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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


An Economic Right?

"ClassicLiberal" recently wrote in the comments, "I am pro choice on this and most of the people in Maplewood are too in regards to this economic right," and, "The question Mr. Nephew is not WHAT should be organized but WHO should decide."

The fact that some cities have decided not to organize does not establish choice of residential trash hauler as a universal right of individuals. The State of Minnesota, Congress, and the Supreme Court agree that it's a city's job to decide whether and how to organize trash hauling. To quote Chief Justice John Roberts in a 2007 opinion, "Congress itself has recognized local government’s vital role in waste management, making clear that 'collection and disposal of solid wastes should continue to be primarily the function of State, regional, and local agencies'" (citing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976). The State of Minnesota has granted cities specific authority through the organized collection statute. Since cities have that authority, and this is a republic, the "WHO should decide" question is obviously determined by elections.

We should certainly discuss whether we should organize, and if so how to do it, but to assert that organizing is out of bounds because it violates an inalienable "economic right" is simply a libertarian fantasy.


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