Is McCain Really Saying eBay Will Save The Economy?

from the not-quite... dept

First off, before we get into the details here, I'll state upfront that I have not yet decided who to support in this year's Presidential election. I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I've seen plans from both sides that I find problematic. Still, it bugs me when I see plans from either side mischaracterized, and I believe that's the case with this somewhat mocking criticism of McCain's "jobs plan" as being "the eBay model" (sent in by reader Rose M. Welch). At issue, is the fact that McCain has repeatedly referred to the 1.3 million people around the globe who "make a living off EBay."

As the article notes, the figure is clearly exaggerated. However, many of the other criticisms of what McCain says seems misguided. It seems like a stretch for anyone to think that McCain is suggesting that people will find jobs selling on eBay. Rather, he's using the example of eBay to note that innovation leads to new ways for people to make money -- using the rise of the ecosystem around eBay as an example -- not as the definitive method for creating jobs. And, on that, he's correct. Continued innovation does tend to lead to job growth.

The second part of the criticism that seems incredibly unfounded, is the assertion by a few economists that eBay is just a business model for moving junk around, and that it doesn't add anything to the GDP. This is simply incorrect, and it's really strange that prominent economists would make such an assertion. eBay is about making an efficient market. Plenty of people use it to sell new products, rather than just "junk." And, many of the people who use eBay to "make a living" do so by adding value to products which they then resell. That does add to GDP. eBay is about a lot more than just moving around junk. In fact, a rather large percentage of our GDP is based on taking already built goods, adding value to them and reselling them. To pretend this doesn't happen on eBay is simply incorrect.

Now, before anyone thinks that this means I support McCain's economic positions, I don't. I think his continued disdain for basic economics, and his seeming assumption that economics can be handled by someone else is problematic. And, of course, his proposed gas tax holiday is just downright nutty.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    I thought yesterday, the way to pave the future for America was with new car batteries.
    http://weblogs.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/blog/2008/06/john_mccains_300_million_ca r_b.html

    Seriously, this guy is senile.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    sad times we live in...

    One brain-dead old chump who reportedly uses former Ebay CEO as his economics advisor (!!!) and current Cisco CEO as his IP and tech advisor (!!!) gets critised by another brain-dead punk who has no clue either on a shitty inet blog for lemmings
    Bama is no better btw
    Hell with this elections
    this country is going down

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    sonofdot, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 9:46am

    Few and far between

    And, many of the people who use eBay to "make a living" do so by adding value to products which they then resell.

    Mike, I don't think you've used eBay recently (or maybe ever), have you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Auctions for Income, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 9:54am

    Dave Espino's Auctions for Income

    Someone left the TV on in McCain's nursing home again...

    Here's where the idea came from:
    https://www.auctionsforincome.com

    Watch the video for the lulz!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Bush -- not related, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:09am

    McCain vs eBay

    This reminds me of Dick Cheney's remark in about '03 that, "the economy isn't doing bad, people are making money selling things on eBay..."

    Basically, it reinforces how freaking out of touch this admin (and McCain, who looks to be BushLite, except on Iran where he'll be BushPlus) is with what the average person is struggling with.

    Vote with your pocketbook: Ask yourself if you're better off now than you were in 2000. I know it's taken most of Bush's tenure for my IRA to recover from the hit it took during his first term. So, 8 years of no retirement growth. Isn't wealth accrual supposed to be one of the Republican party's STRENGTHS?

    Bah.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    asf, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:18am

    Re: McCain vs eBay

    its funny how the conservatives no longer live up to their name eh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Ian, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: McCain vs eBay

    I believe you mean republicans no longer live up to their name, not conservatives no longer live up to their name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    cvpunk, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:32am

    Re: sad times we live in...

    "Hell with this elections
    this country is going down"

    riiiiight... because we are just peachy where we are at now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Annoyed, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    Mike, I don't think you've used eBay recently (or maybe ever), have you?

    Do you have some actual statistics for us or are you just spouting off?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Witty Nickname, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:37am

    God Will Destroy Us if McCain Looses

    Think about it, if Obama wins we will be an.... OBAMAnation. (zing)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    milo mclean, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:37am

    McCain on jobs, ebay..

    Even more funny is the way people have great fun making "old and senile" jokes about McCain. It's not about being perfect - it's about being able to run a country. What has Obama ever managed? What is his experience - 6 years in the Illinois legislature (Illinois being known for pristine politics) and even there, voting 'present' much of the time? Afraid to take sides in an issue?
    Ah well..
    "Obama for present"!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    syN-acK, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 10:52am

    Why Ebay?

    I agree with the concept but I don't know why politicians use ebay as an example. A better example woiuld be Microsoft. How many people, jobs, and companies have been created because of the Microsoft products? 14.7 million by their count:
    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/oct07/10-18GlobalIDCStudyPR.mspx

    It's the same economic concept as ebay. Rather than creating an end product in and of itself, you create a framework by which others can make money. The concept is simple, the implementation of it however is much more complex.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    James, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 11:14am

    Re: McCain on jobs, ebay..

    Strange you could question anyone's ability to manage anything considering the monkey we've been saddled with for the last 8 years who hasn't shown he has the ability to manage anything (except scandals, lying, wiretapping, destroying emails, et al).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 11:18am

    McD and McC join to create McFuture.

    The (down to) 40% supporting McCain are the ones who votes for Bush twice and still think he is doing a smashing job of it!. They should not be allowed to vote.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: McCain vs eBay

    I hardly consider the Republican party a conservative party anymore (especially after nominating an idiot liberal like McCain), true Conservatives live up to their names, the problem is there are fewer true conservatives every year. Liberals are taking over, and its going to lead America to it's downfall. Within the next couple of decades once again history will repeat itself and the world will see the most powerful force on the planet destroy itself. Why don't people ever learn from the past?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Wolferz (profile), Jun 25th, 2008 @ 11:33am

    Re: Few and far between

    I have. And yes such items exists. Modded video game consoles come to mind. As do lamps and that have been painted for resale. How about manufacturer refurbished laptops, the added value being that they are as good as a new one for often hundreds of dollars less. Dell actually sells most of it's refurbished laptops this way. There are countless more examples.

    I also purchased my last Creative Labs sound card from eBay... the seller was Creative Labs itself. It was brand new, still in packaging being sold for half price due to overstocking.

    Yes Mike is right about added value and about not all items being leftover "junk."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Reefer, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 11:37am

    Creating value on EBay

    I grow corals that I sell on EBay.

    Hardly shuffling value around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Wolferz (profile), Jun 25th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    Politics makes people stupid

    I think its wonderful how, just because this article mentions a presidential candidate, the end result is political bickering that has little to do with the purpose of the blog or it's main point. Even more wonderful is how we have people here supporting dictatorial methods to what they claim (perhaps rightfully so) to be a dictatorship.

    Oh and yeh, twisting what McCain says to mean something that makes him look stupid is nothing new. That's been going on since the last time he ran. You'd think people would learn how to spot it by now... of course that assumes they want to.

    Politics and religion, two things you never bring up unless your ready to fight about it. Why? Cause they both make otherwise intelligent, rational people both irrationally stupid and stupidly irrational.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    sonofdot, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Few and far between

    That's nice, but how does Dell or Creative Labs selling refurbished items equate to "'making a living' adding value to products which they then resell?" Since when is Creative Labs a person? Where are those "countless more examples" that involve individuals?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

    Re: sad times we live in...

    Please leave your passport on the table on your way out.

    Bye-bye!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Brian, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Why Ebay?

    syN-acK -
    They use Ebay because Ebay allows any person with an internet connection and things to sell to get into business.

    You have to be far more technologically savvy and extra smart to work for Microsoft and for "companies [that] have been created because of the Microsoft products..."

    Plenty of people make a lot of money through Ebay.

    I recently talked to a woman who says (and showed me an income statement) she makes over $2000 a week simply selling via e-mail.

    That's extra cash on top of her full-time job.

    People who sell "junk" sell it for cheaper than they bought it. There are plenty things you may consider "junk" that some would pay a lot for.

    Take out-of-print books. They're just sitting around in your house collecting dust. You decide you're gonna do some house-cleaning. You start one of the books at $0.99 cause you don't think you'll get much for it, and the bidding goes up to $300 for one single book because it's a collectors item.

    Using Ebay is a fantastic way to make money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    OzoneTX, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 1:00pm

    The only option...

    I disagree with any economist that things ebay doesn't add to the economy. Just by enabling business transactions that otherwise would not occur they increase economic activity. Do these guys also think universal healthcare is a good idea?

    On Gas Tax, any decrease in taxes allow the private sector (people and businesses) to spend more. The private sector makes the economy grow. Government activity (at its best) does nothing to interfere with that growth. It's nice for the federal government to offer to lower taxes, hope they still give the states their highway money. :)

    Bottom line, McCain's economic ideas are 30 years ahead of his opponent's. If you are voting your pocketbook there is only one option.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    syN-acK, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Why Ebay?

    I wouldn't argue with the fact that people make money on ebay. I'm just pointing out the fact that companies like Microsoft have created whole industries around them. There are people who make a living just supporting products that other companies created that run on Microsoft. That's three tiers of income from a single product. THAT'S economic innovation at work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    johnny, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 1:36pm

    eventually we will all make a living...

    by selling burgers and fries to each other!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 1:51pm

    wake up punky

    Wake up little punk
    we already have lots of burger flippers with advanced science and engineering degrees
    Better start some training for yourself now !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    sonofdot, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 1:54pm

    Re: wake up punky

    Yep, you better run. You don't want to be late for your shift at McDonald's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 5:44pm

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    Would anyone who knows whats going on expect anything different? McCain has the least amount of money out all these bafoons that are running. To put it simply, HE IS BROKE! Who do you think is funding his whole campaign?? Meg the fucking ugly cunt whitman!! She is creaming in her fucking pants right now just waiting for him to take office! Why? because she is a die hard greedy republican who is running a company that is headed for a disaster zone unless McCain gets in office and returns the favor to keep ebay above water within the law (politcally) of course:) Its all politics people. WAKE THE FUCK UP!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Why Ebay?

    It's also mighty big to suggest that Microsoft is the "creator" of 14.7 million jobs.

    There would possibly be different technology path and the computer would have still existed, but we would all be using Macs today. But at the core, 14.7 million people *were* born, and would probably be in other lines of work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Why Ebay?

    It mighty big for you to suggest that Microsoft is the "sole creator" of 14.7 million jobs.

    A person was born, and well, it doesn't mean they die because Microsoft failed to appear.

    Point is, they would have done "something", jackass.

    Plus, we would probably all have macs or Commodores if Microsoft didn't appear. Get off your horse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 30th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    Re: The only option...

    Do these guys also think universal healthcare is a good idea?

    Well, I don't know about these guys but the people living in countries that have universal healthcare (or close to it) sure think so...

    the rest of your post...do you actually believe most/all of it? Regardless of whether you're convinced of it, or just saying it in the hopes of generating a pro McCain/republican vibe...please, it's simply too transparent and obvious

    You probably think the $600 interest free loan was an awesome idea too?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    gb supporter, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 10:42am

    republicans

    im a republican, die hard conservative, and for some reason i keep feeling like my nuts have been chopped off. its the truth, you can deny it, we the republicans have lost our balls!! were is the regan nation, eh?! with political veiws that help the country, mccains got no real plan, and i would rather die than vote for a baby killing liberal like obama, what am i to do! somone help me please!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    TONY BANG, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 9:43am

    MEDICAL CARE REPLY TO TEXAS OZONE , I MEAN TEXAS ASSHOLE

    ANY ASSHOLE WHO THINKS UNIVERSAL MEDICAL COVERAGE IS NOT RIGHT HOPEFULLY WILL GET AIDS AND OR CANCER AND ALSO ANYBODY IN THEIR FAMILY, AND THEN WHEN THEY GET FUCKED IN THEIR TIGHT ASSHOLE AND CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY THE MEDICAL BILL I WILL BE LAUGHING WHILE THEY ARE CRYING AND DYING AND GETTING A DICK IN THEIR ASS INSTEAD OF A NEEDLE IN THEIR ARM OF NEEDED MEDICATION TO HELP THEM ! AND ON TOP OF THAT WHEN THIS CRIMINAL OF A COUNTRY THREATENS TO TAKE THEIR HOUSE BECAUSE THAY CAN;T PAY THEIR MEDICAL BILL I HOPE YOU GET KICKED AND BEATEN AND STEPPED ON WHEN YOU'RE LIVING ON THE STREET IN THIS SO CALLED WONDERFUL COUNTRY WHO WANTS TO KEEP PEOPLE SICK INSTEAD OF HEALING PEOEPLE ! PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO MY DICK NOT THAT SILLY FLAG WITH STARS AND STRIPES ON IT ! I AM AND WILL ALWAYS BE FOR THE PEOEPLE ANYBODY ON THE OTHER SIDE LIKE A COP OR LAWYER OR JUDGE OR ANY TYPE OF POLITICIAN , I HOPE YOU GET ILL AND DROP DEAD IN FRONT OF ME SO I CAN SPIT ON YOU AND PISS ON YOU AND THEN GIVE YOU A FEW KICKS AND A COUPLE OF SLAPS !
    I AM FUCKING SICK TO MY STOMACH IN REFERENCE TO THIS COUNTRY WHO COULD GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ITS PEOPLE ,,, ITS ALL BULLSHIT AND CHEAP TALK THAT WE CARE WE'LL NEVER FORGET BLAJ BLAH ,,,, WAKE THE FUCK UP PEOPLE ,,, MEN STOP THINKING WITH YOUR DICKS AND WOMEN STOP USING YOUR PUSSY TO GET THROUGH LIFE !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This