oops, I couldn't reply in one comment to the earlier comments on last blog post so here goes here...
X Dell, that just makes me sad. It just totally bugs me. I am inconsolable. My nephews were selling organic lemonade in Vancouver (that is SO west coast huh?) and then organic popcorn. since we were there and busking, now they are selling their art outside on their street.
Tif, Um, I seem to recall carrying xmas mugs on streetcar and snacking while we were going out to shop. I have always picked up a snack at the corner store to eat on public transit..and carried snacks for kids on public transit. The Chicago rule means no crackers for babies. No Ensure for ill people, no coffee milk or protein shakes for commuters. We want folks to stop driving and take public transit...when they have to take an hour and half on trains to commute downtown...it seems to make sense to eat breakfast and read a magazine in transit no?
Janet, as a character in an Ivan Doig novel once said "It's against the law to be stupid". We can't legislate manners or thoughtfulness. We try but we just can't. Thats why we have taboos. Some of our lawstry to incorporate these subtle taboo customs but they can't really. peer pressure is one of the best ways to encourage people to clean up. The idea that people pay over $5 to get to and from crappy jobs, they can't drink coffee or eat on the journey and there are very few public garbage bins in cities (cutbacks!) people get messy.
People talk about "job creation" al the time in this horrible economy in the US> We dont need job creation...we just need to put people to these exisitng needs...like conductors. A train conductor or staff is not job creation. It's returning an employee to their original job! it's already created...it's just not filled. More garbage bins, more pick ups more jobs. More staff on public transit...to monitor trash bins and recycle stuff ont he buses etc.
D. that all makes a lot of sense. I can see why the law is there...it seems to be for extra oney and to control the use that eople have of their OWN HOUSES! I believe people should be allowed to make money in their own house. i also think for the most part...these second hand sales have already represented a tax going through the society...we don't really need the tax taken on such small sales, reallY? I also imagine that you can get away with snacking a bit ont he public transit and you're right...its really about jerks being drunk for a lot of the rules.
Mister A, I'm kind of laid back about this sort of stuff. Having grown up on the west coast...the management of gardens and property we have quite a different sensibility about it that big urban centers. Living near Reservations, and small towns....we had a different way of looking at property and goods. It wasn't unusual to keep something stored outside. To keep old parts huddled under tarps near garages for salvaging. in fact salvaging was a whole economy on its own. We might need that later or sell it later. I think it's outrageous not to be able to set up a garage sale at ill. Especially right now in the States. We have garage sales left and right...all over the place because people are broke. They are in debt and pretty screwed up. so garage sale is a great way to organize ones space, get rid of stuff and buy groceries.
I also really really believe that making money out of one's home is one of lifes "rights". I really believe it's a tradition that we've lost. All of Amsterdam and their houses were designed for family life and merchadising. In fact, the design of all those brick houses in Toronto is based on that sensibility of Amsterdam buildings. Of the narrow front of the house for selling and manufacturing goods. Not for a living room. A living room is a contemporary invention. We all used to make and sell goods and trade and barter. I suspect we might see more and more people turn to "cottage industry' because of the major economical crash here in the States. I think it's already happening in some places.
What concerns me about the permits for houses...is not that people won't pay taxes...and you all know, I really believe in taxes....but that it's a general deterent. It's a way of forcing people to work outside the home, to drive, to travel, and work for big business rather than for themselves.
And also under these grim circumstances that so many people are in being so poor right now...a garage sale is such a productive and quick way to generate money. In all the dangerous neighbourhoods if people were making their own legal goods and swapping them bartering, selling....it's a viable alternative to gangs and drugs and changes up the economic competitive environment.