California Hosts Gigantic Garage Sale to Raise State Funds


Photo via Locallectual

Can't balance your state's budget? Is a lack of funds causing hard working employees to take pay cuts and unwanted days off? Tired of sending out IOUs to cover your debts? There's only one thing to do: garage sale! Yes, as strange as it might seem, California is trying to solve some of its myriad revenue problems by making a few quick bucks in a massive statewide garage sale. According to the AP,

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is hoping that the "Great California Garage Sale" will turn government clutter like surplus prison uniforms and office furniture into cash to bulk up the state's depleted finances.
The state's maddening budget plight aside, the program actually makes you wonder why such events aren't held more often. State governments are so focused on what they don't have, and what they need additional funding for, you have to wonder what they have too much of. Turns out there's a lot.
On offer as the state clears out clutter are nearly 600 state-owned vehicles and thousands of pieces of office furniture, computers, electronics, jewelry, pianos, even a surf board, a food saver and an Xbox 360 gaming system.
Not to mention surplus prison gear and 15 car visors signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. The Governator himself has been promoting the garage sale avidly, with online videos and promotions. And while there are items for sale that seem questionable as well--"unclaimed state land" is a bit worrisome, I think the general idea is encouraging.

If state and local governments regularly sold their unused stuff at affordable prices, everyone would stand to benefit--it's an efficient implementation of reuse principles. While police departments hold auctions to generate funding, there's never been such a large scale yard sale type event that recycles consumer goods before. We'll have to see how much revenue the Great California Yard Sale generates to see how effective a means of state funding it is, but so far state citizens have been responding positively to the scheme, and such events could become popular. This California resident perhaps says it best:

Tim Craythorn said he plans to return Friday morning with his son to shop for a 35mm camera. He said he supported the garage sale. "The way the economy is right now, it's better to have money in the bank rather than sending things to the junk yard."

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