I'm sure our libertarian Monkeys will be incensed (as I am) about this story of an entrepreneur being forcibly shut out of business by the government.
Here in San Francisco picking up a garbage costs about $37/can per week.
A contractor I know got fed up, canceled his service as did his neighbor. They simply loaded both houses garbage into his truck, took it to the dump and paid the $40 to get rid of it. He charged his friend $10.
As a contractor he had to go to the dump all the time anyway. Pretty soon he had a small business, neighbors paying him $10 instead of $37, a difference of over $1400 per year or the price of a vacation or plasma TV for the family.
When the local garbage company and its union found out about "Joe" they complained to the city. Within a year a law was passed stating that garbage service was now mandatory for all residents at the price the city's monopoly charged, which was shortly raised. And Joe? For a while he still took our recyclables until he was fined $4000, even though he had our permission. It appears our household recyclables are owned by the Garbage company, not us, as it subsidizes our low cost of garbage service!
This story came to the blogger via an email, and I did some quick searching to try to corroborate it (or at least date it), but all I found were reposts of the original blog post. Does anyone have other info on this story? As I read it, it sounds like the government is forcing residents to participate in an economic transaction. Is this the norm in other cities?