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Massachusetts runs one of the most cynical of all recycling regimes. I studied it in the mid-1980s as I was developing a dissertation topic on deposit-refund systems. It suffers huge transactions costs, and it is designed to do so. Why? Because that way the beverage distributors, and not consumers, are forced to bear the cost. They have to pay redemption fees out of whatever revenue they can glean from unreturned containers. They break even only if redemptions, plus the cost of managing “redemption centers,” is less than the value of deposits collected on unreturned containers. Retailers who must accept returns are paid a pittance of the cost of managing them. So they make it as inconvenient and unpleasant as possible.p>Who bothers to return empties under this sorry regime? The upper middle class Volvopia and the men Shawn Macomber encountered. For the latter, this is a high valued use of time. It generates tax-free cash and an obvious place to spend it. For the former, it is a hugely inefficient use of time but it yields warm feelings about having contributed toward saving the Earth. Vast amounts of Volvo fuel are consumed carting the empties to suburban “redemption centers” — all in order to save resources. That which is sociologically sad on skid row is positively amusing in Lexington and Concord. br> — Richard Belzer /p>
Just finished Shawn Macomber’s piece “Redemption Center”. Wonderful! Welcome, brother and comrade, to the world of Dumpster Diving! We accept you! We accept you! One of us! One of us!
Even Jesus said that the smelly bums will always be with us. Something like that.p>Stay away from the Sterno. br> — Street name ” Sarge ” /p> p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?