- Published: 27 May 1978 27 May 1978
Almost daily capitalism is confronted by new crisis situations erupting. Whether it be the stock market crash in 1929 or Bowie Kuhn's "best interest in baseball" rulings, they all call into question the viability of capitalism as a system of rational planning, capable of giving us all the good life.
Sometimes the crises are "natural" and sometimes they are "artificial" (like the destabiliza1ion in Chile). Recently a new crisis erupted that is both "natural" and "artificial."
If you have ever wondered about who pick up the garbage under socialism, you won't find a better anawer anywhere than in this story of capitalist "rationality".
Westchester County, which is located just above New York City and includes the richest and the poorest of residents, seems to be having a bit of a problem of late concerning its garbage. It seems that they have too much of it. At the same time, a proposed solution may be rejected only because it would result ... in not enough garbage!
Huh? you say. And well you may.
What the local politicos are proposing is building a new large garbage disposal system. But it would be of such size that it would require more garbage to operate efficiently than Westchester currently has available.
Logically the thing to do would be to get the excess garbage from New York City. But it appears that one politioo is opposed to the importation of NYC garbage: he feels that Westchester should build a garbage unit big enough 10 chomp up enough of its garbage and that's it.
Now the crisis here comes from the fact that Westchester County needs a new garbage chomper but because of "politics" they aren't going to get it right away. At least one and probably more politicans are using this issue as a political football to rush their careers forward, hyping on the "chomp garbage in one county" theme.
So whenever the new garbage chomper (of whatever size) does get built, it will cost more than it would if built now, thereby causing taxes to go up. The final decision will undoubtedly be the result of a political compromise and, again as a result, the final design will possibly be less efficient than the present one.
Not Enough Garbage!
But the most insane thing about the situation is that New York City is in desperate need of places to dump it's garbage (for a full week before Peanuts Carter visited the South Bronx earlier this year, the Sanitation Department cleaned out all the garbage they have been dumping in a lot off Boston Road).
Now, if capitialism were a rational system, garbage disposal would be solved on a regional basis, designed to meet the actual needs of the communities involved - not used as a poker chip in local politics as it now is.
To tell the truth though, considering the overall class character of Westchester County - which incudes the estates of the likes of the Rockefellers - regardless of what kind of garbage chomper they eventually build, I hope its teeth rot and fall out.