We are all recycling slaves now…the truth about our can and bottle bondage.

First off, I am not anti-recycling, I am anti-enslavement, and that is what this article is about. Even though I did not have the room to store recyclables in my apartment, I did make sure they made it into a recycling bin, thus forfeiting my deposit. I would also have paid extra to have someone recycle my bottles and cans if that was what was needed. But that is me, and I would never make you a slave to me and what I want. Liberals however, will enslave you in the blink of an eye.

Everyone knows in many states when you buy soda or beer at the grocery store, you pay a recycling tax. In California, this is the CRV (California Redemption Value). As someone who prefers freedom to slavery, I don’t agree with this tax, but at least these taxes are passed at the state level, which at least is Constitutional on that point. We’re just idiots for letting them pass it at all, but that is a different topic.

If recycling is a profitable business, then we don’t need government to be involved. The private sector will offer to buy bottles and glasses at whatever value they can and still make a profit. If the profit is high enough, they will even offer pickup services. If no businesses offer to buy these recyclables, then that means it costs more to recycle and reuse them then it’s worth. I don’t see this as a bad thing. If we are going to be responsible for recycling due to a government mandate, then we will have to pay, one way or another, for all the overhead costs associated with collecting, processing, recycling and reselling them. But if I am free, as I am lead to believe, then why am I required by law to pay these costs if I do not want to participate? If the cost of my beer is $12.00 and I give the cashier $11.40 (withholding the CRV tax) and walk out the door, I will be arrested for stealing, but really it was just for not paying the CRV.

When I tell people that Liberalism is the act of “making everyone a slave to everyone else,” this is what I mean. They never agree with that, but that is because they don’t understand what that means or they simply don’t want to believe it. The assumption here is that we want to recycle to save the environment, but if I am free, as I am lead to believe, then the choice to participate in helping the environment is up to me. If I am free. But I am not free…am I?

If someone wanted to participate in protecting the environment, they could pay someone to recycle their bottles and cans. The business would charge them the cost of what it takes to recycle the items, with a profit, and provide them for use to a company that can use them. Then they can feel good about themselves for helping the environment, and the only person involved in this transaction is them.

But Liberalism is about the enslavement of you, for what they want.

A Liberal wants you to be involved in this transaction as well, whether you want to be or not, damn your freedom. Your freedom to choose is irrelevant. You will be a slave. So a Liberal will pass a law that requires retailers to charge you, up-front, for the cost of recycling what you are buying whether you are going to recycle it or not. If you recycle your bottles and cans, you will be permitted to have your own money back, less the cost of your time and fuel to participate in the act of recycling. A net loss anyway. If you do not choose to participate you will be penalized the cost of recycling what you bought, whether they ever make it to a recycling center or not…who knows?

Meanwhile, as with all government programs, rampant fraud by recycling centers will siphon funds away from the money you were forced to pay to the State or go to jail. As with all government programs, unintended consequences will siphon millions of dollars out of this program as states that do not have a recycling tax truck tons of recyclable bottles and cans, weighted down with sand to maximize the refund, into California for redemption, leaving with millions of dollars of your money, that you didn’t want to part with in the first place.

Not surprisingly, the CRV program in California ran out of money. Why? Rampant fraud for one. But also because the State politicians, as all politicians like to do, used the CRV fund as a petty cash account, borrowing from it to plug holes in other government social welfare programs until there was nothing left. So what is the obvious solution to a Liberal? Simply take even more money from you when you pay your taxes to fund the now empty CRV account, making sure all the fraudulent recycling centers and illegal out of state importers keep getting paid.

So if you choose to exercise your freedom not to participate in this program, you are penalized TWICE, first when you purchase these items and again when you pay your taxes. Those that do choose to recycle, are penalized for doing so by having their taxes raided to backstop a bankrupt program. So does all of this sound better to anyone than freedom? Does all of this sound better than if we all just agree that each person should decide for themselves if they want to participate in such a program and reap the personal or monetary benefits, or both, if any? Isn’t that the morally right solution? The solution with the least fraud? The most cost effective solution? The solution that opposes slavery?

Of course, this is easily solved by a Liberal. A Liberal will simply offer one of several expansions of enslavement. First they will mandate that the CRV charged at the grocery store be raised so the CRV account can be re-funded. Second, they will demand from the Federal government that the CRV tax be expanded to enslave all Americans everywhere, thus preventing states without this law from abusing states that have this law (this of course is unconstitutional, but that has never stopped them passing national-level enslavement laws before). Third, they will support any increase in your taxes declaring that a portion of the increase is to “fund the CRV program” and go on and on about how wonderful it is to be green and save the planet, etc…

These should sound familiar because these are always the only three options a Liberal will offer for any failed government program; increase the costs of program participation, expand the program with more laws and more regulations, raise taxes to fund the expansion and “fix” the failure. From healthcare, to social welfare, to education…these three solutions are the only ones ever offered. So why would the CRV be any different?

Liberalism, where everyone being a slave to everyone else is the only solution…to anything.



Categories: California, Personal Economics, Socialism

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. i found two definitions of CRV in CA gov’s website.

    1 – “a fee imposed on the distributor of the beverage. The fee is passed along to the retailer and to the consumer. Although separately stated, the fee is subject to tax as part of the taxable selling price of the beverage”

    2 – “a regulatory fee collected for the purpose of assuring the return for recycling of a greater percentage of the beverage containers sold in this state. CRV is subject to sales tax only if the sale of the beverage is subject to sales tax.”

    First of all, I agree with your reasoning. Many people are willing to give up the deposit money and save the trouble from sending back the cans for refund, but people are still willing to put the cans in the recycle bin because they believe this is their share of responsibility to save the planet. Recycle bins are provided every where, grocery store, office building, apartment community, homes, etc. It is very convenience for people to recycle the cans. We don’t need the gov’t to force us to do what they believe is “right”.

    Secondly, if the distributor or retailer does not want to absorb the extra cost on this add’l fee, they can raise the price of the beverage to make up the extra cost. the gov’t doesn’t need to impose a regulatory fee and tax on the fee to steal more money from the taxpayer.

  2. Hey Woodchuck. You make some great points. And I agree completely about how things like this really just lead to a form of enslavement.

    I do have a question however… what do you think about people who litter their cigarette butts, or throw their cigarette butts out their window? I for one get pissed when I see cigarettes on the ground, or when I see someone throw a lit cigarette our their car window into the shoulder on the freeway next to some brush during hot dry Santa Ana winds, during the worst drought in my lifetime.

    And there is an area right off the exit by my house that the ground is covered in mulch, but half the mulch is actually cigarette butts that smokers have left behind on the ground! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this! I am not a liberal, I am not a democrat, and I am not exactly an environmentalist, but I do care about the environment and animals and such, and I care about my own environment and people littering across my town and in the gutters a block from the beach, etc. It’s just gross and disrespectful of others. It takes away from my freedom to enjoy a clean town. That’s what it’s all about for me.

    So I was thinking that possibly there should be a tax like CRV but for cigarettes (and no, this is not a joke, hear me out because I don’t see any other solution). I would think that anyone who chose to litter their cigarette butts then would just be losing their chance to get the money back, and the homeless could pick up the cigarette butts like they do with cans, cleaning things up in the town.

    You might think this is a horrible idea, but how the hell is someone supposed to live in a clean area if others don’t pick up after themselves? Can you possibly believe that people should be “free” to dump their trash or cigarette butts on the side of the road wherever they want? I think people shouldn’t feel so entitled. Not to mention that the majority of cigarette smokers are lower class who get handouts from the government. Is it just that poor people feel they’re entitled to everything, including being able to litter? And I say this as a person who doesn’t make a lot of money, I just don’t think everyone should be “taken care of” by the government.

    People need to take personal responsibility for everything in their life, but what do we do when people don’t do that and they’re limiting the freedoms of those around them to be able to enjoy a clean town?

    I’d appreciate an honest and respectful response 🙂

    Thanks,

    Lisha

    • Lisha, thank you for that insightful comment. This may surprise you, but I agree with your idea, with a few additional requirements. What you speak of is known as The Tragedy of the Commons. I hate cigarette butts like you do…I hate seeing them on the ground or tossed out of cars. I was working on a job site last week and I saw butts in their new mulch around some beautiful landscaping they had and I always think to myself, “What type of people are the types of people that would do that and walk away and not even think about it?” And I agree that they tend to be either lower class people, or people that somehow feel entitled to being picked up after.

      So as a Libertarian, how do I involve Government, if I must at all, without jeopardizing my freedom or the freedom of smokers? That’s easy. To Libertarians, we want ALL LAWS to be LOCAL. For example, if you and I lived in the same city and you asked the City Council to draft such a law, I would support it. The law should have a recurring sunset provision, for example five years, where it goes away after every five years unless it is voted back into law. This prevents laws that have become out of control, too costly, freedom destroying, or otherwise unwieldy to just fade away. Laws tend to take on a life of their own otherwise and become full-blown institutions. The program should be run by a private company only, not a Government agency. The Government should grant that private company whatever local tax breaks would assist them in minimizing their costs – for example, waive property taxes on their offices or processing facilities, waive toll fees on their roads for transport to landfills, encourage city workers to volunteer at the company’s processing facilities in exchange for vacation days or public recognition, etc… After four years, the program should be independantly audited by a private audit firm and a report made available to the public on its costs and its effectiveness six months prior to voting on it again.

      I’m sure I could come up with a dozen other controls to minimize costs without costing taxpayers a dime, while still maintaining our freedom and our absolute control over this program. If the program becomes corrupted or too expensive or too invasive in any way, we can vote it down at the end of its five years. By creating local laws; a bad idea, or a bad law, will simply GO AWAY.

      Now here’s the cool part…if after five years your program is working fabulously, and we have the cleanest city, the cost/expenses are neutral, etc… then this program will be modeled by the County, and other cities and Counties, and each one will modify it just a little bit, and thousands of these “experiments” of this program will occur simultaneously and in doing so, the perfect execution of this program will be created in this “lab” that one city could not do in 1,000 years. In the end, a city somewhere will perfect it and all other cities will copy that final model. This is Liberty.

      What is NOT Liberty, is when a law (versus a program) is passed at the Federal level, eliminating the potential for this scientific lab. The law is written not by those staring at the cigarette butts on the ground at their local park and trying to devise a solution, but by a suited politician 1,500 miles away who cares more about the video of the ribbon cutting ceremony at the first processing facility for his next election cycle and less about the purpose of the law. A politician that could be coerced into weakening the law with sufficient lobbyist money from the tobacco industry, unless the environmentalists offer him MORE money to make it extremely costly for smokers (whether they litter or not). At the Federal level, we all suffer. At the Federal level, there is no escape. There is no accountability. The laws enacted are only as effective as the amount of money the appropriate lobbyists provided to make it so. Either way, the implementation, oversight and enforcement of the law becomes outrageously expensive as vendors, contractors and union employees have their hand out for a piece of the pie and don’t answer to you, in any way. Smokers in all 50 states are taxed to pay for the cleanup of cities they will never see or live in. Departments will be expanded, pay raises given, bonuses paid out, agencies spun off, new variants of the law created, and it will expand beyond just cigarette butts in no time. The law is permanently on the books and will grow in size and cost until it’s uncontrollable and marginally effective if effective at all, and you can’t stop it or influence it or change it.

      That is why all laws should be local. YOU have a direct influence on its creation, design and cost. YOU can stop it, on a dime. YOU can either vote the law down in five years or replace any City Council Members that are frauding it or manipulating it. YOU directly benefit from it by having a cleaner city. And YOU would directly suffer if the law were abused in any way incentivizing YOU to make immediate changes to the law or get rid of it. Its infinitely easier to control a local law versus a federal one.

      And lastly, from a Libertarian perspective, how do I protect the smoker that doesn’t litter? The true test of Libertarianism is protecting the minority. For one thing, the law not being Federal, he can move to another city that does not have this law. He could turn in sufficient cigarette butts himself to offset his additional costs. He could volunteer at the processing facility where he can then “buy” cigarettes without that “fee.” Probably the most effective solution however will be him standing with other smokers who will inevitably toss their butt on the ground to which he is going to get upset and say something because he’s tired of paying for that. Peer pressure may turn out to be the most effective protection.

      There are hundreds of ways to design this program to prevent Government overreach, protect the litter-free smoker and still get the butts picked up. It would take a small group of citizens, smokers included, to draft something that works for everyone and it would require zero to no Government involvement outside of enforcement – which is supposed to be the only thing Government does anyway. If a store fails to pay the additional fee collected from the buyers to the private company for the cartons sold, the City Council would have the authority to level a fine. Outside of that, they shouldn’t be involved in it much at all.

      There are problems that will surface. 1. Some smokers will simply buy cigarettes outside of your city to avoid the fee. 2. Some will buy more than they need and sell them to friends for a cut. 3. You might attract more homeless people than you really wanted to since you’ve basically created a “job” for them. 4. The private company might say they need more money to cover costs, i.e., subsidization by the city (taxpayer, i.e. you). 5. The local stores might charge the buyers the fee, but not ring up the sale and pocket the additional profit. 6. Smokers might vote out your City Council or vote down the law.

      Possible solutions; 1 & 2 – if the fee is low enough, there is not enough incentive to participate in that activity. 3 – Or not. They are already there collecting cans. 4 – So we add a provision to the program that we bid out every ten years to other companies that want to compete for the program. 5 – If they do this then they were doing it before anyway, even without the fee. Fraud is just part of the game. 6 – Then you are in the wrong city. Move. This is why we have to ALSO protect the minorities from the majorities, not the other way around. We have to ALSO consider the smoker who doesn’t litter.

      Lastly, we should make every effort to LOWER the fee as the “profits” dictate. As smokers clean up their act, there will be fewer butts lying around to pick up, and therefore reduced costs to the program which should be immediately reflected in a reduction of the fee on cigarette sales. In this way smokers will see immediate relief in response to a change in behaviour.

      In the end, a round table after four years of operating and the audit report would highlight all of these problems or questions, and the group would hammer out any possible solutions and we would try it again for another five years. If, after whatever time transpires, it’s just not working out, we kill it. That is the beauty of localizing law.

      Let me know what you think….

      AWC

      In the end, for a Libertarian, if you can’t drive down the street and knock on the door of the person who drafted or enforces the law that is tyrannizing you, then something is terribly wrong.

      • Hi AWC, This is an awesome layout of the idea! You are a lot more knowledgeable about politics and everything that goes into it so you have been able to see all the different pros and cons, possible problems, and possible solutions to those problems. I completely agree that local laws are better because it allows for more freedom and changes in the future if it doesn’t work right (and yes, your politicians live near you so you could go knock on their door if you wanted to!). Federal laws should be only for a term as well. I bet I don’t even want to get you started on the health care situation (which I myself am pissed about).

        I wanted to come up with an idea for the cigarette littering problem that would not really hurt anyone, but littering is littering, so something needs to happen about it.

        And as far as attracting more homeless, I don’t think that’s possible in the area I live in, lol (San Diego has a LOT of homeless people). So I personally would be glad to give them a way to make a few bucks through their own labor instead of standing on street corners with signs begging for money. And also, after a while I would think it would be harder and harder to find cigarette butts anyway because of the program, so I don’t think it would be something the homeless could really depend on for the long term, just like cans don’t really get you a whole lot of money. And they’re very time consuming to collect–my mom would have me go with her to parks and beaches when I was little to help her find cans in the trash bins– it’s better to just get a job if at all possible (even a minimum wage job). So logically, I don’t think it would bring a noticeable influx of homeless people to the area.

        The other problem is that there are people who just litter anything too, so I don’t know if conquering cigarette butts would make a huge difference in the amount of litter on the ground, but all those tiny cigarettes are so small, so they’re annoying to pick up, and when there are thousands of them, it really adds up. And when it’s mixed in mulch, you’d basically have to get rid of the mulch along with the cigarettes and lay down all new mulch. And I agree that after a while people who smoke cigarettes might develop new behaviors of depositing their cigarette butts appropriately rather than on the ground, and the law could just go away at that point if everyone (or most) seem to be throwing away or depositing their butts appropriately and not littering.

        Thank you so much for putting so much thought and time into your response. I really appreciate it, and your response is just what I was looking to learn 🙂

        Thanks,
        Lisha

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