We Will Now Dedicate this Blog Completely to Discussions About Municipal Waste

Radley Balko thinks I am a big fat hypocrite, enough so to discuss this at length at the Premiere Online Resource for Libertarian Thought, Reason, because:

1.) I was pissed off when I woke up to tractors digging up my backyard with no advanced warning.
2.) I think it is funny when teabaggers go insane and scream socialism when their elected local government holds an open bidding process to assign a residential trash contract. SOCIALISM! TRASHCARE! MY RIGHTS!

Only he takes about 1200 words to day it. This is why Atlas Shrugged is a 1200 page paperback.

*** Update ***

My bad, he uses 1208 words according to word count. Just to be specific, as Radley points out there was no ACTUAL rioting, so I don’t want to be accused twice of being wrong on the facts.

298 replies
  1. 1
    Dennis SGMM says:

    We Will Now Dedicate this Blog Completely to Discussions About Municipal Waste

    This move will catapult BJ to #1 on the Top Ten list.

  2. 2
    Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    Somalia. Thank you.

  3. 3
    jrg says:

    Only he takes about 1200 words to day it

    Spill chicken work good. Need grandma chicken.

  4. 4
    Jrod says:

    But, but, but, those both involved the government, which makes both situations exactly the same!

  5. 5
    J says:

    Yep, the contradiction is glaring. The only possible ground for objecting to something (a) government does is that all government, everywhere and at all times is wrong. It couldn’t be that this action by this government isn’t what a government ought to be doing (by contrast with the things is should be doing).

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:

    You should have included a picture of Grover.

  7. 7

    I’m glad because now we’ll never discuss Palin again. Now she’s in some pissing match with a WSJ reporter. Why anyone takes her seriously is beyond me.

    I hope she doesn’t weigh in on the trash pickup issue.

  8. 8
    Tom Hilton says:

    And what Radley Balko misses completely is that it wasn’t even about the service at all; it was a visceral uninformed ideologically-driven reaction to recycling. Which word does not appear even once in the 1,208.

  9. 9
    quaint irene says:

    This is why Atlas Shrugged is a 1200 page paperback. fuckin’ doorstop.

    Fix-ee.

  10. 10
    jacy says:

    I still don’t get where a contract is a monopoly. Somalia, indeed.

    And if Balko had to forgo the use of strawmen, circular reasoning, and false equivalencies, the post would be far, far shorter.

  11. 11
    cleek says:

    another libertarian who thinks a publicly-bid, time-limited contract is a monopoly. yay.

    and leave it to a libertarian thinker to completely disregard the cost, the noise, the traffic, the additional wear and tear on roads, and the fact that this is exactly the kind of decision democratically elected city councils are supposed to make.

    and when they build houses, do they refuse to sign contracts with subcontractors? wouldn’t that create monopolies?

  12. 12
    Kryptik says:

    Obviously, municipal works as a whole are da debil and should be outlawed. But remember, private companies can be held accountable by simply shunning the bad apples, as bad apples will always be self-corrected, unlike that evil soshuilzt municipal works stuff which never is held accountable by things like firings and lawsuits and things like that.

  13. 13
    WyldPirate says:

    I want me some of that spell chickin. I needs me some of it.

    Plus, Radly Balko is a fucking idiot except when he’s not. He does have some of the traits of the “good” Libertarians–he gives the legal system hell about ganja and he roughs up the cops for smacking people around and Tasering people to death.

    The things that ruin Libertarians is their money-grubbing stinginess they appropriated from the Rethugs. That leads to the fatal thought flaw that almost all Libertards and Rethugs have–they think THEY are the sole responsible people and that THEY can take care of themselves and don’t NEED any help.

    Little do they know how fucking hubristic that mindset is. There are few people in the US or the world–maybe the top 1% in the US–who can skate through almost any unfortunate event that can happen to one’s life without outside assistance. The rest of us–not so much. The rest of us go through our lives just one blink-of-an-eye instant from total dependency on others. We avoid these situations for the most part, simply due to chance.

  14. 14
    Ross Hershberger says:

    Thank God for Trashgate. It’s taking my mind off of last Tuesday.

  15. 15
    aimai says:

    @cleek:

    No contractors, either, because that would be central planning. Instead each day’s work begins with a talking circle and a talking rock. Decisions about what will be done are arrived at consensually or at the point of a gun. Costs can be slippery, using this system, but we value the freedom it gives us to renegotiate all the contracts on the fly. Sometimes a guy is driving down the street with materials that are substantially cheaper than those the government wants me to use and I can totally take advantage of the savings.

    aimai

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    Why is it that Libertarians are so verbose? Is it really necessary to use thousands of words to express what amounts to nothing more than “Me, me, me!”?

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    Can the Libertopians just move to Somalia already and leave the US to the grownups so we can put those things we learned in kindergarten, like sharing and cooperation, into practice.

  18. 18
    chopper says:

    i was actually waiting for someone to bring that up.

    these guys are just proving the whole point all over again, which is that given the chance, libertarians will always – always – miss the point entirely.

  19. 19
    bjacques says:

    You know who else got the trash picked up on time?

    So stick out your can…’cause I’m the Garbageman!

  20. 20
    aimai says:

    @jacy:

    And if Balko had to forgo the use of strawmen, circular reasoning, and false equivalencies, the post would be far, far shorter.

    Hey! Its a feature, not a bug. Why are you against full employment of strawmen?

    aimai

  21. 21
    cleek says:

    @aimai:
    exactly.

    (i lost that bit about homebuilding during an edit. oops! oh wait, some of it showed up. woah)

  22. 22
    The Dangerman says:

    If there was similar outrage over a sole source contract with Haliburton, I’d wake up and pay attention.

    Since there wasn’t, isn’t, and will never be , fuck ’em.

  23. 23
    gmf says:

    I went over to reason & read their comments.

    Then I came back here and read the comments.

    When I was in high school & we played our cross-town rivals in football, the night before the game, we’d drive past each other’s hang-outs and throw eggs at folks.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @beltane:

    Why is it that Libertarians are so verbose? Is it really necessary to use thousands of words to express what amounts to nothing more than “Me, me, me!”?

    They’re just following Rand’s example. Besides, some of them are probably paid by the word.

    dms

  25. 25
    chopper says:

    for a bunch of guys who think that everyone needs to work more and harder, libertarians sure have a fuckin’ lot of time on their hands.

  26. 26
    p.a. says:

    Libertarians’ laments about the effect of undue influence on the political/economic sphere remind me of Lewis Black’s comment on the anti-carb anti-bread movement, “Imagine that. We’ve been eating the wrong thing for all of human history !

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    I have a broken dishwasher and some old garage doors that I am finding very hard to dispose of in the libertarian paradise I live in. Perhaps one of the guys at Reason would like them, as I hear Galt’s Gulch is decorated with all manner of industrial refuse.

  28. 28
    Ross Hershberger says:

    Brainstorm. A TV reality show based on Libertarian principles. Lock 10 Libertarians into a condo development and make them live solely by what they espouse.
    Black comedies are doing well in the ratings. I see a winner here.

  29. 29
    jacy says:

    @aimai:

    Why are you against full employment of strawmen?

    There must be cornfield somewhere in need of protection.

  30. 30
    cleek says:

    i’m pissed that i can’t choose which sewage treatment plant i use for our upstairs toilets. i’m OK with the service for our downstairs toilet, but i think i can do better, upstairs. nor can i choose which water supply my house uses. nor can i choose which electric company’s wires i have coming into my house. nor can i choose who paves the roads i want to use to drive to work.

    halp halp my liberty is being trampled.

  31. 31
    Culture of Truth says:

    So would trash collectors be licensed? Or could anyone set up shop? Could trash be dumped anywhere? Or would there be a government monopoly on the landfill?

  32. 32
    Jrod says:

    One of the many annoying things about libertarians is their ridiculous belief that they are the only ones who really think things through. I don’t think I’ve ever read one of their screeds that didn’t make a point of whining that the only reason anyone could ever draw a different conclusion from them is a lack of thought.

    This wouldn’t be so annoying if every one of those screeds didn’t also ignore inconvienient facts and make idiotic assumptions about human nature and disregard pretty much all of human history in favor of some all-important ideology pulled from a bitter callow drunkard’s ass.

  33. 33
    freelancer says:

    I can’t remember who said it yesterday in the OP on this topic, but they nailed it (I’m paraphrasing here, I might mangle the quote a bit):

    Libertarianism means every molehill is a Mountain you have to be willing to die on.

    He’s using words in the post like “Fascism” and it has a vague subtext of gumbint oppression. It’s all about the supremacy of “principle” and no acknowledgement of nuance or depth. FFS, we’re talking about whoever picks your trash up causing the colors on the flag run and making us all “Less free”.

    Go back to railing against the DEA and Police overreach. We’ll pay attention to the posts, cause you know, lives hang in the balance.

  34. 34
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @WyldPirate: I want to know if these people rejected their mother’s tit at birth. Or did their parents present a bill after every dinner. Otherwise they’re just full-on socialists.

  35. 35
    Jewish Steel says:

    Libertarian “common sense” appeals could deforest Canada.

    But this is an interesting question. Quien es mas verboso? The left or the right?

    And can any implications be drawn from a definitive answer?

  36. 36
    themann1086 says:

    Does he seriously compare Cole being pissed about his government digging in his backyard without informing him to a bunch of teabaggers protesting a publicly-made decision to add curbside recycling?

    Libertarianism makes you stupid, indeed

  37. 37
    MikeJ says:

    I’m not getting out of the boat, but is Balko’s argument that straw-Cole luvluvluvs big gubmint telling him what to do therefore he should believe that the gubmint and all those it contracts with to dig for power lines are infallible?

  38. 38
    Ross Hershberger says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Quien es mas verboso?

    To judge by the word-gusher that is DKos the Left is ahead in that arms race. Wordswordswords… I had to stop reading that site because my arms got tired from winnowing out all the chaff.

  39. 39
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    One excavates a trench with a ‘back-hoe’. One tills a field with a ‘tractor’. Don’t get me started.

  40. 40
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @cleek:

    this is exactly the kind of decision democratically elected city councils are supposed to make

    When they have time to spare from the more important business of liquidating the kulaks…

    Speaking of which, is anybody else out there reading Bloodlands?

  41. 41
    Antonius says:

    I for one welcome our new trash-compacting overlords.

  42. 42
    MikeJ says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: I excavate a trench and till a field with the same tool: a contract.

  43. 43
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @beltane:

    Why is it that Libertarians are so verbose?

    Because there’s no such thing as too much masturbation.

  44. 44
    aimai says:

    @Jrod:

    Call it “Jrod’s Law” “Every libertarian thinks he is the only person who has ever thought these ideas, in this detail, in the entire history of the world.”

    aimai

  45. 45
    Nick L says:

    From Balko’s screed (because for some reason I actually bothered to read it):

    “Most notably, if you think city officials customarily hand out contracts based solely on merit, considering only what’s best for their constituents, and only after carefully considering a variety of bids, especially when it comes to sanitation, well, there’s a man in a jumpsuit waiting at the diner who’d like to make you an offer that you can’t refuse.”

    He then links to a “mob sanitation” search on Google.

    Seriously? That’s his argument?

    Yes, it’s bad when the city gets involved with the Mafia in anything, even in sanitation. But this is such a ridiculous non sequitur that – well, it reminded me that I was reading Reason. When your entire argument can be deflated by “yes, but what if the city government isn’t in cahoots with the Mafia?” it may be time to reconsider your logic. Besides, how would a more private enterprise-ish solution fix this problem? Wouldn’t it just make it worse?

    Gah. Too. Much. Fucking. Stupid.

  46. 46
    jacy says:

    The problem with arguments like this from Balko and ED Kain, is that while Balko has said some important things in the past and I probably agree with Kain about 80% of the time, when they double-down on something so ridiculous-on-its-face and seem to be intentionally ignoring the original point in a race to toward libertarian candyland, you start to wonder if they aren’t actually just too obtuse and bone-headed to be worth your time and attention in the first place.

    This is why we end up talking past each other.

  47. 47
    goblue72 says:

    Its pretty simple. In Tea-bertarian land:

    Contract to buy widgets between two private parties = Awesome liberty of the free market

    Contract to buy widgets between the government and a private party = Freedom-hating soshulist monopolies

    These people are morons and E.D. Kain, while occassionally surfacing from his fevered dreams, has the default position of a moron. This is what happens when you understand the world as a series of ideologically derived abstractions, rather than discrete, specific phenomenom. In other words, its always been a battle between the religionists and the scientists. These peoples heads would explode if anyone tried to explain quantum mechanics to them.

  48. 48
    Jrod says:

    @MikeJ: No, he argues that both situations are similar, therefore Cole is a hypocrite to complain about one while mocking those who complain about the other.

    Which is, I think, quite a bit dumber than you thought.

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    @Ross Hershberger:

    Brainstorm. A TV reality show based on Libertarian principles. Lock 10 Libertarians into a condo development and make them live solely by what they espouse.

    If MSNBC ran this show in place of those prison shows, their ratings would improve. I’d totally watch this just for the whining that would no doubt ensue within the first 24 hours.

  50. 50
    Tax Analyst says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Libertarian “common sense” appeals could deforest Canada.

    But this is an interesting question. Quien es mas verboso? The left or the right?

    And can any implications be drawn from a definitive answer?

    Well, I could go on and on about that.

  51. 51
    Suck It Up! says:

    OT: NJ has to pay 271 million dollars for the canceled tunnel project! Speaking of missed ops – did Christie eventually get the Race To The Top money?

    I’m going to be watching to see how he uses hat 100 million dollar gift from Facebook.

    http://www.northjersey.com/new.....nnel_.html

  52. 52
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Antonius:

    I for one welcome our new trash-compacting overlords.

    Mission Accomplished in Operation Trashy Freedom!

  53. 53
    John PM says:

    This whole discussion has gotten me to thinkin’ (g’s are for elites). If trash pick-up is such a violation of our rights, then surely trash depositing must be as well. Why should the government tell us where we can dump our trash. Clearly, if there were ten landfills in an area, the competition would lead to lower prices and more efficiency. It is time to get the government out of our landfills!

  54. 54
    Punchy says:

    @gmf: You had a drive-by egging? Was it plaguing L.A.? Did they hit your cousin Esa?

  55. 55
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Speaking of which, is anybody else out there reading Bloodlands?

    I am.

    Not a good bedtime book.

  56. 56
    Quicksand says:

    Can this blog be #1 in BOTH municipal waste collection AND skull-fucking kittens? That might be too much to ask for.

  57. 57
    MikeJ says:

    @John PM: I know you meant that as a joke, but if you repeat it in earnest at Reason(sic) you’ll find many who will agree.

  58. 58
    suzanne says:

    This is why Atlas Shrugged is a 1200 page paperback industrial-size package of toilet paper.

    FTFY.

  59. 59
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @John PM: And people should be able to open one up in their back yard. If their neighbors cannot understand the principles of free enterprise, then they can move.

  60. 60
    jacy says:

    @John PM:

    Funny thing, but if you follow any libertarian line of reasoning to its real-world end conclusion, you end up with the same thing. Chaos.

  61. 61
    Matt T. says:

    @WyldPirate:

    he gives the legal system hell about ganja and he roughs up the cops for smacking people around and Tasering people to death.

    Yet weed’s still illegal and cops still smack people around and Taser them with relative impunity. Gotta drive the guy nuts, ya reckon?

  62. 62
    cat48 says:

    I never thought about garbage removal until the last 2 days as I just accepted whatever service was available in the community I lived in. I’ve had private & govt. and they were equally competent. The private services available tended to do a lot more than a govt service, but they were also more expensive in the area I lived in. They had to be more expensive b/c they would pick up anything you placed at the curb…..couches, mattresses, etc. It never ceased to amaze me what they would take. If one threw away a lot of bulky objects, they might prefer private. My govt service now will also pick up some bulky items, but only at scheduled times abt once a month.

  63. 63
    bloodstar says:

    Maybe i’m the only frakking libertarian who really doesn’t give a flip about the whole municipal waste crap. Talk about a nontroversy, you’re all just sitting around slavering at the change to knock all the libertarians with your own strawman crap. Somalia indeed.

    And yeah, I’m sure it’s part of the great interweb tradition to express outrage(!) whenever you get a chance and to find all sorts of excuses to continue to beat a dead horse. But I say again, besides making yourself feel a bit better about the superiority of your political system over that mythical ‘libertarian.’ what’s the frakking point?

    I feel like William Shatner at a trekkie convention.

  64. 64
    Sly says:

    You clearly don’t know your George Washington, Cole. He once wisely remarked:

    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.”

    Which is why, today, we should avoid all government. Just like we avoid all forms of combustion.

  65. 65
    suzanne says:

    @MikeJ:

    I excavate a trench and till a field with the same tool: a contract.

    Monopolist.

  66. 66
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Ross Hershberger:

    I feel like GOS took a big dive in quality last summer. I think it’s rebounded a bit but the commentariat there, ah, how shall I put this delicately? They’re idiots.

    @Tax Analyst:

    To paraphrase the ephors, “could.”

  67. 67
    Ann B. Nonymous says:

    Has no one been tasered by the police into seizures lately? no Podunk SWAT team accidentally bulldoze the wrong house? no cop shoot a dog for looking at him cross-eyed?

    Radley Balko, you have better things to do with your time. Get yourself a sense of proportion, and read what Adam Smith said about the division of labor. I seem to recall his example was about the making of pins.

  68. 68
    R. Porrofatto says:

    @Nick L: What makes it even stupider is that in many cities it’s the private carting services that are most likely to be mobbed up, city-run sanitation services not so much. So whether it’s the city or the property owner contracting with them, choice ain’t really much of an option.

  69. 69
    cleek says:

    in the future, when competition in trash collection is outlawed, only outlaws will drive garbage trucks. and they’ll revel in their freedom on Sundays, eluding the eye of the State, far outside the Wire, where their white-haired uncle waits. they’ll go barreling down the country roads in their brilliant red Eurocargo 180E28s. shifting, grinding gears, backup beeping, straining the limits of machine and men, hot metal and oil. the scent of sour milk, cat shit and spoiled chicken from years past wafting into the cabin.

    freeedommm!

    (drum solo)

  70. 70
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Ross Hershberger:

    Brainstorm. A TV reality show based on Libertarian principles. Lock 10 Libertarians into a condo development and make them live solely by what they espouse

    On first reading I thought you meant to say the name of the show would be “Brainstorm.”

    And now that I consider it, that’s exactly what it should be called.

  71. 71
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Given the new charter of the blog, it might be time to throw in [heh, heh] some facts about NYC trash collection. Residential trash is removed by uniformed municipal employees (NYC Dept. of Sanitation), paid for out of general funds raised by taxation. Sanitation workers are unionized, and are paid (as best I can recall) 90% of the wage scale of firefighters and police officers, which allows for a living middle-class wage for a lot of people. Commercial trash (office buildings, restaurants, etc.) is removed by private trash haulers, of which there are many, each in theory competing for contracts with the various businesses. While some has cleaned up [heh, heh] with the mega-corps like BFI and Wast Management, much is still in the hands of smaller companies which “compete” for business in the more time-honored way of walking in, and saying “you will sign a contract with Sal, here, for trash removal, and that way your restaurant doesn’t burn down.”

    Deciding which method is better is left as an exercise for the reader.

  72. 72
    bloodstar says:

    What really gets me furious, is while everyone here and over at theagitator is talking about trash, no one is talking about the ruling today that there will be no charges against people for destroying the tapes of the interrogation and torture of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashir.

    In the end, we’re all on the same team, even if we’re not always in agreement.

  73. 73
    Rommie says:

    Wait’ll the topic turns to where the garbage ends up. It’ll be such a shock, how Grover’s Canyon doesn’t appreciate Galt’s Gulch dumping trash nearby.

  74. 74
    JR says:

    Blithely declaring, as E.D. did, that “competition keeps innovation up and prices down” doesn’t make it true in all circumstances, and where it prevents services (like curbside recycling) from reaching efficiency for any individual firm, it actually adds to costs. Inefficient competition reduces the likelihood that a firm or municipality can exploit economies of scale by keeping the per unit/customer costs too high to allow for innovation. As he later admitted, multiple firms acting inefficiently leads to unnecessary pollution and other negative externalities. And for all the bluster about liberty, John was absolutely right that allowing voters to make decisions about government at the local level is a key component of American liberty.

    Government is the facilitator of collective action, because collective action is more likely to produce positive outcomes than individualism in any number of instances–waste management certainly seems to be among them. As is education. As is mass transit. As is law enforcement.

    The end result in this community is likely to be that the residents pay less for more services. If it isn’t, then they can rebid the contract, or replace the elected officials. That’s how America is supposed to work. Unless we’ve started to take “Snow Crash” as the model for what America should look like, this pseudo-anarchist obsession with reflexively opposing all things government really needs to stop, and we need to stop encouraging those who engage in it.

  75. 75
    Culture of Truth says:

    They may take mah kitty litter…. but they’ll never tak mah freeedooommm!!!!!

  76. 76
    clone12 says:

    Seriously, what is up with libertarians and low information-to-words ratio?

  77. 77
    Chyron HR says:

    @bloodstar:

    Talk about a nontroversy, you’re all just sitting around slavering at the change to knock all the libertarians with your own strawman crap.

    Yes, of course criticizing the actual behavior and beliefs of actual people is “strawman crap”.

    Balloon Juice Status: TOLD

  78. 78
  79. 79
    Ash Can says:

    Yes, because digging a hole in your yard with no advance notice and fucking up your pine trees is EXACTLY THE SAME as coming around once a week and hauling your trash away.

    ::headdesk::

    Dear Radley Balko,

    You look extremely silly.

    Signed,

    The Real World

  80. 80
    gwangung says:

    @bloodstar: The topic of this controversy might be trivial (trash collection), but the rhetoric and argumentation are not….not when they’re applied, without a change, to other areas that are demonstrably not trivial.

  81. 81
    Poopyman says:

    @aimai: This is frighteningly close to the definition of the Scrum method of Agile Development, possibly including the guy driving down the street with materials.

  82. 82
    srv says:

    One of the Reason editors was on NPR Sunday, talking about public radio getting rid of federal grants. Found it weird NPR would go to Reason and not a republican.

  83. 83
    bloodstar says:

    @Chyron HR: Please show me some libertarians claiming Somalia is the libertarian ideal…

    @MikeJ: I do. But I can still take a moment to point out that wasting words and time slamming Balko for wasting 1208 words on writing about this, and using it to strawman libertarians is just as pointless as what Balko is doing.

    To get really meta, maybe it’s just as pointless for me to point out how pointless it is. So it’d be pointless to point out how pointless it is for me to point it out. :)

  84. 84
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Antonius:

    I for one welcome our new trash-compacting overlords

    Sieg Haul!

    (Sorry, sorry, sorry: cannot… resist… pun….)

  85. 85
    Poopyman says:

    @aimai:

    “Every libertarian thinks he is the only person who has ever thought these ideas, in this detail, in the entire history of the world.”

    That sounds like somebody that’s high.

    Oh, wait ….

  86. 86
    bloodstar says:

    @gwangung: That’s a good point, but I would like to think we’re all realistic enough to accept no form of governance or economics would ever work in a pure form, not libertarianism, not capitalism, not liberalism, not conservatism or whatever ism you want to include, including the social kind. We have to work to create a blend of everything that takes the best traits of each while minimizing the negatives of the others.

    Slamming one side or the other because you have some vision of an extreme position that IMO no one actually takes (Somalia) to score cheap points doesn’t help your arguments. it looks snarky, cheap, and turns off otherwise reasonable people from your point.

  87. 87

    […] He has now responded with a short post that has nothing in the way of a substantive argument, but does misstate the points I made, makes a crack about Ayn Rand (note: I’m not a Randian), uses the junior high term “teabaggers”, uses all-caps to mock the people he disagrees with, and tags me as a glibertarian, a term that once had a specific definition, but now apparently means any libertarian who makes a point John Cole doesn’t like. (Seriously, John. If you’re going to call me a “glibertarian,” the term really has no meaning at all. I spend 90 percent of my time writing about issues and advocating positions that will never personally affect me.) […]

  88. 88
    Comrade Kevin says:

    I’m disappointed, I thought we’d be talking about this kind of Municipal Waste.

  89. 89
    bloodstar says:

    @gwangung:

    That’s a good point, but I would like to think we’re all realistic enough to accept no form of governance or economics would ever work in a pure form, not libertarianism, not capitalism, not liberalism, not conservatism or whatever ism you want to include, including the social kind. We have to work to create a blend of everything that takes the best traits of each while minimizing the negatives of the others.

    Slamming one side or the other because you have some vision of an extreme position that IMO no one actually takes (Somalia) to score cheap points doesn’t help your arguments. it looks snarky, cheap, and turns off otherwise reasonable people from your point.

    (here’s hoping I don’t trigger the mod filter again)

  90. 90

    […] the future, when competition in trash collection is outlawed, only outlaws will drive garbage trucks. and they’ll revel in their freedom on Sundays, eluding […]

  91. 91
    Poopyman says:

    @cleek: I’m seeing a new “Mad Max” film in this. But please, dear God, no Mel Gibson.

  92. 92
    srv says:

    Hey cleek, is there a greasemonkey script to replace front pagers with pie?

  93. 93
    Rick Massimo says:

    OK, at the risk of wading too deeply into this, also too at the risk of creating a strawman, it really sounds from here that people are actually saying that municipalities have no right to award contracts, and that any firm that makes an even halfway-credible offer for a city contract should get in on it, and step 3 = awesomeness!

  94. 94
    ColeFan says:

    John Cole’s enemies have always been vicious, stupid scum. Go look back at his archives from a few years back to see what he said about Bush critics, war opponents, Muslims, the French, Democrats, and other scourges of humanity.

  95. 95

    So, to summarize, the last time we had such a discussion hereabouts, it was the licensing of barbers and beauticians. Now, the glibertarians are all in a tizzy over trash collection. What’s next?

  96. 96
    Fluffy says:

    Of course you have to eliminate Radley’s entire argument, and mock it as having too many words, because then you don’t have to deal with it.

    Here’s a version slightly longer than yours:

    1. You thought that a utility doing work on their easement on your property violated your rights, even though you specifically don’t have a property right in that easement.

    2. Other people who currently have a choice of garbage providers are angry at having that choice taken away, and you think that’s too silly for words.

    3. This means that you think people losing a genuine consumer choice they currently possess is meaningless, but that your anguish over a property right you currently don’t have is deeply meaningful.

    My town has private trash collection, with a range of companies available for the individual property owner to choose from. It works just fine. Therefore, any move to municipal-controlled trash collection in my town would take away my choice. Why, exactly, would I like that? Because it’s “small-d democracy”?

  97. 97

    @bloodstar:

    Slamming one side or the other because you have some vision of an extreme position that IMO no one actually takes (Somalia) to score cheap points doesn’t help your arguments. it looks snarky, cheap, and turns off otherwise reasonable people from your point.

    We’re not talking about reasonable people, we’re talking about libertarians.

  98. 98
    Woodrowfan says:

    Brainstorm. A TV reality show based on Libertarian principles. Lock 10 Libertarians into a condo development and make them live solely by what they espouse.

    Already been done…

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100054/

  99. 99
    jimmiraybob says:

    They call that place Reason? Seriously?

    Ya know, a plan to unify a provided service might just be more efficient, cost effective and, you know, beneficial to the citizens. I guess that the most fair libertarian solution would be for the city to just get out of the trash business and let the citizens fend for themselves.

    Of course, any decent government would just disband itself and return sovereignty to the people so that they could roam freely across the desert grubbing for berries and worms.

  100. 100
    ColeFan says:

    @Fluffy:
    Yes, isn’t that a telling criticism of a person’s argument, that he actually made one rather than just excreting the first 50 words that came into his head?

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    What’s awesome is that if you read the comments at theagitator.com, the people there feel the same way about Cole that a lot of us here feel about Sully.

  102. 102
    John Cole says:

    1. You thought that a utility doing work on their easement on your property violated your rights, even though you specifically don’t have a property right in that easement.

    No, I was irritated I was not informed and that due caution was not taken to prevent damage to my actual property.

    Other people who currently have a choice of garbage providers are angry at having that choice taken away, and you think that’s too silly for words.

    No, I think a hysterical over-reaction by tea partiers, screaming TRASHCARE and linking this to socialism and the current national political debate is funny beyond words.

    This means that you think people losing a genuine consumer choice they currently possess is meaningless, but that your anguish over a property right you currently don’t have is deeply meaningful.

    No, as I don’t agree with the first premise. And I find it additionally amusing that everyone with a libertarian leaning considers a municipality handing out a contract to be some horrible thing (MONOPOLY!!!).

    And I didn’t ignore Radley’s argument. I gave it all the attention it deserved.

  103. 103
    lunchstealer says:

    “Only he takes about 1200 words to day it. This is why Atlas Shrugged is a 1200 page paperback.”

    Shorter Cole: “Reading is for sissies”

  104. 104
    Charlie says:

    But, if all the libertarians (and Rethugs) move to Somalia, who will pay for all of our beloved government programs?
    Those greedy producers! Perhaps we should have Our Annointed Leaders seize their assets now!

  105. 105
    Corner Stone says:

    @Charlie: Somalia has a hell of a lot of ocean front property. I think it could be a nice place with a little glibertarian production.

  106. 106
    Jane2 says:

    Somalia! The comments section over there is priceless.

  107. 107
    Jason T. says:

    @lunchstealer: Yeah? So length equals quality, huh?

    I personally love to read, but my time is worth something. If your message is worth delivering, try to deliver it in a few pithy lines. Dazzle me with brilliance, don’t baffle me with bullshit.

  108. 108
    Scott de B. says:

    Please show me some libertarians claiming Somalia is the libertarian ideal…

    There are lots of quotes by libertarians describing their ideal society. Of all societies that have ever existed, Somalia comes closest to meeting those criteria.

    Of course they don’t want to live in Somalia. That’s because they’re irrational and don’t realize that following their policy prescriptions would lead to Somalia in short order. It’s like Marxists who say “oh, we don’t want a government like the Soviet Union or China, our governmental ideal is quite different.”

    Barmy, the lot of ’em.

  109. 109
    Hob says:

    @Nick L: And that’s not how mob involvement in garbage hauling works, either. They don’t get those contracts through extortion– they get them by being very low bidders, and lying about (a) who owns the company and (b) the reason for their low price, i.e. they are just going to dump the garbage in some poor schmuck’s back yard.

    At least that’s how it was explained to me by my ex-girlfriend, who I’m fairly sure knew more about this than Radley Balko, seeing as how she was an attorney employed by the City of New York in a department devoted entirely to rooting out mob contractors in garbage hauling (one of Rudy Giuliani’s actual worthwhile endeavors, prior to his career as mayor).

    And yes, of course they would do the same thing if they were private contractors rather than public, except then they would use extortion, because it’s easier to threaten Joe Garbage Customer with violence than an entire city agency and then you don’t even have to bother with making a low bid.

  110. 110
    El Cid says:

    As a libertarian soshullist, I demand that garbage be collected exclusively by local democratic affinity groups, after holding consensus building meetings and beginning by defining what and what not may be permitted to be removed from a household and disposed in a central people-owned landfill and which ‘waste’ cannot be removed by anyone else and no permission will be granted to throw the so-called waste anywhere as all property affects everyone else.

    Intensive teaching and communal practice sessions are available to help people more wisely choose their products, and to re-use with minimal modification what lower-use products are left.

  111. 111
    themann1086 says:

    @Jason T.: “A man named William Shakesman once said, ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’. That means don’t waste my time! You keep things nice and simple. [BEAT] I said stop wasting my time! Stop it!!”

  112. 112
    b-psycho says:

    Radley jumping in on this even surprised me.

    Real talk: most people don’t give a fuck who takes their trash, only that someone does it. Really, they don’t. It’s not the kind of issue that lends itself to philosophical debate.

  113. 113
    J.W. Hamner says:

    I note that Balko didn’t mention how the magic free market ponies failed to provide curbside recycling for residents. Which was the point of the contract, not the rampant corruption of some small town city council.

  114. 114
    me says:

    Real libertarians burn their trash. “It’s MY property goddammit and fuck you if you try to tell me what to do on it!”

  115. 115
    El Cid says:

    First they came for garbage collection under conditions of private competition, but I said nothing because my area did not use a private garbage collection service…

  116. 116
    lunchstealer says:

    @Scott de B.:

    To be fair, the guys who advocate for a sufficient lack-of-government to get to Somalia are the anarcho-capitalists, who are a pretty small subset of libertarians. Arguing that libertarians are bad because of an-caps is like saying that progressives are bad because of Maoists.

  117. 117
    John-David says:

    @jacy:

    I still don’t get where a contract is a monopoly.

    A government granting a contract to handle all trash handling in the city is certainly nowhere near the same thing as a government giving a company the sole right to provide a service. That should be obvious to anyone.

  118. 118
    srv says:

    The trash guys went by at 5:30am this morning. I ran out to confront them. They were all wearing Mao jackets.

  119. 119
    cleek says:

    @srv:

    i just uploaded a new version of the existing script that will do it.

  120. 120
    lunchstealer says:

    @Jason T.:

    Cole didn’t say that Balko was a crappy writer (he’s usually a very good writer) but just that his post was long, as if long==bad. He didn’t say it was wordy, just that it was long.

    And it’s worth analyzing that Cole spent some time whining that libertarians should focus on local issues – like the mandated-monopoly water company acting like it owned the place – and then turning around and mocking people for objecting to granting the same kind of monopoly to a garbage company.

    I wouldn’t argue that Cole is a hypocrite. I’m sure he really believed that libertarians should be mocked for not arguing against overreach and unaccountability from municipal monopolies (they do, but I suspect that’s ignorance, not malice). I likewise assume he really believes that it’s stupid to go to City Hall and argue that they not grant a monopoly to another company for another service. He believed what he said, so he’s not hypocritical. Just inconsistent and uncritical of his own ideas.

  121. 121
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What’s awesome is that if you read the comments at theagitator.com, the people there feel the same way about Cole that a lot of us here feel about Sully.

    On a similar note, this comment at Reason absolutely floored me:

    Enyap|11.9.10 @ 1:30PM|
    Looks like E.D. Kains comments were deleted by the open minded progessives.

    L.O.L. If only there were comments to delete in the first place, amirite?!

    ZING!

  122. 122
    Fluffy says:

    And I find it additionally amusing that everyone with a libertarian leaning considers a municipality handing out a contract to be some horrible thing [Monopoly]

    Of course a municipality handing out a contract is a horrible thing.

    I live in an area with private trash pickup. If I’m not happy with the service or the price, I can call someone else.

    If my town council suddenly decided to make that illegal, and to require me to use a municipal service, why would I like that?

    You’d be reducing my choice. You’d be harming whatever trash companies did not receive the contract – possibly a company with whom I have a long-standing business relationship, and whose service I like. If the company that gets the contract does a poor job, or if the company’s union goes on strike, I can’t just pick up the phone and get a new provider. I’d have no recourse at all unless I waited until the next election and changed the composition of the town council.

    “These are not important issues”; “These are not philosophical issues”…Yeah, whatever. Not at all.

    Even if I personally was perfectly satisfied with the resulting service, maybe somebody else wouldn’t be.

    And, BTW, if only one provider is legally permitted to provide a service, um, yeah – that’s called a monopoly. And “I find it additionally amusing” that if a company obtains, not even a monopoly, but merely a dominant market position, through open competition, progressives take a dump in their pants about it, but if monopolies are created by the police power, that’s a beautiful example of democracy in action.

  123. 123
    slag says:

    Although, to be fair, that post where you bitched about the government takeover of your water meter was pretty dumb.

  124. 124
    Hob says:

    @John-David: If that’s supposed to be sarcasm… do you understand that we’re talking about short-term contracts that are required by law to be awarded to whichever company submits the lowest bid and can provide the required services?

    Government-granted monopoly does exist, and has a specific meaning. Competitive bidding is not it.

  125. 125
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @lunchstealer:

    And it’s worth analyzing that Cole spent some time whining that libertarians should focus on local issues – like the mandated-monopoly water company acting like it owned the place – and then turning around and mocking people for objecting to granting the same kind of monopoly to a garbage company.

    And it’s also worth remembering that no one here seriously believes that the situation we are discussing comes anywhere close to being a “monopoly.” That is simply a farcical notion that has no basis in reality. People keep writing that Cole turned around and objected to people doing the same thing that he did. I’m pretty sure that the city council discussed this issue at length with the public and the elected officials were carrying out their responsibilities. In no way is this similar to the city just showing up and digging on your property without any previous notification.

    The garbage company didn’t get a monopoly. They got a contract. It really isn’t as serious as people keep making it out to be.

  126. 126
    J.W. Hamner says:

    I live in an area with private trash pickup. If I’m not happy with the service or the price, I can call someone else.

    If my town council suddenly decided to make that illegal, and to require me to use a municipal service, why would I like that?

    Because the city is doing it to provide curbside recycling… which is what government is supposed to do. You know – supply services that citizens want and the free market can’t provide.

  127. 127
    srv says:

    @cleek: You’re blog has no links to your greasemonkey scripts? Help!

  128. 128
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @J.W. Hamner:
    Just to be clear, that second paragraph was from the original author and an example of me screwing up blockquotes like a n00b.

  129. 129
    kth says:

    That’s why, in the end, Balko’s writing leaves me cold. The journalism is irreplaceable, but thinking that no-knock raids and government-mandated recycling have anything to do with each other, let alone are tentacles of one statist octupus, means you forfeit the right to be taken seriously.

  130. 130
    Poopyman says:

    @Fluffy: Where, ever, in Kain’s post or Cole’s post or any of the comments, where has anyone posited that private contractors would be forbidden? Show me.

    And tell me how a municipality would require you to use such a service, because in all of my years on this earth I have not seen a place that has forbidden private enterprise from collecting trash.

  131. 131
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Fluffy:

    If my town council suddenly decided to make that illegal, and to require me to use a municipal service, why would I like that?

    Strawman: No one’s requiring you to use the municipal service in this case. You’re still free to pay someone else to take your trash away, if you insist on it.

  132. 132
    jimmiraybob says:

    Oddly enough, the City has some information readily available regarding the decision to move to a unified trash service system. It seems that the motivation was:

    1) to implement a curbside recycling program, and
    2) to reduce truck traffic on city streets, thereby reducing air emissions and enhancing public safety.

    Given that any particular neighborhood could have up to 5 trash trucks providing service on multiple days of the week and that their presence would be increased by adding the curbside recycling, it seems like pretty conscientious planning.

    In other words, a statist tyranny and enforced monopoly to enslave the sheeple.

  133. 133
    gwangung says:

    That’s a good point, but I would like to think we’re all realistic enough to accept no form of governance or economics would ever work in a pure form, not libertarianism, not capitalism, not liberalism, not conservatism or whatever ism you want to include, including the social kind. We have to work to create a blend of everything that takes the best traits of each while minimizing the negatives of the others.

    Well, I think you’re realistic enough (and I’m not being snarky here); that is, indeed, my preferred method.

    However, others are demonstrably nowhere near as pragmatic. And I think a couple of them got elected Senators this month. I do not think it’s using straw man techniques to attack people who seriously think the private sector handled problems of civil rights in the South.

  134. 134
    chopper says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    dang, i remember those guys. friends with one of em. shit, they rule.

  135. 135
    John-David says:

    @Hob:

    If that’s supposed to be sarcasm… do you understand that we’re talking about short-term contracts

    Emphasis yours. And you may consider 5 years to be short-term, but I certainly don’t. 5 years is more than enough time to put the other trash companies out of business due to no customers. That’s why monopolies are bad.

  136. 136
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Fluffy:

    And, BTW, if only one provider is legally permitted to provide a service, um, yeah – that’s called a monopoly. And “I find it additionally amusing” that if a company obtains, not even a monopoly, but merely a dominant market position, through open competition, progressives take a dump in their pants about it, but if monopolies are created by the police power, that’s a beautiful example of democracy in action.

    What a collection of nonsense. The “monopoly” created by the “police power” was a competitive process that saw numerous providers submit bids in an entirely public process. I mean, we are literally talking democracy in action, including the salient point that this “single issue generated a nearly five-hour public hearing and council debate that went past midnight.”

    Yeah, we’re talking about a regular fucking police state in this case, most definitely.

  137. 137
    C. Gallager says:

    Here’s our friend Fluffy’s comment at Reason:

    Who told this fuckwad that I had any interest in “small-d democracy” or “subsidiarity” or any other buzzword some granola bitch he fucked in college taught him?
    You can talk me into advocating democracy for decision-making in joint enterprises that must be joint by their very nature and where satisfactory individual action and discretion is absolutely impossible. Since in plenty of communities across the US, individual property owners contract with the garbage collector of their choice without any ill effects, we can know for a certainty that it was not, in fact, absolutely impossible for that to be done in this case. So fuck the town council and fuck small-d democracy.

  138. 138
    me says:

    @jimmiraybob:

    1) to implement a curbside recycling program, and
    2) to reduce truck traffic on city streets, thereby reducing air emissions and enhancing public safety.

    Which is reasonable to everyone except those who do extra driving on Earth Day just to say fuck you to Al Gore.

  139. 139
    Ash Can says:

    @Fluffy:

    If my town council suddenly decided to make that illegal, and to require me to use a municipal service, why would I like that?

    It’s called convenience. Take off your hairshirt and try it sometime.

  140. 140
    gwangung says:

    5 years is more than enough time to put the other trash companies out of business due to no customers.

    Well, if you’re an idiot at running a large business.

    Hm. We do seem to have a lot them running corporations these days.

  141. 141
    cleek says:

    @srv:
    there’s a “Categories” picker on the left side. “Pie Filters” is in there.

    here’s the direct link

  142. 142
    slag says:

    @John-David: If a company looked at its books and said to itself, “If we lose this contract, we’ll be out of business in 5 years,” then maybe it should have put in a lower bid. It is the free market, after all.

  143. 143
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John-David:

    Emphasis yours. And you may consider 5 years to be short-term, but I certainly don’t. 5 years is more than enough time to put the other trash companies out of business due to no customers. That’s why monopolies are bad.

    I think this comment should also have been directed at you.

    @Judas Escargot:

    Strawman: No one’s requiring you to use the municipal service in this case. You’re still free to pay someone else to take your trash away, if you insist on it.

  144. 144
    Poopyman says:

    @jimmiraybob: What the hell are you doing by presenting actual reportage in blog comments? That is simply not done!

  145. 145
    cleek says:

    @Fluffy:

    If my town council suddenly decided to make that illegal, and to require me to use a municipal service, why would I like that?

    because it would likely be cheaper, would cause less wear and tear on the roads, would be quieter, would cause less truck traffic, would cause less truck pollution, etc..

    if you don’t like the way it turns out, you convince the board to terminate the contract and find a different way. or, if that doesn’t work, you could try to elect a new board who will listen. you know, just like every other elected body…

    what you don’t do is march around screaming about SOSHALLIZIM! and TRYANNY and CENTRAL PLANNING, because that’s fucking stupid.

  146. 146
    Hob says:

    @John-David: Yes, it’s possible that some companies could go out of business, if they were unable to provide the service that this municipality demanded at a lower cost, and if they had no business in other areas. (ETA: and if the government were forbidding you to hire a separate private contractor, which apparently they’re not.)

    But just because you don’t like the consequence doesn’t mean you get to misuse the word “monopoly”. Again, there are actually such things as government-enforced monopolies in many areas, and this is not how they work. Words have meanings. If you want to argue against contracting, argue against contracting; don’t say it’s something it’s not.

  147. 147
    gwangung says:

    @slag:

    If a company looked at its books and said to itself, “If we lose this contract, we’ll be out of business in 5 years,” then maybe it should have put in a lower bid. It is the free market, after all.

    More likely, it was a poorly run business that couldn’t have competed anyway, no matter what market conditions.

    Do folks really think that it enhances business profits to be bidding on contracts constantly? There’s an administrative cost that’s eating up profits…

  148. 148
    gwangung says:

    what you don’t do is march around screaming about SOSHALLIZIM! and TRYANNY and CENTRAL PLANNING, because that’s fucking stupid.

    No, no, no…they have every right to march around, screaming about that.

    We have every right to…correctly…call that fucking stupid.

  149. 149
    kth says:

    If my town council suddenly decided to make that illegal, and to require me to use a municipal service, why would I like that?

    Because if one company (or the city) does all the work, they at least potentially can provide it at a lower price per unit.

    You’re welcome.

    Seriously: how trash pickup is provided is a subject upon which reasonable people can disagree. But it isn’t “tyranny” if a democratically-elected council opts for a single provider.

  150. 150
    themann1086 says:

    @C. Gallager: Yeah man, that’s what’s wrong with America today; too much democracy!

  151. 151
    b-psycho says:

    LOL…my mere hint on his personal blog that the random allusion to the mob didn’t help his case is already getting troll-rated.

  152. 152
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    My ten year old puts the trash can out at the road every Wednesday, the recycling can every other Wednesday. If it’s any harder than that, UR DOIN IT RONG!

  153. 153
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Poopyman:

    I hang my head in blog shame and have assigned myself to the people’s All Internets Traditions re-education camp #36788.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Fluffy:

    If my town council suddenly decided to make that illegal, and to require me to use a municipal service, why would I like that?

    Because odds are it would be cheaper and more convenient.

    But of course you would rather pay more money so you can have the illusion of “freedom” than actually save a few bucks by banding together with your neighbors and negotiating a lower price.

  155. 155
    John-David says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Sure, if you didn’t bother to read the original article. Just to bring you up to speed:

    On Thursday, a divided council approved a five-year contract with Allied Waste Services to be the single hauler and begin a recycling program. Residents currently can choose among five haulers and the town has no curbside recycling.

    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/commu.....z14ow5AXmp

    See that? One hauler. Tell me again how people are free to choose another hauler. Please.

  156. 156
    cleek says:

    @gwangung:
    oh, i’m not denying their right. i’m just saying it’s fucking stupid.

  157. 157
    John-David says:

    @kth: True enough. But whatever it is Cole is railing against when the citizens demonstrate their disdain at the council taking this action isn’t the end of democracy, either. That’s what Cole is missing.

  158. 158
    MattR says:

    @cleek: @kth: I am not disagreeing with any of you, but libertarians just don’t care about those reasons. As far as they are concerned if the government is acting in any way other than to protect the property rights of its citizens, then it has overstepped its bounds.

    @John-David:

    True enough. But whatever it is Cole is railing against when the citizens demonstrate their disdain at the council taking this action isn’t the end of democracy, either. That’s what Cole is missing.

    When they are railing against it by calling it soc1alism and tyranny and comparing it to Obamacare you are approaching the limits of how democracy can successfully function.

  159. 159
    John Cole says:

    Radley jumping in on this even surprised me.

    It’s personal. It isn’t about this issue at all He’s been mad at me, taking potshots and making snide remarks ever since either Mistermix or DougJ called out Reason magazine as Koch stooges, and he was really mad about one of them linking to something about Suderman’s clothes or something.

    He also thinks that because I’ve changed my mind and now think that a lot of the things I used to believe, given the evidence of the last decade, were wrong and stupid, that now I am a hypocrite and just a doctrinaire liberal.

    If that is what they want to use their space at Reason, fine by me. Better them airing their little blog-fight with me than doing some actual damage to the country.

    I still think Radley’s work on a number of issues is invaluable though, although the way he is so angry with me kind of reminds me of the Scalzi post on “I hate your politics” when he described libertarians:

    “Easily offended; Libertarians most likely to respond to this column. The author will attempt to engage subtle wit but will actually come across as a geeky whiner (Conservatives, more schooled in the art of poisonous replies, may actually achieve wit; liberals will reply that they don’t find any of this humorous at all). Libertarians secretly worried that ultimately someone will figure out the whole of their political philosophy boils down to “Get Off My Property.” News flash: This is not really a big secret to the rest of us.”

    Whatevs.

  160. 160
    slag says:

    @C. Gallager: “Subsidiarity” is my favorite “buzzword”. Use it all the time. That, and “onomatopoeia”. Seriously. Can’t carry a conversation without those two.

  161. 161
    John-David says:

    @MattR:

    When they are railing against it by calling it soc1alism and tyranny and comparing it to Obamacare you are approaching the limits of how democracy can successfully function.

    Got it. Somehow that form of speech (not that anything resembling what you just said was actually part of the debate, excepting the reporter claiming that “TrashCare” was likening it to “ObamaCare”) was approaching that very fine line of destroying democracy. That makes perfect(ly no) sense.

  162. 162
    Woodrowfan says:

    my county has regular trash pickup and I can still hire a different company if I want to waste the money.

    As for the companies who don’t get the contract going out of business, are they no private businesses who hire trash haulers? Seems like the government hiring companies just so they stay in business is more like “socialism” (eye roll) than asking for bids then picking one of several who competed…

  163. 163
    MattR says:

    @John-David: You are not engaging in real democracy when you are shouting out meaningless slogans and tilting at windmills. I would argue that creating a citizenry who are easily manipulated and are incapable of critical thought is a path towards the end of democracy.

    Oh and I apologize. They did not explicitly call it tyranny. They are just opposing it by trying to scare citizens into thinking that the abusive government will be intruding into their private lives.

  164. 164
    slag says:

    @John-David: Awesome. I’m now in love with the idea that people like you are being forced into recycling. I feel like I’ve won something. And that feeling is based solely on the strength of my opinion of you as a dumbass. Well…on that and on the fact that recycling is good for the planet on which I live.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John-David:

    See that? One hauler. Tell me again how people are free to choose another hauler. Please.

    Well, they can pick up the Yellow Pages if they’re old-fashioned, or they can use Google. If they want, they can ask around and get a recommendation. Contrary to the hysterics highlighted in the article, the Trash Police aren’t going to be knocking on your door to demand that you turn your garbage over to them or else. If your cans aren’t out on the right day, they’ll just drive on by.

  166. 166
    John-David says:

    @slag: Where did I say I was against recycling? I recycle voluntarily, and would be happy to do it even if my city forced me to do it. I think you’re more happy with a victory over the me in your head rather than who I really am. Congratulations.

  167. 167
    something fabulous says:

    @Poopyman: As a user research person thrown under the parade of privately-owned garbage collection vehicles rumbling down the street of agile development, I would like to like this comment.

  168. 168
    Tulpa says:

    @Poopyman: You must not get out much. In many jurisdictions, particularly NYC, you can be fined heavily for removing trash from the curb and depriving the city sanitation workers of their haul. So yes, this does mean residents don’t have the option of hiring anyone else. Even if they did, they’d still have to pay for the city-chosen service they don’t even use.

  169. 169
    slag says:

    @John-David:

    and would be happy to do it even if my city forced me to do it.

    Hypocrite!

  170. 170
    John-David says:

    @Mnemosyne: Jesus Christ. RTFA. The residents of this city now only have one trash hauler to choose from. Do you honestly not understand that before you post stupidity like “look at the yellow pages” or “search google”?

  171. 171
    Woodrowfan says:

    Even if they did, they’d still have to pay for the city-chosen service they don’t even use.

    But they do still benefit from it because it reduces the amount of other people’s garbage that is lying around. “Doesn’t use” is NOT the same as “doesn’t benefit.”

  172. 172
    John-David says:

    @slag: What? I’m supposed to grumble about being forced to do something I’d already happily do? I guess I should fit the libertarian mode of railing against police enforcement of stop signs, even though I’m happy to stop at one. Granted, I’m sure you were just being funny, and assuming you were, then I can only say “well played”.

  173. 173
    freedomfan says:
    If my town council suddenly decided to make [my being able to choose my own waste-removal service] illegal, and to require me to use a municipal service, why would I like that?

    Because the city is doing it to provide curbside recycling… which is what government is supposed to do. You know – supply services that citizens want and the free market can’t provide.

    If it’s something that individuals want and are willing to pay for, then why can’t the free market provide it?

    I hope no one here would be silly enough to say, “Because there isn’t enough profit in it.” Clearly, the contract with the city is providing their contractor enough profit to collect recyclables, and the people are paying for that, one way or another. Anyone who thinks they are getting recyclable removal for free is very much mistaken.

    Of course, one could say that, if the service were offered on an free-market basis, then some companies would offer options that didn’t include recyclable removal and some customers might choose those options. That’s very likely. Those citizens obviously don’t want recyclable removal enough to pay for it. I guess an argument can be made that it’s okay for pro-recycling folks to force everyone else to pay for something they don’t want because “it’s the right thing to do” and there is a certain popularity to the ‘we know what’s best for you’ approach to government. But, that’s a less sympathetic argument than “we need a local monopoly on trash pickup because that’s the only way to get recycling.”

  174. 174
    MattR says:

    @Tulpa: Not necessarily. In NYC it is illegal to take items that have been put to the curb to be removed by the department of sanitation.

    “It’s unlawful for any person, except for DSNY, to remove or transport by motor vehicle any recyclable materials placed out at curbside, within the stoop line, or in front of the premise for collection or removal by DSNY.”

    Presumably that means that they have been placed in the proper recepticles provided by the DSNY. (EDIT: Meaning that if you put things in a bin called MattR’s Garbage Co, it is not intended for removal for the DSNY) But even if not, you still have the right to arrange for a separate company to come and knock on your door on a daily basis and collect your trash.

    @John-David:

    The residents of this city now only have one trash hauler to choose from. Do you honestly not understand that before you post stupidity like “look at the yellow pages” or “search google”?

    Did all the other companies go out of business? Does every surrounding town use that one trash collector? And even in the worst case that there are no other companies around, is there anything stopping you (or anyone else) from starting a company to fill the void?

  175. 175
    La Rana says:

    Long time reader John, ever since you left the dark side. But once again you appear to have lost your fucking mind. I enjoyed that brief period where your brain did not simply lurch from one poorly thought out exclamation to the next, according to whatever could be assimilated with your partisanship du-jour, but that time has passed.

    Enjoy your cats.

  176. 176
    Tulpa says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Because odds are it would be cheaper and more convenient.

    Odds are? Care to link to any evidence for that assertion?

    But of course you would rather pay more money so you can have the illusion of “freedom” than actually save a few bucks by banding together with your neighbors and negotiating a lower price.

    Yeah, “odds are” government agencies are going to be seriously tough negotiators when it’s other people’s money at stake. That’s why California isn’t broke, you know.

    And odds are that this contract WON’T just be awarded to the company that gives a council member’s nephew a good job or anything like that. Corruption in local government is unheard of!

  177. 177
    . says:

    Jesus, Cole, could you possibly be a bigger twat? Are you still drunk a week later or what?

    The guy makes an attempt to actually engage with a coherent argument, and you respond with hysterics and namecalling. I thought you were just bitching at your commenters for doing that when E.D. joined.

    Whatever, you fat lush. Put on your plaid golf pants and write some more posts about bitter old man topics like what you had for dinner, how big of a loaf you just pinched, how your bunions are hurting, what your birdfeeder looks like, and top it off with some pet pictures.

  178. 178
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John-David:

    The residents of this city now only have one trash hauler to choose from.

    No, they have one trash hauler that is contracted to the city instead of having five trash haulers that are contracted to the city. If a resident chooses to contract with a different trash hauler on their own rather than using the city’s trash hauler, they’re perfectly free to do that.

    You’re basically claiming that if a public school exists in your neighborhood that you pay taxes for, there’s only one school to choose from and the city bans you from sending your kids to private school instead.

  179. 179
    gwangung says:

    Yeah, “odds are” government agencies are going to be seriously tough negotiators when it’s other people’s money at stake.

    Care to link to evidence for that? Because California’s problems are in no way connected to that, you know.

    (And please, up your game. This is seriously weak sauce).

  180. 180
    me says:

    And odds are that this contract WON’T just be awarded to the company that gives a council member’s nephew a good job or anything like that.

    Care to link to any evidence for that assertion?

  181. 181
    MattR says:

    @Tulpa: And odds are that those competing companies won’t collude together to keep prices high.

    If we want to make hypotheticals we can go on all day.

    OTOH, there are real economies of scale that demonstrate why a single contractor is more efficient than multiple, overlapping ones. Or do we need to debate why having one truck pass over a route collecting 1000 lbs of garbage costs less than having five trucks drive over the same street and collect 200lbs each. Even if capacity is maxed out so that five trucks are necessary, I am pretty sure you would be screaming about government waste if they ever signed a contract that said that each truck would only pick up from every fifth house on the street.

  182. 182
    John-David says:

    @MattR:

    Did all the other companies go out of business? Does every surrounding town use that one trash collector? And even in the worst case that there are no other companies around, is there anything stopping you (or anyone else) from starting a company to fill the void?

    Yes, the five year monopoly give by the city. I’m starting to get the feeling that this site is happy hosting circle jerks like this, where people pretend to be ignorant about different parts of the argument just to try and continue them. Have fun with that, unless you want to accept the actual facts of this and bring up something other than an argument by omission.

  183. 183
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tulpa:

    Yeah, “odds are” government agencies are going to be seriously tough negotiators when it’s other people’s money at stake. That’s why California isn’t broke, you know.

    Uh, no, California is broken because we decided back in 1978 to freeze property taxes for all residential and commercial properties and now we’re realizing that that was an incredibly stupid idea because it artificially limited the amount of revenue available to the state even as the state’s population and businesses grew.

    Any other lectures you’d like to give me about how the state that I’ve lived in for 20 years works?

  184. 184
    John-David says:

    @Mnemosyne: My god you really refuse to read the freaking article.

    Peter Bardow, an opponent, said the issue isn’t about politics, but about taking away his and other residents’ right to choose their own trash hauler. “I feel like you’re forcing homeowners-association regulation and homeowners-association enforcement on me,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/commu.....z14p6TjryV

    You have the link, which Cole originally used. Please tell me where in that story it says anywhere that residents can use their own trash hauler. So far nobody has managed to do that, but perhaps you can be the first.

  185. 185
    gwangung says:

    y. I’m starting to get the feeling that this site is happy hosting circle jerks like this, where people pretend to be ignorant about different parts of the argument just to try and continue them. Have fun with that, unless you want to accept the actual facts of this and bring up something other than an argument by omission.

    Dude, some of us here actually run businesses, some of us actually deal with businesses as government reps. Don’t insult our intelligence by yapping about the real world that you’re so obviously ignorant about.

  186. 186
    Tulpa says:

    @MattR: Yeah, it’s not a big deal to have to sell your house and move to another city just because you want a different garbage collector than the city council chose.

    According to Mr Cole, and apparently yourself since you defend him, protesting at city hall is overreaction, but picking up and moving is no big deal?

  187. 187
    MattR says:

    @John-David: See this.

    You’re basically claiming that if a public school exists in your neighborhood that you pay taxes for, there’s only one school to choose from and the city bans you from sending your kids to private school instead.

    They are hiring a single company to go around to every house and pick up the garbage. Everybody has to pay into the system. However, you do not have to leave your garbage out on the day the city-hired company comes by. You can call another company and arrange with them to pick up your garbage on a different day for a fee.

    @John-David:

    Please tell me where in that story it says anywhere that residents can use their own trash hauler. So far nobody has managed to do that, but perhaps you can be the first.

    Please tell me where it says that they can’t.

    Tulpa:

    Yeah, it’s not a big deal to have to sell your house and move to another city just because you want a different garbage collector than the city council chose.

    My point was that if there are other garbage collectors still in business in the area then you can call them up and contract with them to come get your garbage from your current residence.

  188. 188
    slag says:

    @John-David:

    What? I’m supposed to grumble about being forced to do something I’d already happily do?

    Actually, yes. Rather, you should be deeply concerned for the freedom of your fellow men to not recycle. Or don’t you have principles?

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John-David:

    You have the link, which Cole originally used. Please tell me where in that story it says anywhere that residents can use their own trash hauler. So far nobody has managed to do that, but perhaps you can be the first.

    It’s not in the article. My parents live in Fountain Hills (strange, but true). As I said, the Trash Police are not going to show up at your door if you don’t put your cans out on the correct day, so you have six other days of the week where you can have a different company come out and take your trash away if you’re so inclined. What you will not be able to do is pay them through the city — you will have to write a separate check to them. Oh! the horror!

  190. 190
    John-David says:

    @MattR: Great, you linked to the comment I replied to. Like I said, giant circle jerk.

    Just never mind what the article Cole linked to said. You know, that there is only one trash hauler in the city now. Since that’s what the article said, and that people in the original Cole post thought was great: only one trash hauler.

  191. 191
    Tulpa says:

    @Mnemosyne: Apparently you do need some lectures about how your state works, because if California had simply increased spending at the same rate as population growth and inflation since 2000, they’d have a balanced budget now. Spending ballooned under Gray and Arnie. It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem.

  192. 192
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tulpa:

    Yeah, it’s not a big deal to have to sell your house and move to another city just because you want a different garbage collector than the city council chose.

    I’d have to do that if I wanted a different cable company, but I guess that’s okay because the Magic Corporations limited my choice and not the Eeebil Gubbmint.

  193. 193
    gwangung says:

    @John-David: See the post above yours.

    Also, it’s certainly true that in other municipalities, other trash collectors are allowed. It’s certainly true that it could be different in Fountain Hills, but, I think the onus is (slightly) more on you to show that’s the case.

  194. 194
    John-David says:

    @MattR: Obviously repetition is the only way to make this stick in your brain. And I’ve already given the link, and I see you posted in the comments of the original Cole article, so hopefully you read the article the first time anyway. That said…

    Peter Bardow, an opponent, said the issue isn’t about politics, but about taking away his and other residents’ right to choose their own trash hauler. “I feel like you’re forcing homeowners-association regulation and homeowners-association enforcement on me,” he said.

    Peter Bardow, an opponent, said the issue isn’t about politics, but about taking away his and other residents’ right to choose their own trash hauler. “I feel like you’re forcing homeowners-association regulation and homeowners-association enforcement on me,” he said.

    Peter Bardow, an opponent, said the issue isn’t about politics, but about taking away his and other residents’ right to choose their own trash hauler. “I feel like you’re forcing homeowners-association regulation and homeowners-association enforcement on me,” he said.

    Peter Bardow, an opponent, said the issue isn’t about politics, but about taking away his and other residents’ right to choose their own trash hauler. “I feel like you’re forcing homeowners-association regulation and homeowners-association enforcement on me,” he said.

    Peter Bardow, an opponent, said the issue isn’t about politics, but about taking away his and other residents’ right to choose their own trash hauler. “I feel like you’re forcing homeowners-association regulation and homeowners-association enforcement on me,” he said.

    Got it? Now, find it in the article, which you approvingly slagged when Cole first mentioned it, where it says that the residents can keep their own trash service.

  195. 195
    gwangung says:

    @Tulpa: This is a pretty witless comment without dealing with the causes. If voters mandated spending on a certain area without providing funding, I wouldn’t say that it’s a spending problem.

  196. 196
    MattR says:

    @John-David: I linked to it because you apparently did not read it and appreciate what it said. You still haven’t. Please show me anywhere that says that individuals residents do not have the right to arrange for a different trash hauler. (Note: Hysterical comments from people complaining about the proposal do not count) I will happily agree that they do not have the right to avoid paying for the city contracted one, but there is nothing preventing them from paying extra for a different one.

    @John-David: The fact that he doesn’t like that the city took away his right to choose which is his “default” company does not mean that it completely took away his right to use that company for trash removal. He will just be forced to pay for both the city contracted one and the other one he chooses.

  197. 197
    gwangung says:

    @John-David: Have you considered the possibility that the residents are equally ignorant about their options? Also, how about @Mnemosyne‘s comment?

  198. 198
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tulpa:

    Apparently you do need some lectures about how your state works, because if California had simply increased spending at the same rate as population growth and inflation since 2000, they’d have a balanced budget now. Spending ballooned under Gray and Arnie. It’s not a revenue problem, it’s a spending problem.

    Yes, the 2001 recession had nothing to do with it. Or the collapse of the aerospace industry. Or the housing bubble. Or the fact that we lost billions of dollars on “privatization” of our power companies that we’re never going to see again even though we have pretty convincing proof that Enron cheated us.

    Nope, it’s all because of undefined, nebulous “spending,” and if we just stop “spending,” the whole problem is solved! Thanks for the info!

  199. 199
    Tulpa says:

    @Mnemosyne: You are seriously deluded if you think corporations are responsible for cable monopolies. I mean, I’m sure the corporations that get franchises are happy about them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they “reward” govt officials who support their franchises in legal and possibly illegal ways, but ultimately it’s government that enforces the monopoly.

    Do not be deceived; big business loves big government. The last thing big corporations want is a free market with little upstart competitors nipping at their heels free of government regulation. When the feds dump a 1000-page excretion of law regulating toy manufacturers, Mattel forwards it to their legal department; meanwhile, the little mom and pop custom toy store downtown goes out of business because they can’t hope to comply with such a mess.

  200. 200
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John-David:

    You do realize that quoting the crazy guy who thinks the evil government just socialized his trash pick-up isn’t helping your case, right?

    I guess not, since you just decided to re-quote him five more times.

  201. 201
    Jules says:

    Nothing says personal liberty more then living where the teatards who live near you can do whatever the fvck want with their trash.
    That includes letting it pile up on their property until they get around to burning it on a nice windy day.

  202. 202
    Dusty says:

    I personally couldn’t care less about managing the process by which my garbage gets collected on a regular basis. I don’t want to have to shop around. I don’t want to have to write a separate check to anyone. As long as the process isn’t rife with corruption and waste and the firm selected does its job in a reasonably competition manner, I’m more than happy to allow the municipality in which I reside take this problem off my hands. I get that other people might want to exercise their right to choose a provider for what is essentially a commodity service, but I don’t know why their right to choose is more important than my right to not have to choose.

  203. 203

    @Tulpa:

    When the feds dump a 1000-page excretion of law regulating toy manufacturers,

    Your teahadism is showing there. Next you’ll tell us nobody knew what was in the bill.

  204. 204
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tulpa:

    You are seriously deluded if you think corporations are responsible for cable monopolies. I mean, I’m sure the corporations that get franchises are happy about them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they “reward” govt officials who support their franchises in legal and possibly illegal ways, but ultimately it’s government that enforces the monopoly.

    Ah, so if we just get rid of government, then a thousand free-market flowers will bloom and solve all of our problems!

    Let’s just forget about that whole failed cable company deregulation thing and pretend that it’s all the big bad gubbmint’s fault, shall we? If deregulation didn’t work the first time and actually made things worse, clearly the answer is even more deregulation, right?

  205. 205
    John-David says:

    @MattR: How about this:
    http://www.azcentral.com/commu.....auler.html

    A divided Fountain Hills Town Council voted Thursday to switch to a single hauler for residential trash pickup and begin curbside recycling, and approved a five-year contract with Allied Waste Services to be the single hauler. The proposal drew intense opposition, and council members were bombarded with e-mails and telephone calls leading up to the meeting.
    Now, residents can choose among five haulers, and the town has no curbside recycling. The single trash hauler and curbside recycling is scheduled to begin July 1 but could be delayed until the fall when more residents are in town.

    Once again, currently residents can choose among five haulers, Starting July 1, they can only have their trash taken by Allied.

    It’s really amazing how frustrating a conversation can be when the people you’re talking to refuse to accept the most basic of facts.

  206. 206
    Emperor Lew says:

    I just broke the Libertarian code. I know why they think a trash collection contract is the same thing as a monoploy. They can’t conceive of the idea that a waste hauler will have a bigger service area than a single town. It somehow never entered their mind that there are OTHER towns and customers for these haulers. I don’t know why you’d think that there is only one potential customer for a business, but there you have it.

  207. 207
    me says:

    @Tulpa: Yep, lead paint builds character.

  208. 208
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John-David:

    Sure, if you didn’t bother to read the original article. Just to bring you up to speed:

    Well, as this has already been explained to you at length, the information we are discussing does not need to be in the article since it’s just a regular thing that people experience in life all the time. It doesn’t need to explicitly state in the article that “if you don’t want to participate in the city’s trash pickup, you are free to hire you own private provider.” People just naturally understand what their alternatives are. Who care if some clown is making hyperbolic comments like this:

    Peter Bardow, an opponent, said the issue isn’t about politics, but about taking away his and other residents’ right to choose their own trash hauler. “I feel like you’re forcing homeowners-association regulation and homeowners-association enforcement on me,” he said.

    Yes, the duly elected Town Council is “forcing” this on you, as long as you replace the “forcing” element with the “not being forced in any sense of the word” element. I think it’s equally hilarious that you keep telling people to read the article, as though the entirety of this discussion will be found there or that no one here actually bothered to read the article that has been quoted at length several times.

    But now that we’ve established that no one is being forced to participate in the program, what other precious concerns do you have about the good people of Fountain Hills and their freedom?

  209. 209
    Tulpa says:

    Even if other trash collectors were allowed (in this case they are not), choosing to go with a different collector would mean paying double for trash collection. You have to pay the city-chosen collector AND the one you choose.

  210. 210
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne: If only California’s government was like that bastion of conservatism, Texas.

    Texas’ GOP leaders, their eyes on the Nov. 2 election, have played down the problem’s size, even as the hole in the next two-year cycle has grown in recent weeks to as much as $24 billion to $25 billion. That’s about 25 percent of current spending.
    __
    The gap is now proportionately larger than the deficit California recently closed with cuts and fee increases, its fourth dose of budget misery since September 2008.

  211. 211
    John-David says:

    @Tulpa: Apparently, only you and I understand both of those points, and like you said, the fact that the people can’t choose their own hauler is lost here.

  212. 212
    gwangung says:

    @John-David:

    It’s really amazing how frustrating a conversation can be when the people you’re talking to refuse to accept the most basic of facts.

    You’re a hypocrite. See @Mnemosyne

    You know I’ve done that twice, hm?

  213. 213
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John-David:

    Once again, currently residents can choose among five haulers, Starting July 1, they can only have their trash taken by Allied.

    I do love how you keep glossing over the fact that the five haulers that people can currently choose from are contracted to the city to do the hauling.

    They don’t mean “you can pick up the phone book and see five companies listed there.” They mean, “the city currently gives you a list of five approved haulers you can choose from, but they’re cutting it back to one.”

  214. 214
    me says:

    @Tulpa: And people who send their kids to private school still have to pay for public schools in their tax bill. So, do you want to eliminate public schools?

  215. 215
    MattR says:

    @John-David:

    A divided Fountain Hills Town Council voted Thursday to switch to a single hauler for residential trash pickup and begin curbside recycling, and approved a five-year contract with Allied Waste Services to be the single hauler. The proposal drew intense opposition, and council members were bombarded with e-mails and telephone calls leading up to the meeting.
    Now, residents can choose among five haulers, and the town has no curbside recycling. The single trash hauler and curbside recycling is scheduled to begin July 1 but could be delayed until the fall when more residents are in town.

    Once again, currently residents can choose among five haulers, Starting July 1, they can only have their trash taken by Allied.
    __
    It’s really amazing how frustrating a conversation can be when the people you’re talking to refuse to accept the most basic of facts.

    It is amazing that you can quote the article and still come to the wrong conclusions.

    On July 1, they will have to pay for Allied Waste to pick up their trash. They are still legally allowed to pay an additional amount to a separate company for trash removeal. If I am wonrg, please show me. (Note: the above does not do that)

    @Tulpa:

    Even if other trash collectors were allowed (in this case they are not), choosing to go with a different collector would mean paying double for trash collection. You have to pay the city-chosen collector AND the one you choose.

    Other than the fact that other collectors are allowed, we have been very clear about the double paying aspect of this. But double paying does not mean that their right to choose which company takes their trash has been taken away, it means that their choice has been modified.

  216. 216
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John-David:

    It’s really amazing how frustrating a conversation can be when the people you’re talking to refuse to accept the most basic of facts.

    And yet, you can cite nothing that states that citizens of Fountain Hills will be unable to hire another provider. All you can produce is information saying that the city has signed a contract with one provider, which in no way prohibits people who disagree with the decision from seeking out private alternatives. The point you keep hammering isn’t supporting you in any way, shape, or form. It’s not evidence of your position at all, and it’s telling that you can only continue to cite the same sentences when people keep telling you that there are no restrictions on Fountain Hills residents being able to have their trash collected by a different provider than hired by the city.

  217. 217

    @John Cole:

    He’s been mad at me, taking potshots and making snide remarks ever since either Mistermix or DougJ called out Reason magazine as Koch stooges, and he was really mad about one of them linking to something about Suderman’s clothes or something.

    So he’s mad at you for telling the truth? Or are they now libemotarians?

  218. 218
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tulpa:

    Even if other trash collectors were allowed (in this case they are not), choosing to go with a different collector would mean paying double for trash collection. You have to pay the city-chosen collector AND the one you choose.

    Which, again, makes it just like sending your kids to private school instead of public school.

    But I’m guessing that you think anyone who sends their kids to private school should get a refund for the portion of his taxes that go to support the public schools.

  219. 219
    J.W. Hamner says:

    I wonder why our libertarian trolls still refuse to address the fact that their “free market choice” did not provide curbside recycling… which apparently residents want… for the simple reason that it’s way more awesome that way. I feel like you have to be a pretty giant loon to not see this as a legitimate and fair use of government.

  220. 220
    Tulpa says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I didn’t know Max Baucus was a “teahead”:

    “I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the health care bill. You know why? It’s statutory language,” Baucus said. “We hire experts.”

  221. 221
    gwangung says:

    And yet, you can cite nothing that states that citizens of Fountain Hills will be unable to hire another provider.

    I note that he keeps on ignoring a piece of data that flat out contradicts him. Inconvenient, that piece of data.

  222. 222
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    All you can produce is information saying that the city has signed a contract with one provider, which in no way prohibits people who disagree with the decision from seeking out private alternatives.

    Note also that the horrible, freedom-denying issue here is that the city only signed a contract with one hauler instead of signing contracts with five different haulers as they did before.

    That’s right — the city cutting back on contracts is now a denial of FRRREEEEDDDDDOOOMMMMMM!

  223. 223
    John-David says:

    @Mnemosyne: And yet you refuse to admit that the status quo as of July 1 is a monopoly.

  224. 224

    @Tulpa:
    You need to learn to read, glibster:

    Next you’ll tell us nobody knew what was in the bill.

    It is possible to know what’s in a bill without reading every single page.

  225. 225
    John-David says:

    And regardless, people here think it’s just fine for one provider to be paid for by everybody, even people who choose to have their trash carried by someone else, assuming that’s possible. That makes you corporate whores. Why shouldn’t a company be paid for not taking trash from somebody. I guess that’s another thing that only makes sense in Balloon Juice world.

  226. 226

    @John-David: but the status quo before July 1 is an oligopoly? Or a cartel? I’m confused.

  227. 227
    gwangung says:

    @John-David:

    And yet you refuse to admit that the status quo as of July 1 is a monopoly.

    Because it isn’t. Words mean something. Use them correctly.

    I note that you are STILL not going to admit you were wrong.

  228. 228
    MattR says:

    @Tulpa: Tea partiers want every page of every bill to be read in advance. Max Baucus says that is stupid and he doesn’t need to read every page. Therefore Max Baucus is a tea partier?

    @John-David: You must really hate the public schools. You have to pay for them even if you don’t have children.

  229. 229
    John-David says:

    @Mnemosyne: Where did you get the idea that the city had contracts with five different haulers? Is that yet another Balloon Juice truism: the only approved providers of any service are the ones who have contracts with the city? Please cite where you found that.

  230. 230
    gwangung says:

    And regardless, people here think it’s just fine for one provider to be paid for by everybody, even people who choose to have their trash carried by someone else, assuming that’s possible. That makes you corporate whores.

    No, that makes us people who trade less noise, less bother, less hassle for a single provider.

    That lessened hassle, inconvenience and waste is something that’s valued by many, if not by you. That is a rational economic choice in any person’s book.

    What’s irrational is that you deny other people could make that choice.

  231. 231
    Tulpa says:

    @MattR:

    But double paying does not mean that their right to choose which company takes their trash has been taken away, it means that their choice has been modified.

    Modified? Darth Vader would be proud.

    I guess that’s the same sense in which a state outlawing abortion would be OK, since a woman who has to travel to another state for an abortion hasn’t had her choice taken away, just modified.

  232. 232
    J.W. Hamner says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yeah, funny that these Tea Party Patriots don’t demand an end to town involvement in waste removal because of how capitalist it is to go to the dump every week… and how much the rotting garbage and vermin infestation in your lazy neighbor’s garage smells like freedom.

  233. 233
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John-David:

    And yet you refuse to admit that the status quo as of July 1 is a monopoly.

    And a monopoly is clearly inferior to a government-controlled cartel of five companies?

    That’s the part you keep forgetting — prior to July 1st, people don’t have FREE CHOICE. They still have to choose from a list of government-approved companies. But I guess the illusion of choice papering over the reality of government control is good enough for you.

    And regardless, people here think it’s just fine for one provider to be paid for by everybody, even people who choose to have their trash carried by someone else, assuming that’s possible. That makes you corporate whores.

    Most of us would probably prefer the trash pickup to be provided by the city or county directly instead of having them contract it out to a corporation, but people like you decided that it was impinging on their FFFFREEEEEEDDDOOOMMM to have the government pick up your garbage, so they had to start contracting it out instead.

    Don’t come whining here that the choices that you made are coming back to bite you in the ass.

  234. 234
    Tulpa says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    It is possible to know what’s in a bill without reading every single page.

    For your sake, I hope you don’t approach signing contracts with that attitude. Of course, signing a contract means that you yourself will be required to abide by it, while a Congressperson voting for a bill only means that those ordinary citizens out there will be required to abide by it, so it is a different dynamic and Baucus’ attitude is understandable, however reprehensible.

  235. 235

    @Tulpa:
    Did you really just compare choice in trash collection to the right of a woman to control over her own body?

    Wow, and you think the Balloon Juice crowd is hyperbolic. You have to have pulled a muscle making that Hoekstroika.

  236. 236
    John-David says:

    @gwangung: So then you are in favor of a monopoly. You can’t argue it both ways.

  237. 237
    Tulpa says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: It’s called an analogy. There are SAT prep classes at your local high school if you need help understanding what an analogy is.

  238. 238
    John-David says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m still waiting for you to give evidence that there was a government controlled cartel of five companies. Proving facts isn’t as easy as making them up, is it?

  239. 239
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John-David:

    Where did you get the idea that the city had contracts with five different haulers? Is that yet another Balloon Juice truism: the only approved providers of any service are the ones who have contracts with the city? Please cite where you found that.

    You really are pretty fucking clueless, considering that you’ve posted the key sentence almost five times now:

    Now, residents can choose among five haulers

    Of course, those five haulers all have contracts with the city, which is why they keep using that word “switch” all throughout the article. You know, like this sentence (it should be familiar to you):

    A divided Fountain Hills Town Council voted Thursday to switch to a single hauler for residential trash pickup and begin curbside recycling, and approved a five-year contract with Allied Waste Services to be the single hauler.

    Now, see how THE CITY is switching to a “single hauler” as opposed to the current system of multiple haulers. Who all currently have contracts with the city.

    What, did you think the current system was something different all together?

  240. 240
    MattR says:

    @Tulpa: This may be hard for you to fathom, but I actually have different sets of rules when it comes to important rights (like control over ones body) and the handling of irrelevant details of my daily life in a civil society (like collecting the trash). In the former, it is not acceptable to modify or restrict choice in any way. In the latter, it is.

    It is similar to how I support the right of the majority to set the rules in a democracy but I also support the Bill of Rights enumerating certain things that the majority can never infringe upon.

    @Midnight Marauder: I love this headline at one of the local AZ websites

    “The Fountain Hills Mayor & Town Council is attempting to restrict resident’s choice in trash services by forcing residents into a single payer system!”

  241. 241
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John-David:

    Where did you get the idea that the city had contracts with five different haulers? Is that yet another Balloon Juice truism: the only approved providers of any service are the ones who have contracts with the city? Please cite where you found that.

    It says it RIGHT IN THE SAME GODDAMNED ARTICLE YOU KEEP QUOTING FROM, YOU FUCKING IDIOT.

    A divided Fountain Hills Town Council voted Thursday to switch to a single hauler for residential trash pickup and begin curbside recycling, and approved a five-year contract with Allied Waste Services to be the single hauler. The proposal drew intense opposition, and council members were bombarded with e-mails and telephone calls leading up to the meeting.
    __
    Now, residents can choose among five haulers, and the town has no curbside recycling. The single trash hauler and curbside recycling is scheduled to begin July 1 but could be delayed until the fall when more residents are in town.

    If the city council is switching, that means that the current way the city does things is to have five city-approved companies. That’s what makes it a “switch” to having only one company.

  242. 242
    Tulpa says:

    @MattR: I guess that’s the difference between us. You see the Bill of Rights as a list of a few things the majority is not allowed to do to you; I see the Constitution as a list of the few things it is allowed to do to you.

  243. 243
    gwangung says:

    @John-David: Don’t distort the terms. I get something under an exclusive contract that I can’t get now; I can change when the contract is up. Using, what’s the term now? Competitive bidding.

  244. 244
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John-David:

    I’m still waiting for you to give evidence that there was a government controlled cartel of five companies. Proving facts isn’t as easy as making them up, is it?

    It’s kind of tough to provide that evidence to someone who lacks basic reading and critical thinking skills. The information is actually in the fucking article. Its not a fucking mystery, man. It is, literally, right out in the fucking open. The city of Fountain Hills switched from having contracts with five trash haulers to one trash hauler. That’s all they did. And the article is rather clear on that salient point. It’s not our fault that you continue to exhibit a gross inability to read and process information correctly.

  245. 245
    John-David says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    What, did you think the current system was something different all together?

    Yeah, why would I think that? Except it was, and you can’t show it wasn’t. Here, I’ll give you something to chew on, and you show me where the old system had contracted haulers.

    http://www.fh.az.gov/Default.aspx?pageid=525

    Now, here’s the new city law.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.fh.az.gov/data/sites/2/media/clerk/public_notice.pdf

    You can assume everything you want, but the fact is there were as many haulers as wanted to take curbside trash, but now there is only one by city ordinance.

  246. 246
    MattR says:

    @Tulpa:

    I guess that’s the difference between us. You see the Bill of Rights as a list of a few things the majority is not allowed to do to you; I see the Constitution as a list of the few things it is allowed to do to you.

    Except I don’t think those two things are mutually exclusive.

  247. 247
    John-David says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sigh. The city wasn’t regulating who could take trash before; now there are, and limiting it to one hauler. It really isn’t that difficult.

  248. 248
    Tulpa says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s not necessarily the case. There could have been only five companies that served residents of the city, with no formal approval needed from the city.

    I’m guessing there are a finite number of restaurants in your city, let’s say 57. But it’s unlikely that the city government said, here is a list of 57 approved restaurants; that’s just the number that naturally sprang up in the absence of regulation.

  249. 249

    @Tulpa:

    For your sake, I hope you don’t approach signing contracts with that attitude.

    I am relatively certain the CEO of every multinational in the nation doesn’t read every single page of every single contract signed by their company. That’s what staff lawyers are for.

    And I don’t read every line of the tax code, either, but I have a CPA who does my taxes, and I pay them when I have to.

    If you’re content to let the entire business of a country with 300 million people grind to a fucking halt because you want congresspeople to read every single page of the defense appropriations bill, or the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations, Education Jobs & FMAP bill, or the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations, Border Security (as passed by Senate) bill, be my guest.

    And since you brought up analogies, analogizing between the need for a single individual to read complex contractual documents and the need for a functional government on multiple levels, an SAT prep class at the local cc isn’t going to help you with that level of stupid.

  250. 250
    gwangung says:

    @John-David: Cite. Other news articles have reported this as a change in contracting.

  251. 251
    John-David says:

    @gwangung: Cite it yourself. Not one article I’ve seen posted from here says the 5 companies were contracted.

  252. 252
    les says:

    @John-David:

    Dude, WTF? The city once had contracts with 5 companies, now they have a contract with one company. People had a choice of companies paid by the city, now they don’t. You have given no evidence whatsofuckingever that, either before the change or now, people were barred from contracting with a company that had no relationship with the city. Generally, that’s not how any law works–it’s up to you to support a proposition that isn’t generally true. Everyone in Fountain City is free to contract with whoever they want, and free to put their recyclables in with their trash. They’re just not free to force the city to make the payment. Really, multiple postings of irrelevant rantings doesn’t prove your point.

  253. 253
    les says:

    @Tulpa:

    Even if other trash collectors were allowed (in this case they are not)

    Citation needed. Deranged enraged citizens quoted out of context don’t count.

  254. 254
    Tulpa says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: OK, let’s get a few philosophical differences aired out immediately: the business of the 300 million people in this country, at least for the time being, is not run by those 535 geniuses in the Capitol; it is run by those 300 million people. If Congress ground to a screeching halt and didn’t pass any legislation for six months while they tried to decipher exactly what the heck those 1000-page bills actually said, it’s highly unlikely this would result in food riots and cannibalism in the streets (or to borrow the hysterical refrain from the thread’s beginning, OMG SOMALIA!!!!1!!!!111!!!).

    Considering that, for us ordinary citizens who aren’t smart enough to be in Congress, “ignorance of the law is not a valid defense”, it would be a good idea if the bills were actually readable by an average person, no? I mean, if Congress, which is 80% lawyers, has a hard time reading these bills, what hope do the rest of us have?

  255. 255
    gwangung says:

    @John-David: Well, that’s impolite. YOU made the assertion, you should support it.

    What you’ve cited is clearly not definitive; it can apply to either situation. Moreover, since people with personal connections to the city have contradicted you (however weakly), I think it’s up to you to bring stronger support.

  256. 256
    John-David says:

    @les: And again: whre, anywhere, is there any evidence that the city contracted with these five trash haulers? Everyone here wants to assume that without a shred of proof. For that matter, I’d like someone to name one city in this country where people can choose among five trash haulers, but the payments go to the city because the haulers have a contract with the city.

  257. 257
    gwangung says:

    @Tulpa: Actually, I thought the point is that Congress has a hard time reading the bills because there’s so much to read (CEOs are often lawyers, but they don’t go through the contracts themselves). But YMMV….

  258. 258
    Tulpa says:

    @John-David: Apparently the majority has decided that there was a special list of approved garbage collectors, so the burden of proof is on us to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Kneel down and obey!

  259. 259
    les says:

    @John-David:

    Public admission that you are massively ignorant about the situation you’re trying to discuss are not good for your argument.

  260. 260
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John-David:

    Yeah, why would I think that? Except it was, and you can’t show it wasn’t. Here, I’ll give you something to chew on, and you show me where the old system had contracted haulers.

    Okay, now this is just becoming absurd. Do you seriously expect people to believe your case when the only supplementary information you can provide beyond posting the same quote over and over again, is the fucking METHODS OF GARBAGE AND TRASH REMOVAL?! I mean, that’s what you posted a link to and I am laughing so hard right now in your cyberface. Of course the link you provided doesn’t talk about contracted haulers! All it talks about is things like this:

    Section 10-1-2 Vehicles and Receptacles to be Spillproof
    __
    It is unlawful for any person to haul or cause to be hauled on or along any public street in the town any garbage, unless such garbage is contained in strong, watertight vehicles or vehicles with watertight receptacles, constructed to prevent any such garbage from falling, leaking or spilling and any odor from escaping.

    and this:

    Section 10-1-4 Dumping Refuse
    __
    It is unlawful for any person to place or cause to be placed any refuse upon any public or private property within the town except as specifically permitted in this chapter.

    and this:

    Section 10-1-6 Fly-Tight and Clean Garbage Containers
    __
    All garbage haulers operating within Town limits shall provide fly-tight and clean garbage containers that are in good condition. Residents shall keep containers reasonably clean and free from fly larva, intense odors, and an unusually high number of flies. Containers found to contain fly larva shall immediately be removed and replaced by the garbage hauler.

    So, I’ve chewed on what you gave me and I still feel pretty unsatisfied, considering that it has absolutely no relation to the discussion at hand.

    You can assume everything you want, but the fact is there were as many haulers as wanted to take curbside trash, but now there is only one by city ordinance.

    The only person making assumptions, actually, is you. There is no need to make assumptions about anything because the facts are included in the article that you have inanely posted repeatedly without even understanding what it was saying. There is no guessing going on here; the city previously had five haulers available via city ordinance and now it has one available via city ordinance. Again, I know it’s inconvenient to your point, but the system hasn’t changed as radically as you seem to believe.

  261. 261
    Tulpa says:

    @gwangung: That’s a problem too. See, I only aim to make the life of our public servants easier by shortening the bills and having fewer of them. And yet they resist me, the ingrates.

  262. 262
    John-David says:

    @les: Oh, ouch. Asking for someone to prove something is admitting massive ignorance. I have been rebuked.

  263. 263
    Tulpa says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    the city previously had five haulers available via city ordinance

    There’s your assumption. There’s nothing in the article indicating that any city ordinance limited the number of trash collectors to five.

  264. 264

    @Tulpa:
    Dude(tte), you *really* need to read and pay attention.
    __

    If you’re content to let the entire business of *a country* with 300 million people

    The business of the country is not run by 300 million people. The business of those 300 million people is run by ~150 million people (assuming those under the age of about 15 aren’t running their own households).

    If Congress ground to a screeching halt and didn’t pass any legislation for six months while they tried to decipher exactly what the heck those 1000-page bills actually said, it’s highly unlikely this would result in food riots and cannibalism in the streets

    We tried shutting down the government in the mid-90s. If congress ground to a screeching halt for six months, you’d get more of the same.

    Considering that, for us ordinary citizens who aren’t smart enough to be in Congress, “ignorance of the law is not a valid defense”, it would be a good idea if the bills were actually readable by an average person, no? I mean, if Congress, which is 80% lawyers, has a hard time reading these bills, what hope do the rest of us have?

    I’ll let the lawyers in the audience answer that question for you, although I will note again that not having read every single page of a bill != “ignorance of the law.”

  265. 265
    Tulpa says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    The business of the country is not run by 300 million people. The business of those 300 million people is run by ~150 million people (assuming those under the age of about 15 aren’t running their own households).

    LOL, you are a nitpicker. Of course, people under 15 comprise far less than half the population of the US; or are you only counting “heads of household”? Kind of a backward attitude to consider only one spouse in a marriage as being in charge of his life, but as the kids and the rental car companies say, YMMV.

    “I’ll let the lawyers in the audience answer that question for you, although I will note again that not having read every single page of a bill != “ignorance of the law.”

    If the relevant text of the US Code that you are arrested and charged under is on that page that you failed to read, why, yes it is ignorance of the law.

  266. 266
    MattR says:

    @Tulpa:

    while they tried to decipher exactly what the heck those 1000-page bills actually said,

    Nice strawman. The reason for not reading them is not the difficulty in deciphering their meaning. It is to save time when the legalese of 1000 pages can be summed up in a 50 pages* by a paid staffer. To force every Congressman to read every word of every bill would truly epitomize government waste.

  267. 267
    John-David says:

    @Midnight Marauder: And yet you neglected to read the other link, which explicitly limits the city to one trash hauler. So…

    Previous trash law = anyone who wants to haul trash

    New trash law = one hauler

    I’m still waiting for the proof that there were five contracted haulers, as opposed to five companies that were hired by citizens without interference other than following the rules.

  268. 268
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    You cheapen the word “freedom” immeasurably when you argue that elected officials signing a contract for an essential service, after a process of bidding, reduces freedom in any way.

    For libertarians, freedom is just a fetish object. They don’t understand what it is, and probably wouldn’t appreciate it if they did.

    Sad, really.

  269. 269
    les says:

    @John-David:

    What do the words “residents could select from among 5 haulers” mean, do you suppose? That there are, and always will be, exactly 5 haulers existing in the area? That all but 5 haulers are barred from the city limits? That FH residents are already barred by law from choosing the hauler of their own choice, except these 5?

    Reading comprhension–ur doin it rong. Stupid and obstinate is no way to go through life, son. Unless you show me the law, either before or after this change, that prohibits residents from contracting with anyone they please to haul their trash, you got nuthin.

  270. 270
    MattR says:

    @MattR: Nice. I see I forgot to include my footnote that 50 pages was a made up number

  271. 271

    @Tulpa:
    Since I wasn’t in a time or place to look up the data, I was splitting the difference re: the 150 million figure. The percentage of the population under 18 is 24.3 percent.

    Assuming there is some small percentage of people who are incapacitated in the larger population (and have their business handled by guardians), you could say somewhere around ~27 percent are not managing their own business.

    My point stands. ~300 million people do not run the business of the country.

    Also, I know that killing another human being is probably against the law. I have not read that section of US Code. Am I “ignorant of the law”?

  272. 272
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @John-David:

    I’m still waiting for the proof that there were five contracted haulers, as opposed to five companies that were hired by citizens without interference other than following the rules.

    It’s hard to believe that a rugged ubermench like yourself has time for such petty trifles. Shouldn’t you be starting some businesses or chopping wood on your remote private estate or inventing a free energy device, or something?

    John Galt thinks you’re pathetic.

  273. 273
    John-David says:

    @les: It meant that five haulers wanted to do business in that city, according to the laws that allowed however many haulers wanted to do business there. You’re currently the only one trying to come up with alternative explanations for why there were five and only five. The few of us that read the regulations, the story, and understand how the market works recognize that there were five there because that’s how many could make money there. Come July 1 there will be one, not because only one can make money in this city, but because the city council is only allowing one.

  274. 274
    HyperIon says:

    @cleek:

    i just uploaded a new version of the existing script that will do it.

    umm. where?
    i never used the one for commenters but i think installing one for some front pagers here might be useful.

  275. 275
    gwangung says:

    @Tulpa: No doubt it’s a problem, but it’s simple minded response to cut down on laws or make them shorter. It misunderstands the principles on which the free market is based on.

    Fewer laws or shorter laws, by force, introduce ambiguities. The clauses in laws try to short circuit that. That then encourages more law suits to define and reduce ambiguity. What you propose is not going to do anything but shift the effort elsewhere (and introduce more inefficiencies).

  276. 276

    In a later post, Cole mentions the mayor asserting that the city could save $1 million with the single-provider set-up. How is this so? How does this relate to the discussion at hand?

  277. 277
    MattR says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Completely irrelevant cuz FREEDOM!!

  278. 278
    John-David says:

    @Jrod the Cookie Thief: And there we go. All that is left are ad hominem attacks.

  279. 279
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John-David:

    And yet you neglected to read the other link, which explicitly limits the city to one trash hauler. So…
    __
    Previous trash law = anyone who wants to haul trash
    __
    New trash law = one hauler

    Here’s a tip for the future. Just because someone didn’t specifically reply to a link you posted, doesn’t mean they didn’t read it. I read the PDF compilation of the business done at the last regular session of the Fountain Hills council and it doesn’t say anything insightful or new. It just reiterates the same points we’ve made about the city switching to a single provider:

    WHEREAS, the Town Council has determined that it is in the Town’s best interest to unify solid waste collection and recycling into a single hauler system to reduce the heavy truck traffic on Town streets, reduce vehicle emissions and enhance public safety, and;

    I mean, that’s pretty much all we’re talking about in the link. And I find it fascinating that you can continue to maintain that the previous system had it that anyone could haul trash, as opposed to the city declaring (as they do on their own website under “Trash Removal”) “The community of Fountain Hills does not have a municipal trash service. However, there are several private companies to choose from.” And then the city proceeds to list the companies that are available for choosing.

    Guess how many companies they list?

    ABCO Recycling and Waste Mgmt. Services
    Telephone: (602) 943-9676
    __
    D & L Disposal, Inc.
    Telephone: (602) 938-7344
    __
    Red Mountain Rubbish Removal/AJ Waste
    Telephone: (480) 854-9009
    __
    ValleyWaste
    Telephone: (602) 277-7500
    __
    Waste Management
    Telephone: (602) 268-2222

    Also, this article from the Fountain Hills Times online strikes me as a good piece of supplemental information:

    Using a single hauler for trash collection here could have fiscal benefits totaling more than $1 million per year for the town and its residents.
    __
    That’s the conclusion of a report prepared by Town Manager Rick Davis to be discussed Thursday evening by the Town Council.
    __
    One important talking point has been the potential cost to individuals.
    __
    According to Davis, staff has determined that the average household in Fountain Hills is now paying approximately $16 per month for trash service.
    __
    He states consolidation would reduce that by about 30 percent to $11.44 per month.
    __
    Davis said his report is intended to do nothing more than provide the information as to why staff would support a decision to move to a single hauler.
    __
    “Studies, statistics and conclusions can and will be disputed and scrutinized long past any decision,” Davis said.
    __
    “Nevertheless, based on the information that became available over the course of this two-year process, as such supports the premise that the community will significantly benefit from consolidated trash service, we recommend all actions necessary to implement this initiative.”
    __
    Davis presented four basic conclusions. He said the information supports a $92,000 annual savings in road maintenance.
    __
    There would be a 206 metric ton reduction annually in trash truck emissions.
    __
    Local business could receive an infusion of more than $600,000 per year, and citizens would save a total of $500,000 associated with trash services.

    DAMN THOSE PESKY BUREAUCRATS TRYING TO SAVE THE PUBLIC A HALF MILLION DOLLARS!

  280. 280
    gwangung says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    In a later post, Cole mentions the mayor asserting that the city could save $1 million with the single-provider set-up. How is this so? How does this relate to the discussion at hand?

    It’s often done in private business? It’s often done in government contracting? An exclusive contract for a specified period in exchange for more services and lower price?

  281. 281
    jimmiraybob says:

    Duly elected community leaders are elected to make decisions that are crucial to and based on community needs. They are under no obligation, rightfully so, to accommodate every individual whim, fancy, prejudice, philosophy or ideology. Anybody that’s ever been in the situation of making community-based decisions knows that there will always be an opposition factor to any program or solution.

    That there are some that feel that their right to choose among five (to be consistent why stop at five?) trash companies is violated by the larger community’s right to narrow the choice to one for the reasons of efficiency, cost savings*, reduced air emissions and public safety, does not constitute a violation of their rights under the charter of the community.

    If there are individuals that don’t like the restrictions constituted by living in an organized system with a democratic and representative government to help administer municipal needs then they are free to scratch out an free and independent existence in the wild-west desert locale of their choice. There are more than a few of these in AZ.

    *Someone asked for evidence of estimated efficiency/savings – “ABC15 reports that Town Manager Rick Davis estimated ‘total savings to reach about $1,000,000 a year,’ and that officials also hope the changes will cut down on pollution, noise, and traffic.

  282. 282
    les says:

    @John-David:

    Sorry, dude. There were 5 haulers doing regularly scheduled residential trash pickup; now there is one contracted with the city. Now, if the 5 did nothing but scheduled residential pickup in one city only, 4 will be out of business. Pretty stupid business model, but it’s a free country. You have yet to offer evidence that residents are prohibited from picking up the phone and hiring their own trash pickup. Or to offer any interpretation of the “could select from 5” under the previous ordinance. Or to offer evidence that companies doing commercial trash pickup or unscheduled commercial/residential pickup are barred from the city. Or that any of your other paranoid delusions have any basis in reality.

  283. 283
    themann1086 says:

    Libertarians are adorable. Every molehill becomes a mountain for them to die on…

    They can never admit even one instance of government intervention doing good overall for society as opposed to the effects of the market. This isn’t a matter of preference, it’s absolutely crucial to the function of the ideology. If they ever do that, then it’s an admission that social engineering can work, the market can fail, and it’s just a matter of figuring out what is the proper mixture to have the best society.

    This is what sets it apart from Liberalism, Conservatism, and so on. One outcome against prediction will not send those intellectual foundations crashing down, because they aren’t based so heavily on absolute rules applications. Libertarianism, by contrast, if it ever concedes a market failure fixed by a government law, is in deep trouble.

    So this in turn leads Libertarians into amazing flights of fancy, for example, to deny the success of civil-rights laws. They must say institutional segregation was somehow all the government’s fault, or it would have gone away anyway, or something like that. Rather than racism, it’s being made stupid by ideology-poisoning.

    Libertarian logic is an axiomatic system that bears very little resemblance to standard deductive thought – which is in part why it’s so debilitating to people. It’s a little like one of those non-Euclidean geometries, internally valid results can be derived from the postulates, but they sound extremely weird when applied to the real world.

  284. 284
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @John-David: Ad hominem isn’t all I have. It’s all you deserve.

    You want reasoned argument, scroll up. I don’t need to repeat things that have already been said several times.

    Again, I remind you: you’re wailing about the attack against freedom that is a municipal garbage removal contract. For fuck’s sake, is your life really so good that this is worth fighting for? I can think of many problems that are far more urgent; namely, every single goddam one of them.

  285. 285
    gwangung says:

    Again, I remind you: you’re wailing about the attack against freedom that is a municipally contracted garbage removal contract.

    That is cheaper and offers more services than what was offered before.

    At some point, you have to laugh.

  286. 286
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @gwangung: Drat, and I totally fixed that sentence in an edit.

    But, I agree. Laughing at these idiots has been a great stress reliever. It’s one of those rare situations where nutty market-humping ideology produces laughter, rather than producing suffering and despair.

    We should enjoy that while we can.

  287. 287
    jimmiraybob says:

    Well, I see there has been a “$1,000,000 a year savings” trifecta.

    So, the measure will:

    1) provide for greater safety,
    2) reduce the nuisance of five fleets of trucks running through town and out of town to the landfills (noise, congestion),
    3) be good for the environment – and air emissions are very important in and around the greater Phoenix area,
    4) save gas and thus reduce our dependence on “terror states,”
    5) AND save big money.

    And this has a few tens or maybe a hundred or two libertarian Tea Partiers up in arms against the constituted government that serves some 25,000 people? And apparently is doing a good job of it.

    Wait until they figure out that their electricity and water is delivered under contract by one provider for each. This might turn into a shooting war.

  288. 288
    gwangung says:

    @jimmiraybob: Don’t forget add more services; definitely curbside recycling, plus the possibility of other services.

  289. 289
    Mnemosyne says:

    @themann1086:

    This is what sets it apart from Liberalism, Conservatism, and so on. One outcome against prediction will not send those intellectual foundations crashing down, because they aren’t based so heavily on absolute rules applications. Libertarianism, by contrast, if it ever concedes a market failure fixed by a government law, is in deep trouble.

    That reminds me of one of my all-time favorite posts by Fred Clark at Slacktivist where he talks about how a creationist friend of his in college had a serious crisis of faith that was triggered by a trip to Israel where he saw an 8,000-year-old wall.

    The money quote:

    The most dangerous thing about fundamentalism is not that it sometimes teaches wacky ideas, like that the world is barely 6,000 years old or that dancing is sinful. The most dangerous thing is that it insists that such ideas are all inviolably necessary components of the faith. Each such idea, every aspect of their faith, is regarded as a keystone without which everything else they believe — the existence of a loving God, the assurance of pardon, the possibility of a moral or meaningful life — crumbles into meaninglessness.

    So, to a fundamentalist libertarian, the very idea of the government successfully running anything — even something as minute as municipal garbage service — is so threatening that they have to get rid of it and insist that everyone pay more money for less service just to avoid the haunting fear that a government somewhere is doing something right.

  290. 290
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John-David:

    The few of us that read the regulations, the story, and understand how the market works recognize that there were five there because that’s how many could make money there. Come July 1 there will be one, not because only one can make money in this city, but because the city council is only allowing one.

    Who wants to be the one to tell John-David that a city of 25,000 was not actually the sole support of five different trash-hauling companies and that the other four companies are continuing to do business throughout the rest of Maricopa County and the Phoenix metro area?

    Fountain Hills is not a city-state. It’s a small suburb surrounded by a lot of other, much larger communities. There is no way in hell that five companies were solely existing to service the garbage needs of 25,000 people.

  291. 291
    C. Gallager says:

    The fun part of the uber-libertarian nuttery over this is that if one of those five trash haulers gobbled up the other four in leveraged buyouts our libbertoonians would have no problem with “The residents of this city now only have one trash hauler to choose from. “

  292. 292
    toujoursdan says:

    Here is a list of private garbage disposal services that anyone in Fountain Hills can call if they don’t like the new city contractor.

    Garbage Pickup in Fountain Hills, AZ

    Twas a 1 minute Googlesearch. I’d like to find evidence that the city will send the police to intercept these companies if they try to haul their garbage away.

  293. 293
    toujoursdan says:

    @John-David:

    The few of us that read the regulations, the story, and understand how the market works recognize that there were five there because that’s how many could make money there. Come July 1 there will be one, not because only one can make money in this city, but because the city council is only allowing one.

    Oh noes!!! A local government showed good stewardship of the taxpayers’ dollars by doing something that will save them over a million dollars a year, instead of wasting it by giving private companies corporate welfare.

  294. 294
    Roberta X says:

    @jacy:And your fisking of it is…. Where, exactly?

  295. 295
    gwangung says:

    So the takeaway from all this is that choice is paramount to a libertarian…so much so, in that they’ll force OTHERS to pay more for fewer services in order to preserve that choice.

  296. 296
    JoyfulA says:

    @Jules:
    I was wondering when someone would finally mention why libertarian solutions to trash disposal don’t work. Worse than stockpiling trash in the yard to burn it on the next windy day is what happens in the rural areas around here that do not mandate some form of trash pickup: People just toss their trash on someone else’s property, wherever nobody’s looking. Such people then get angry when they’re fined for littering because they were caught on a webcam or left incriminating evidence in their trashbags.

    Although I must add that I hope my municipality picks another trash company for the next contract. I am getting annoyed with the current trash company’s owner’s sending his customers whiny letters about how businesses are overtaxed.

  297. 297
    DPirate says:

    Only he takes about 1200 words to day it. This is why Atlas Shrugged is a 1200 page paperback.

    rofl

  298. 298
    John-David says:

    @toujoursdan: Congratulations on your mad Google skillz. Get back to me on July 1 and tell me how long that list is.

    Idiot.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] the future, when competition in trash collection is outlawed, only outlaws will drive garbage trucks. and they’ll revel in their freedom on Sundays, eluding […]

  2. […] He has now responded with a short post that has nothing in the way of a substantive argument, but does misstate the points I made, makes a crack about Ayn Rand (note: I’m not a Randian), uses the junior high term “teabaggers”, uses all-caps to mock the people he disagrees with, and tags me as a glibertarian, a term that once had a specific definition, but now apparently means any libertarian who makes a point John Cole doesn’t like. (Seriously, John. If you’re going to call me a “glibertarian,” the term really has no meaning at all. I spend 90 percent of my time writing about issues and advocating positions that will never personally affect me.) […]

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