"Why would someone want to steal 30 concrete parking stops that each weigh 250 pounds? The bizarre theft has a Kansas City, Kan., business manager and police confused."
The news anchor asks: "So much work for so little payoff?" No one here is probably confused by this phenomenon: Stealing concrete.
The current price ratio between labor and commodities is so perverted, that desperate contractors see a value proposition in stealing precast concrete items off of a parking lot. Back in 2008 here in Maryland, aluminum prices were so high due to the rampant out of control commodity speculation, that thieves were cutting down spun aluminum street-light poles and turning them in for scrap, falling them like trees and cutting them up into "logs"; they were also stealing the empty beer barrels from the rear of bars and restaurants. The state government of Maryland had to enact new legislation to regulate the activities of the scrap yards as a result.
If we had a government that was providing enough NFA to the non-government sector to satiate both domestic and external USD savings desires, and enough to also provide the correct amount of settlement balances to facilitate consumption desires, and throw in some appropriate level of commodity markets regulation, none of this would be happening.
UPDATE MEMO TO CONGRESS: When you see people stealing concrete off the ground you have a REEEEEAAALLLYYY SCREWED UP economy.