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California Getting Embarrassingly Desperate

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8230119.stm

Arnie's garage sale raises $1.5m

A "garage sale" organised by Arnold Schwarzenegger to raise money to help reduce California's budget deficit has raised more than $1.5m (£925,000).

Hundreds of people attended the main sale in Sacramento, where everything from former police cars to watches confiscated from criminals were sold.

A number of cars and motorcycles were signed by Mr Schwarzenegger himself, who is the state governor.

However, reports said that in some cases this did not help boost prices.

One Californian resident who attended the Great Californian Garage Sale told the AP news agency that he objected to state officials increasing the sale price of a BMW motorcycle from $2,200 to $3,000 because it had been signed by Mr Schwarzenegger.

"It's graffiti," said Alex Wingate.

Six hundred formerly state-owned vehicles and 6,000 pieces of office furniture, computers, and other items went under the hammer during the two-day event.

While the main sale was held in Sacramento, some products - such a leather jacket autographed by Mr Schwarzenegger - were auctioned on websites eBay and Craigslist.

Attendees to the main auction, which took place at a warehouse, were warned that the building was not air-conditioned, and therefore to "dress appropriately for the heat and take precautions".

Mr Schwarzenegger's administration is continuing efforts to trim California's $26bn budget deficit.

Last month, it passed a cost-cutting budget, including reduced funding for schools and colleges, prisons and state healthcare provision.

garage-sale.jpg

It's going to take a little more than that to knock of those 26 billion but at least they're making a start. We could learn from that and have a "national sell your junk to foreigners via eBay day" with "for cost" royal mail postage deals.

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