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Up for sale

Whenever someone says that “things were better/worse in my day, or back in the year Zog”, it is always good to ask for specifics. And over at the Volokh Conspiracy blog, which focuses on legal issues, they ask this:

“….–can you think of other things (along the lines of marriage and indentured servitude) where things used to be for sale (expressly or implicitly) and today they are not?”

Some of the comments are hilarious. One guy points out that you cannot pay to watch dwarf tossing any more, at least not legally. I guess not.

14 comments to Up for sale

  • What are the biggest bargains in people or things that are for sale? People or things that don’t know they are for sale. Know your price point….

  • Never ever sell yourself
    For other than a lot of pelf.

  • There’s an interesting comment about child labour in there, pointing out its benefits. This would probably be blogworthy if I could find time to do some research. I’m sure people imagine sending them up chimneys and losing limbs cleaning under weaving machines but I realise I have no idea what the law today does and doesn’t allow children to do. It might be that it works solely by forcing them to go to school.

  • I just followed your link to the Volokh Conspiracy, and could find no comments for that question. I suspect a commenter blew some administrator’s circuits.

  • Alisa

    The comments are there.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    People had better Integrity in the Good Old Days! Now we have a Real-Estate company called Integrity. Seeing all those ‘Integrity- For Sale’ signs is a worrying reminder of the collapse of public morality. We’re all doomed, I tell you……

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    I remember seeing a poster in a bus shelter – I think it was sponsored by UNICEF.

    It read “Every child should have the right to play…..” and was part of their campaign to ban child labour. When phrased in those terms who could argue? Those heartless brown peoples of the world are preventing their children from playing – how awful!! It is incumbent on the civilised people’s of the world to intervene immediately!!

    Still, I’m not sure actively banning their family’s sole breadwinner from working will really improve their situation…

    Do you ever get the impression that do-gooding statists don’t think their campaigns through to the end before embarking on them?

  • Laird

    Nuke, regarding the “Intregity” real estate company: Where I live there is an income tax preparation chain called (I kid you not) “Liberty Tax Services”. They often have some poor guy dressed in a Statue of Liberty costume outside waving at passing cars. Talk about oxymorons . . . .

  • Dear Alisa -

    I’ll take your word that the comments are there – I can’t get comments on any of the Volokh threads. I have enough don’t-bother-me software on Firefox (NoScript, AdBlock, DoNotTrack) to be the problem. Can’t get the comments on Internet Explorer, either. I’ll try a different, less protected, computer. Guess it adds up to collateral damage …

  • the other rob

    The Volokh conspiracy recently switched to Disquss, for comments.

    I suspect that Ellen is running an ad-blocker which is, well, blocking them.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Ellen, Alisa, the other rob – Volokh Conspiracy uses DisQus, and DisQus requires JavaScript. If you are running Noscript, you will not see DisQus comments unless you enable Javascript for the site.

    However, Noscript allows selective enabling of Javascript.

  • Alisa

    Sorry, Ellen – I didn’t mean to sound dismissive.

  • Paul Marks

    Everything from light bulbs to firearms used to be for sale – and now are not legal.

    And nor has banning drugs and sex-for-money got rid of these things – it has just handed them over to savage criminals.

  • Laird

    To follow up on Paul’s point, there’s an endless list of things which are prohibited (“not for sale”) in the US which used to be routinely available. And not just things like recreational drugs (which used to be freely available at any pharmacy) or human slaves, but mundane things like toilets which actually flush, shower heads which actually dispense enough water to properly rinse you, phosphate-containing laundry detergents which really clean clothes, washing machines which work, leaded gasoline which permits internal combustion engines to properly burn their fuel, insecticides and pest control poisons which serve their intended purpose, etc., etc. These things all have their roots in the “environmental movement” and the ever-expanding powers of the EPA.