Monday, July 19, 2010

New Jersey’s Rich Refuse To Recycle!

It appears as if New Jersey’s lower and middle classes recycle rather dutifully, but the rich, who seem to be the ones doing the most lecturing on the subject, seem to be doing the least actual…recycling.

Let’s look at some charts, shall we?

OK, let’s look at a second table – per capita income in these counties:

CountyPer Capita
Median House-
hold Income
17Somerset County$37,970$76,973
210Morris County$36,964$77,340
313Hunterdon County$36,370$79,888
421Bergen County$33,638$65,241
542Monmouth County$31,149$64,231
679Mercer County$27,914$56,612
791Sussex County$26,992$65,266
891Union County$26,992$55,339
9100Middlesex County$26,535$61,446
10111Burlington County$26,339$58,608
11120Warren County$25,728$56,100
12148Essex County$24,943$44,944
13181Cape May County$24,172$41,561
14244Ocean County$23,054$46,443
15266Gloucester County$22,708$54,273
16289Camden County$22,354$48,097
17393Passaic County$21,370$49,210
18417Hudson County$21,154$40,293
19439Atlantic County$21,034$43,933
20462Salem County$20,874$45,573
211353Cumberland County$17,376$39,150

So Somerset County, the wealthiest in the state of New Jersey, recycles the least. Hunterdon, the third-richest county in the state, is right behind Hunterdon in worst recycling counties. Hudson County, just off the bottom of the Per Capita Income column, recycles just about as much as the monied Hunterdon crowd.

The highest recycling rate? Cumberland County, which just happens to be the poorest county in the state.

The article in the Asbury Park Press glosses over the class differences here – actually, they don’t mention it at all – and focuses instead on a bill that would raise deposit fees and increase government spending as (apparently) the only solution to the recycling issue. Naturally, the paper is vexed by the fact that most people are opposed to such a bill. Maybe, given the neo-revolutionary fervor in the air, this wasn’t the best time to propose punishment taxation?

Clinton resident and recycling advocate Ron Williams was dismayed by the local opposition.

"They feel it's the government telling them what to do. It's as simple as that," Williams said.

The Republicans understand, even if the APP doesn’t:

I regard wasting assets and wasting resources as almost inexcusable," state Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll said.

Yet Carroll, a Republican from Morris County, voted against the Recycling Enhancement Act. "It's a moral issue, to me. To my way of thinking, you recycle everything you can. I don't think it should be much of a governmental issue," Carroll said.

Carroll is correct, especially given the fact that the poor are the ones complying with the law, and would almost certainly be the ones to forced to pay any additional penalties tacked on by the state. Being that the wealthiest counties are stacked with the state’s political players and the people who support them financially, how likely are they to see a summons in the mailbox from the local sheriff for not recycling dozens of champagne bottles left empty after a fundraiser for his boss?

Hey – this blog loves the rich and is a big supporter of trickle-down economics and unfettered capitalism. BUT – if the rich are going to pass “green” lifestyle laws, they’d better abide by them, and not force responsibility onto New Jersey’s poor to subsidize their wasteful ways.

And maybe the APP should recognize that fact. But given the paper’s editorial slant, I would bet that most of them live in the aforementioned “rich” counties, and are smuggling empty caviar cans into their trash can as well. And how do they want to relieve their guilt? By taxing and spending, of course. Liberal cocaine…sigh…

Obey the laws on the books, my well-off friends, before passing new ones you have no intention of enforcing anyway…except, perhaps, in Hudson, Atlantic, Salem, and Cumberland counties…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good point. Interesting that the Asbury Park Press printed these charts and didn't(or)wouldn't mke the connection you did - oversight or agenda?