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Fake Rolexes

The New York Times has an article about a proposed bill that would make it a misdemeanor to buy fake designer merchandise. If the bill passes, violators could face a $1,000 fine, a year in jail, or both.

Councilwoman Margaret S. Chin, the author of the bill, knows that customers are not being fooled:

"People who want a designer handbag, Ms. Chin added, should consider buying the real thing. 'What happened to the traditional value of saving up for something you really want that's valuable?' she asked. 'If you really like it, save money to buy the real thing.'"

The fact that people are not being fooled is also implicit in the plan to punish buyers of fake merchandise -- presumably for knowingly buying it.

The reason for the bill? "Ms. Chin's office said the counterfeit trademark industry cost the city $1 billion a year in tax revenue."

Nobody is being fooled into buying fake stuff, but the people who are buying $10 Rolexes will start buying real ones if the fake ones aren't available?
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