724,000, and only "some" of those folks rely on the site for their primary income. What really bugs me though, is the idea that all those people are somehow leading the way for a brighter future. Sure, they're making a living, but many of them are doing it selling stolen goods.

The New York Times reported on recent testimony before a House subcommittee on a bill that would force eBay to crack down on e-fencers. A loss prevention expert from the National Retail Federation told legislators that eBay was like crack for vulnerable, would-be thieves (not his analogy).

"When they run out of “legitimate merchandise,” they begin to steal intermittently, many times for the first time in their life, so they can continue selling online... At least one major retailer has reported that 80 percent of thieves interviewed in their eBay theft cases admit that selling stolen property on eBay is their sole source of income. In fact, many of the eBay sellers have used those proceeds to obtain mortgages, new cars and even boats."

Sounds like a great strategy for job creation.

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  • AJ

    Once again, Senator McCain is looking at the glass half fun, just as uninformed, out-of-touch, unsympathetic President Hoover did, "Many people have left their jobs for the more profitable one of selling apples." Apparently, the line between "online entrepreneur" and "fence" will, of necessity, become less clear if Senator McCain is elected president.

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