‘Work’ as Low as the TSA’s

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A friend reports that as he was walking to his office yesterday in New York City, he saw two of Our Masters’ lackeys crawl from a car emblazoned along the lines of “New York City Department of Sanitation, Code Enforcement.” The leeches proceeded to grope the garbage bags lining the curb and awaiting collection. New York’s potentates, you see, have decreed that their serfs must separate their garbage for recycling, and they punish those who don’t follow their ambiguous regulations, as I explained in an article for The New American in January 2010 (sorry I can’t link to it, but it seems to have disappeared down the memory-hole):

…fines dominate all the State’s recycling schemes. New York City has honed its hustle into something Bernie Madoff would envy. First, it hires the otherwise unemployable to stroll the streets peering through the clear plastic of citizens’ trash bags for infractions of the numerous and bizarre recycling rules [“wrapping paper (remove ribbon and tape)” is recyclable, but not “paper with a lot of tape or glue” — and who decides what “a lot” is? Certainly not the hapless victim]. Fines for residences start at $25, but they zoom as high as $500 for “four or more Notices within a six-month period.” You can contest your fines, but unless they’ve accrued, it’s easier and cheaper to fork over the $25, even if no speck of tape or glue marred your paper, than to hire an attorney or wait hours for your case to be called “at any ECB [Environmental Control Board] Location,” as the “Notice of Violation” advises.

Nor do we “Respondent[s]” even know the specifics of our crime: under “Details of Violation,” the pre-printed Notice merely says, “At T/P/O I did observe Non-Recyclable Material improperly placed in a recycling container designated for metal, glass, plastic,” with a signature from the “Sanitation Enforcement Agent.” Cagey, the phrasing there: anyone, not just “Respondent,” can “improperly place” “Non-Recyclable Material … in [Respondent’s] recycling container,” given the City’s army of homeless people rooting through garbage in quest of a meal. As if that weren’t enough, New York’s rulers require retailers to charge a five-cent deposit on soda bottles and cans; that incentive sends other folks at the fringes hunting treasure in the trash as well — and neither set of scavengers worries about “properly” replacing what they’ve removed. Finally, many New Yorkers live in large apartment houses where superintendents or management companies oversee the trash. The money the City bilks from the building becomes just a line-item in the accountant’s annual statement — the one residents usually don’t study unless the building can’t afford to light its halls. Most marks don’t even know government’s picked their pockets.

Meanwhile, exactly what sort of cockroach agrees to spy on his neighbor — and on his garbage, rather than the juicy stuff like the hot emails he’s sending his adulterous lover or his phone calls to the lady? Imagine molesting trash as an entry on the ole resume: “Sanitation Code Enforcer, 1992–2012: Cruised Manhattan’s pot-holed streets in a car taxpayers provided. Hopped out when I wanted to buy donuts, felt up a couple garbage bags along the way.”

And the nitwits out there assume we anarchists are crazy. Good gracious, we can’t begin to compete with the State’s insanity nor its minions’ lack of self-respect, initiative, and decency.

9:12 am on August 8, 2012