Who writes these stupid laws?
Hundreds of ridiculous laws on the books of every state in the country routinely make life harder for businesses and their customers while serving no obvious purpose.
This week we told you that Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) will no longer be able to sell its cars in New Jersey because the automaker's direct sales model runs afoul of a law requiring that vehicles be sold through dealerships.
Tesla fought the law, and the law won. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission voted 6-0 to adopt the rule, which goes into effect April 1.
And stupid laws preventing direct sales of autos aren't unique to New Jersey - Tesla can't sell its cars in Texas or Arizona, either. Ohio, Minnesota, and Georgia could be next. You'd think states would be happy to get the sales tax revenue from cars that go for about $71,000.
These states think it's better to protect the dealerships because their role as the middleman, according to an Associated Press story, "keeps carmakers from fleecing consumers and protects price competition."
What? Obviously these lawmakers have never set foot in an auto dealership.
But what's really exasperating is that stupid laws like this are rampant in America today.
Here are six more stupid laws that give businesses (and everybody else) fits.
Stupid Laws That Drive Businesses Crazy
- Blue Laws: Many states passed so-called "blue laws," mostly from the 1600s through the 1800s, to prohibit various activities on Sundays. Some simply forbade the consumption of alcohol, but many made it illegal for businesses to operate. Amazingly, some of these laws have survived into the 21st century. Car sales are still against the law on Sundays in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan counties with a population of 130,000 or more. Why auto dealers remain singled out is unclear. But perhaps the strictest remaining blue laws are those of Bergen County in New Jersey. Sunday sales of electronics, clothing, and furniture are all forbidden there.
And we're just getting started...
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.