Sunday, March 10, 2013

More Evidence of Clueless Economic Thinking at Business Insider

Business Insider founder Henry Blodget tweets this:

The link leads to a picture of an island Thilafushi, which is used as a garbage dump in Malé.

Blodget makes the astounding jump to the view that this is what the world will look like when there is " no place left to stash our garbage out of sight."

It's a typical BI post, short on analysis but heavy on implications of doom if a government doesn't come to the rescue to solve make believe problems.

The post would have been much more informative if it told us how Thilafushi became a garbage dump. Was this government owned land, which resulted in no one in the private sector having incentive to care about the property?

I am not sure if Blodget has ever flown in a plane but, if one takes a look from a sky view when flying across the country, one can see that there is a plenty of open land. Blodget may not have noticed but the US is much larger than Malé, with plenty of places where garbage can be dumped.

If somehow the space for garbage dumping became scarce, then the cost of dumping would climb and people would be more careful about creating waste, beginning and end of story. That's how free markets work, no need for deep thinking by Blodget or Joe Weisenthal.


  1. Like that one dude on the commune..."Washing dishes and taking out the garbage is just not my thing, man..."

    1. Yeah, and that dude is the FIRST trash you throw out!

  2. Here on my little cay in the Bahamas, as on most islands, we burn our trash. Wait for a day when the wind is blowing out to sea, and light 'er off. Is this perfect? Nope; but it does minimize the problem. Considering the extremely low population density in island chains, the particulate concentrations are teensy.

    They say it takes a year of weekly burning to burn a car to nothing, for example.
    So if it burns, we burn it. If it's edible, the pigs and chickens eat it. If it's recyclable, it's put aside and someone will scrounge it and put it to use.
    And, if we want pork or chicken for Sunday dinner, we know where to find it!

  3. We have a perfectly good, medium-sized star within incineration distance from us here on earth. All we need is someone in the true private sector, i.e., not in any way attached to NASA or the "you can't do that, I'm a scientist and I said so" corporate/academic/NYT best-seller crowd to develop a cheap, disposable transportation method and BAM! garbage problem solved.