Friday, April 22, 2005

Look out, Oregonians

Your state is thinking about protecting you again.

You know that peculiar hat you got you got from Great-aunt Velma from a store in the same chain as Meier & Frank? You know how M&F kindly accepted it as a return and issued you a $24 gift card, of which you've gotten around to spending $20 (or even the whole $20, if you haven't gotten around to that yet)?

Well, Senate Bill 845, affectionately known as "Uncle Charlie the moocher," says that since you're not using that $4, he can keep it for you, safe from all those maurauding gift-card suckers, also known as the issuing businesses. He'll just invest the money and collect the interest until you ask for your money back. Unless you forgot to ask to spend that $4 for the next three years, in which case, Oops!, Uncle Charlie sucked it dry himself.

Let's see. This is the party that doesn't like the anti-privacy provisions in the Patriot Act, but they're going to keep track of the funds on all my gift cards? They'd have to add another department for bookkeeping alone. -- provided that the businesses didn't simply stop issuing gift cards in the state.

"It's for the children," is always the excuse.

Thanks, Uncle Charlie. If I want to give it to the children, I'll spend my own $4 on them.

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