Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Trash May be Better than Markets?

Russell Trzaskan offers two solutions to the problem that “capitalism” as we know it “is so seriously flawed and is in need of fixing”: one: is “to tax the sale of goods to the wasteful, and to subsidize food to the desperate”; and to prevent cheating by making sure that “only the desperate get government food” by making that “food healthy, but also to make it taste awful, so only people who need it to live will come get it.” Almost pure Jonathan Swift!

At this point I began to suspect this was a parody, written for a laugh, especially when he added: “and to pay for this the government could tax garbage collection to make people think twice from about buying more than they want.” If taxing garbage was successful it would end surplus food in rubbish bins and deprive the hungry of sustenance; if the tax was high enough to feed the poor, irrespective of what was thrown out as rubbish, it would promote cheating by illicit dumping in neighbours' bins or in the neighbourhood generally.

But it is still a good read and a laugh. Thank you Russell Trzaska for that. Now back to exam marking!.

[I originally credit Hazel Ryerson with this article but she informed me (today: 19 November, 2012!, the actual author. I have altered the references to correct my mistake. Apologies.]


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