City The Seattle Times Discovers Poor People
posted by April 8 at 10:43 AMon
In between campaigning against the estate tax and opposing an increase in the minimum wage, the Seattle Times has suddenly discovered: Poor people exist! And they, like everyone else in the city, will have to pay 20 cents if they choose to use paper or plastic bags instead of bringing their own!
The Times is outraged:
Nickels says we need to recycle kitchen waste and stop using plastic and paper bags to help the environment. The rub is, citizens are not rewarded. A rate increase pinches an already strapped lower and middle class.[…]
Leadership should find a way to make the numbers work better. Seattle is becoming a very expensive place to live.
Sure is. But charging 20 cents for a plastic bag—that is, charging something approximating the real cost, in both pollution and monetary terms, of producing that bag, carting it to the recycling service or the landfill, and getting rid of it—isn’t going to have a noticeable impact on anybody’s budget. (Unlike, say, capping the minimum wage at the federal level.) And if you buy five cloth bags for a buck apiece, you’ll make your investment back in just a few trips to the store.
And if the Seattle Times showed a lick of interest in the “lower class” in any other context than a hysterical, poorly argued screed against environmentalism, I might have less trouble believing they give a shit.