Jun 22, 2012
By David M. Freedman
My wife tries hard to sort and separate our trash from the recycling all the time. She separates and ties up the newspapers and buys special colored bags to hold our recycling. She is constantly reminding me to place the right items in the right garbage can in our house. We believe in recycling and in the need to help save our environment. After many years of doing this, I am still surprised when I see my recycling sit for weeks at a time uncollected. Often times, it requires a phone call to Sanitary District 1 to get a pickup.
Now if recycling collection was on an appointment basis, I would have nothing to complain about. I would simply call before the cats and the raccoons attacked my recycling bags, which are piled up high because the Sanitary District provides me with only one recycling container. This is despite repeated requests for another or even two, which would easily handle a month’s load fairly well. But unfortunately, my recycling needs to be re-bundled on a regular basis, because it sits there for weeks on end, rotting and stinking in the sun.
When we first moved to The Five Towns, there was no recycling, so we put everything together and watched how for the most part everything departed our premises on a regular basis. Now, my garbage moves and my recycling sits and when it is removed it is combined with all the other garbage, ostensibly to be sorted at a central location. Now if this was only me, I wouldn’t complain! But everybody I talk with has the same story. So please Sanitary District # 1, please pick up my recycling on a regular basis!!!!
Now on to another and more troubling subject. Students of history only need to look back to the late 1920′s and early 1930′s to see an economic disaster repeating itself. Europe is coming apart economically and once again European banking powers have promoted the concept of austerity as the Eurozone collapses. Economic history has shown that when an economy is foundering, removing cash from that economy only makes things worse. Yes it easy to say, that countries should only live within their means. But with 25 percent unemployment in Spain and Italy and Greece in danger of collapsing economically, economic turmoil can easily turn into political turmoil and the possibility of the rise of totalitarianism could easily repeat itself.
Let us not forget that after World War I, Germany was put in an economic position of extreme austerity to pay back war reparations. This lead to the rise of Nazism, Fascism and on the other side of the political curve, Communism and all of the subsequent horrors that these systems enforced on peoples, leading to World War II, Korea, the Cold War, etc. And this was even before the Crash of 1929 which only exacerbated the situation. However, it also showed that at a very early time, that we lived in a world economy and that there were little protections, economically, from the events taking place in other parts of the world.
There are those who will say that these are different times. They will say that the proliferation of media and the internet make it harder for extreme dictatorships to take power. That would be fooling ourselves. China still remains a power to reckon with. Russia under Putin seems to be sliding back very quickly to the kind of totalitarianism seen during the Communists. Democracies throughout Europe are threatened by economic instability in Portugal, Spain, Greece and Cyprus. It would be easy for us in America to sit back and say it cannot affect us here. It is affecting us now and the stock market volatility is just one sign of how.
Since we are a world economy now and what happens in the Eurozone directly affects our shaky economic recovery, it is time for the Obama Administration to forcefully push Europe to free up moneys to support the banks in Europe and get those economies moving again. It will be good for Europe economically and politically and good for the Unites States economy as well.
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