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Bake Sales And Lemonade Stands?

Just because John Edwards is younger and prettier doesn't mean he's smarter.

PIKETON, Ohio - Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards on Thursday poked fun at Vice President Dick Cheney's claim that economic indicators fail to measure the financial gains of Americans selling items on eBay.

"He said people are selling a lot of stuff on eBay. When we count the bake sales and lemonade stands, we'll have a roaring economy," Edwards told a union hall rally.

Last week in Cincinnati, Cheney told voters that indicators miss the hundreds of thousands who make money selling on eBay. "That's a source that didn't even exist 10 years ago," the vice president said. "Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay.

Earlier in the week he said Cheney's comments show how "out of touch" the Republican ticket is with the American people. It's Edwards who is out of touch. There are thousands (and maybe tens of thousands) of entrepreneurs making a living on eBay. And as for the numbers? What Edwards doesn't mention is that eBay's Gross Merchandise Sales (GMS) for 2003 (the total value of items sold) was $24,000,000,000.00. In the second quarter of 2004 alone the value of goods sold on eBay was $8 billion. That's a lot of money and it's in citizen to citizen sales that economic indicators don't track.

For the year 2004, eBay will likely facilitate that sales of $35-40 billion in goods and services between its users. That doesn't have anything to do with bake sales and lemonade stands - that's a new electronic marketplace open to all, without barriers to entry.

And the John Edwards is belittling it...


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Comments (13)

This would be an interestin... (Below threshold)

This would be an interesting Carnival of the Capitalists entry.

Do the numbers take into ac... (Below threshold)

Do the numbers take into account all the Americans who used to earn a living at swap meets or flea markets and had their livelihoods destroyed by eBay? ;)

Seriously, though, can I assume the $24 billion figure also takes into account the millions of people outside of the United States who use eBay?

I know a woman who was laye... (Below threshold)
Master of None:

I know a woman who was layed off at the end of 2002, and has been earning a living selling antiques on ebay ever since.

I made a few dollars they too while I was unemployed. Ebay is nothing to scoff at.

UPDATE ON LIBERAL THUGGERY:... (Below threshold)


-The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades believes in the fundamental right for civil discourse, freedom of speech and activism to support our candidates and issues.

What happened in Huntington, West Virginia yesterday is an affront to everything we, as a union, pride ourselves to represent. We extend our apologies to the Parlock family, especially Sophia, for the distress one of our overzealous members caused them.

I have personally taken steps to address this issue internally, and will take immediate disciplinary action to the fullest extent allowed under U.S. Department of Labor regulations and the constitution of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

It is my hope that this incident reminds all of our members that every last citizen in this country has the right to express his or herself freely. Not one single one of us has the right to tell them otherwise.

General President James A. Williams
The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

- Apparently some actions are too aggregious even for the terminally glandular left...

- Musch more likely it didn't hurt that there was a ground swell of conservative construction company owners threatening to stop doing business with IUPAT suporting companies ... Ahh the power of the pocketbook...The most ardent ideologies fall away quickly when the rent is at stake...

Not to mention the millions... (Below threshold)
Chris W.:

Not to mention the millions (billions?) of shipping dollars Ebay is responsible for generating.

I sell CDs from time to time and in many cases shipping / handling costs more than the item itself.

I have a friend who quit he... (Below threshold)

I have a friend who quit her day job, because she needed more time to devote to her eBay business. It pays considerably more than her other job did.

One "nuance" of the Cheney ... (Below threshold)

One "nuance" of the Cheney comments is that Ebay isn't just a person-to-person marketplace any more. It's no longer just the "little people" who trade on Ebay. Large corporations such as HP, KitchenAid, Dell, Disney, Sharper Image, Jewelry Auctions TV, Sears and WalMart (to name a few) also trade on Ebay.

So, not only is John Edwards dismissing the "little people" but also the huge contributions that established corporations like those above have made to the GDP and to ebay.

Heh. I've relieved a couple... (Below threshold)

Heh. I've relieved a couple of those corporations of some of their "reconditioned" merchandise.

Cheney's just making up pho... (Below threshold)
Paul Zrimsek:

Cheney's just making up phony eBay "jobs" to try to distract your attention from the millions of real Pets.com jobs that have been lost since 2000.

Soon as Edwards wakes up to... (Below threshold)

Soon as Edwards wakes up to just how much money is in the e-bay system- there'll be a new legal sub-specialty---sueing suppliers for "mail-practice"

I know I wasn't in the Nat... (Below threshold)

I know I wasn't in the National Guard to avoid going to Vietnam; instead I joined the Naval Reserve to avoid going to Vietnam and when I got called up to go, I did everything I knew to get out of it. See I was privileged, too. I never thought they'd call on me - big mistake #1. And when I was out protesting against the war and talking to Congress about what was going on there, I was still in the Navy Reserves collecting a pay check, so with no job, I decided the best thing to do was put down the real guys who enlisted to go to Vietnam. Some gave all; all gave some. Not me, I hid.

there is a interesting econ... (Below threshold)
Eric Pobirs:

there is a interesting economic benefit to eBay. There have always been a certain number of people operating in an underground economy that live fairly well but have a reported income the lower brackets. The effectiveness of eBay has drawn a lot of those people into the open. They still evade taxes directly but thanks to eBay's fees they end up contributing to the tax base indirectly.

eBay is the worlds most transparent marketplace and would have a very difficult time evading taxes itself. As a result a major portion of the underground economy has been restored to the tax base. This may be a big contributor to the lower than expect deficit figures.

It's a major distortion in ... (Below threshold)
Ric Locke:

It's a major distortion in two ways. Entrepreneurs, especially small-time ones, generally show up as unemployed despite making a living (or better) at their businesses. I've a friend who's a farrier and horse trainer; he and his wife are almost certainly counted as unemployed, but they aren't doing too badly.

And regardless of verbal smokescreens, the Democrats see themselves as the party of what the Marxists call the "proletariat" -- people who get their living by being employed by capitalists. Unfortunately for the Democrats, people who go into business for themselves tend to swing Republican after a while, especially if they're fairly successful. Not a good trend for the Democrats. Funny, Marx said the workers should own the means of production. When it finally starts happening, all they can do is complain about it...

Ric Locke
PS Eric, thanks for the speculation. I hadn't thought of that, and I should have.






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