Friday, May 6, 2011

Strange Theft Of Parking Stops Confuses Police, Victim

Video report of more evidence of how out of "adjustment" the current distribution of economic outcomes is. Excerpt:

"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.


Red Rock said...

Perhaps the elimination of the Fed's ZIRP would help quell the speculation.

Matt Franko said...

Or perhaps instead of writing legislation to regulate the small business scrap yards and contractors, they could eliminate the problem to begin with by regulating speculation and the banks that finance it....

Crake said...

I forgot if it happened in the US (Florida sticks in my mind for some reason) or in another country but during the housing boom, in the area where it happened, sand was hard to get. To deal with the shortage, some concrete contractors started sneaking out a night to the local beach to get sand. The beach sand has salt in it and the salt caused the concrete to fall apart in a fairly short period (a few months or a year or so), so house slabs and drive-ways were crumbling apart in fairly new neighborhoods a year later.

Matt Franko said...


I wouldnt doubt that massive volumes of washed sand were being shipped to the warzones for re-construction back then.

Brain dead Rumsfeld ran a policy back then of having the DoD reconstruction contractors directly compete with our domestic construction industry for building materials. In fact the KBRs and DynCorps and Blackwaters probably had a blank check. Yes this may on the surface be hard to believe; ie no sand to be had in the middle east, but dont put this kind of thing past the Rumsfeld DoD. It definitely happened with lumber here in the mid-Atlantic. And I remember how Rumsfeld commented on how little water resources were available over there at the time (washing sand takes a lot of water)

So there were probably shortages here that led to desperate/shady contractors poaching beach sand.