Hauling off America

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 04/02/2008 - 2:11pm.

In years past you’d see piles of old refrigerators, stoves and various odds and rusted ends of metal lying about in these parts.


Our horse farm had quite a collection when we acquired it. I tried to give the stuff to people so they could sell it for salvage, but at a penny a pound or less, I couldn’t generate much interest. So I loaded the stuff myself and sold it, not so much for the money it would generate, but just to clean up our land. The money I received barely paid for the gas it took to get to the salvage yard.

Times have changed. A stream of vehicles pulling trailers with mountains of rusty metal beats its way to local salvage yards only to encounter lines of other vehicles waiting to unload junk. At 7 cents a pound, a rusted out 3,000 pound car is worth over $200. Copper and aluminum have become so valuable that plumbers must now install guards to keep people from ripping out pipes on new construction sites. Air conditioners have become targets for the coils they contain. I’ve heard stories of people going out to an oil-well that stopped running to discover that someone had ripped the electrical wires from the ground. There was a time when you had to pay people to take old car batteries; a battery is now worth $8 for the lead it contains.

Recently, I moved a horse barn from one farm to another. The barn was long; light fixtures spanned the length of the building along both shed rows. I spotted smoke coming from the lower end of our place and went to investigate. We are under a burn ban and I didn’t want to be fined. My hands were burning off the insulation off of a barrel full of wire that came from our barn. I didn’t say anything, but I would prefer that they ask.

A lot of this stuff is headed to foreign countries. On any given day or night you'll see caravans of used cars and junk headed to Mexico. On a larger scale, much of this scrap is hauled by train and semi-truck and then loaded on boats headed to China. Seems people from other lands are tiring of our soon to be worthless dollars and now want something they can use in the real world.

So we are dismantling America and shipping it away.

The free ride is over, folks.

submitted by Don - April 2, 2008 - posted at  http://agonist.org

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 04/02/2008 - 2:11pm.