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To Scavenge or Not to Scavenge

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The great economic collapse is bringing up all sorts of interesting and fairly grim questions and here's the latest: In addition to Los Angeles, it is now a crime in Sacramento to "scavenge in recycling bins placed in front of homes," writes Gregory Rodriguez in an LA Times op-ed. This worries Rodriguez, who writes: "The three dissenters had their objections, but I don't think they got to the heart of the problem with the law. Councilman Rob Fong said he thought it wasn't humane. Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell figured that if the homeless could sell the stuff, the city should "let them have it." What's really wrong with the anti-scavenging picture?" According to Rodriguez, scavenging may fall in the same category of "self-reliance" and could be considered no worse than street vending and day laboring. He writes: "I'm not against the well-intended ordinances and statutes that regulate our environment and our lives. But in pressing times, they appear more pretentious than progressive." [LA Times]