Wednesday, September 26, 2007

that which is not seen

“It’s a little ironic that five years ago the administration was saying we should end recycling because there was no market for it,” said City Councilman Michael E. McMahon, a Staten Island Democrat and chairman of the Council’s Sanitation Committee.'" - NY Times article

Mr. McMahon makes these remarks in regards to a new bill which the city council passed which raises fines for companies caught "stealing" recyclable materials from items put out for collection.

So let me get this straight; it's considered theft for a private individual to take materials left out for recycling collection. But when city employees comb through your trash to collect evidence for whatever nefarious purpose, we're supposed to look the other way?

Anyway, that wasn't my main point.

Man, I just love how pundits and politicians can overlook the costs side of the equation and declare any program a success because there is the appearance of profits. This happens when you ignore the elephant in the room so-to-speak; coercion, and by that logic, robbery too can be considered a profitable business.

Yes it may be appear profitable for third-parties to raid recyclable materials left curbside, but that is only possible once the individuals have already complied with the bureaucratic edicts which threaten their home and hearth for non-compliance. There is no shred of evidence however that individuals would find it profitable to separate recyclables if they weren't already threatened to do so. This being the case, one cannot legitamately speculate whether recycle programs are 'profitable' when the costs have been shifted over on to the individual by mean of coercion.

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