As you guys surely know by now, it is illegal to use legal tender for purchases of used goods in Cajun country.
Cold hard cash. It’s good everywhere you go, right? You can use it to pay for anything.
But that’s not the case here in Louisiana now. It’s a law that was passed during this year’s busy legislative session. House bill 195 basically says those who buy and sell second hand goods cannot use cash to make those transactions, and it flew so far under the radar most businesses don’t even know about it.
The law states those who buy or sell second hand goods are prohibited from using cash. State representative Rickey Hardy [and naturally they omit the fact that he’s a D – Queen Hotch] co-authored the bill.
Hardy says, “they give a check or a cashiers money order, or electronic one of those three mechanisms is used.” Hardy says the bill is targeted at criminals who steal anything from copper to televisions, and sell them for a quick buck. Having a paper trail will make it easier for law enforcement.
Besides non-profit resellers like Goodwill and garage sales, the language of the bill encompasses stores like the Pioneer Trading Post and flea markets.
We know instinctively that this is a problem, but why? Ace spells it out very nicely:
Here’s the thing: The State could pass a lot of laws to make sure the police always “have a lead” when there is a crime. The State could, if it were permitted to do so, make virtually everything an onerous task involving a digital trail.
Hey, why not mandate that all cars have a chip in them that reports, in real time, the vehicle’s position to a central police computer? That would make it easier for the State to prove a case in some situations.
They don’t see the problem here? Perfect law enforcement is not the end-goal of the State. Guaranteeing freedom is. And yes, that means that some laws you could possibly pass to make it easier to lock up criminals can’t be passed, because you can’t burden a thousand people and reduce their liberty to make sure you have a better criminal case against one thief.
This is also a frightening trend which is accelerating in America. Is it too hard to effectively prosecute the law against some real criminal behaviors? Well, okay, we’ve got a fix for that! We’ll just outlaw all the non-criminal behavior which may be used, occasionally, in furtherance of the criminal behavior we’re actually trying to stop. Now any criminal will be walking a legal minefield even trying to carry out the most basic formerly non-criminal functions necessary to complete his crime!
Uh, yes, and everyone else too.
Every time these suckers nibble away at our freedoms, they excuse it by declaring it “For the Chillrun” or “Stop the Criminals” or “Compassion” but the fact of the matter is our freedom is more important than any of those things. We must quit allowing them to whittle away at us like this. It causes us all to become lawbreakers (seriously, if you were a Cajun, would you insist on paying with a check or credit card at a rummage sale? It’s illegal to use cash if you do it more often than once a month.)
As Albert Einstein said, “Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.”