Friday, September 11, 2009
Peaceful Anarchy Proposed to Keep the Flea Market a Free Market
In a surprising move, Spartanburg City Council imposed sales taxes and book keeping regulations on local flea market vendors. Spartanburg Flea Market was once known as the Thunderbird, and a drive-in movie theater before that. The vendors are very upset and some have joined together in taking on City Council to keep their flea market a free market.
"This will hardly make it worth setting up shop." complains Tim Conners, a long time vendor of collectible cassette tapes, velvet Elvis paintings, and personalized air brushed T-shirts. "I'm out here barely scraping by as it is, they'll wipe me out with taxes by the end of the first quarter, how will I be able to afford to restock my Elvis art, or my tapes? I'm ruined if this thing goes through."
Matt Carter over at the removable tattoo parlor and peanut shack is worried this spells the end of the flea market itself. "No one will survive this transition. They expect us to get licensed and file paperwork, even if I could read I'd still be opposed to it."
Many of the vendors are rising to the challenge presented by the city and proposing just as drastic measures on the Council as are being imposed upon themselves. "We're forcing a vote for peaceful anarchy to be in effect immediately in the city." said Susan Bowers, a long time seller of porcelain nick-nacks and live chickens. "It's doubtful the Council will vote in favor of the change, but it shows them the extremes of the position they are putting us in, only reversed basically."
Catching up with Sarah Blanchard, a Spartanburg City Council board member, "Of course we'll vote against it. You really think we'd vote ourselves out of power? We'd have to, ya know, find real jobs like everybody else if that were the case." she said just before hopping in her sporty new Maserati and speeding off.
What the proposal does though is buy the vendors a little more time. The Councils regulations can't take effect until the counter proposal is addressed, and it's sure to bring some light to the destruction of what is possibly the last working example of a truly localized free market. The city is in a desperate attempt to gain slightly more revenue, but this is only bringing them unexpected opposition.
"I see the government as a kind of Robinhood," remarked a rollerskating dwarf named Bongo who often break dances and juggles for the shoppers while passing around the hat. "except where Robinhood steals from the rich and gives to the poor, the government steals from the poor too. Keep the flea market a free market enterprise or I won't be able to do this anymore." he said just before twirling around on one skate and flipping into a handstand to the applause of the crowd that had gathered.
It would be a shame to lose the only place in town where you can buy an old ice cream churn, original 16-bit Nintendo games, and live poultry all in one convenient stop on an early Saturday morning. The peaceful anarchy proposal will hopefully be addressed in the City Council meeting next week, but until then all the vendors, and the future of the free market flea market, is up in the air.