Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Friday, August 1, 2008

And Freedom Dies A Little Bit More

Gavin Newsom, the self-obsessed mayor of San Francisco has proved once again that his city produces more stupid ideas per capita than any other city on the planet. Apparently now he wants to have garbage collectors sort through residents' trash to make sure no one slipped an aluminum can into the garbage. Those who do will recieve fines and eventually can even have their service cancelled.

Aside from the obvious privacy issues involved in going through someone's trash, the risk of dangers like needle sticks, and the fact that Lady Liberty is currently spinning like a top in her grave, here's another problem to ponder. Newsom has now designed a system that combines the worst inefficiencies of both worlds.

In addition to people making the effort to sort their trash, and having multiple trucks to collect the different types of cans we all put out, the trash will be sorted a second time at the recieving point. That means that the inefficiencies of a system that requires an excessive number of highly-paid union drivers and expensive trucks requiring maintenance is combined with a system that requires lots of low-pay, (Relative to the rest of San Francisco, not the real world. The trash sifters will probably start around $50k a year, with full benefits.) manpower intensive sorting work. Why not just have one can, and thereby save on drivers and trucks if you're going to sort it at the destination anyway?