Of all the follies the city has perpetrated lately, none is as antithetical to its liberal heritage as the imposition of the new recycling carts, with their admonition that whatever you put in them is the city's property once the cart is on the street. Thus in a stroke the city criminalizes a functioning piece of the informal economy, pushing people at the margins further into poverty. And then the city wonders aloud why there's street crime and homeless people. The real motive for this is the desire of city employees and their Council servants to stamp out any informal activity that threatens their own monopoly. This, by the way, is your tax dollars at work. (The photo, from Berkeleyside, shows Mayor Bates guarding the city's property.)


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