Why the silence?

It’s obvious to any working person that 20 cents per grocery bag is an ungodly price to pay for a clean, sanitary plastic bag, at least if that price is paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, rather than through other costs like the cleanup of the Puget Sound or other externalized costs of plastic bag production.

It’s just as obvious that the middle middle class is disappearing from our city — taxed out of existence like some kind of right-wing fantasy of how taxes destroy things — and that adding yet another tax simply won’t help the matter.

So why, then, are the area’s leading groups representing the interests of the poor & elderly not speaking up against the tax? The Statewide Poverty Action Network is silent on devastating impact the bag tax would have on their constituents. The Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans says nothing about how a bag tax would befuddle our elderly to an early grave, and bilk them of their life savings like a corrupt reverse mortgage scheme. And the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition seems to think there are more important issues than the welfare of their members about to be hit with a 20 cent per bag tax.

What’s happening here? Why are we in the plastic bag industry the only ones speaking up for the poor & the elderly? Why aren’t these groups which exist to represent the interests of the disenfranchised not prioritizing this issue which so massively impacts their constituents?

Do they think that poor people will be able to re-use bags? Come on now, if these populations had that sort of thriftiness, they wouldn’t be poor in the first place, now would they?

We here at PBMforMPB (Plastic Bag Makers for More Plastic Bags) will continue to speak out for the poor and disenfranchised, as we always have, for the life of this issue at least. Because if you can’t trust advocacy organizations to advocate for what matters, you can certainly count on plastic bag manufacturers.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by pragmatic on August 27, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I’m putting this comment out there just in case this site is ligitmate and not a joke…

    Your basic assumption of why people are poor is faulty. People are not poor because they are not thrifty, in fact many are poor despite their thriftiness. Many are poor due to mental illness, disability, lack of skills and training, and many other reasons. You are insulting the very people you claim to be representing/protecting with your pro-bag statements. It seems to me you simply wish not to pay for yours and your compatriots wasteful lifestyles, not to mention your livelihood if in fact you do represent plastic bag makers. In fact many food banks would prefer their customers/beneficieries would use reusable bags so they don’t have to buy them or secure them through donation. It would be nice if you actually knew what you are talking about, but it is quite clear that you do not.

    [theplasticman responds: How dare you accuse us of insulting the people we represent! We represent the interests of plastic bag makers, period, and we will do or say what it takes to get the job done. That ought to be clear from all the statements of the various organizations speaking up for the bagged and the bagless alike.


  2. Posted by tammy on August 28, 2008 at 1:03 am

    in response to the comment above, i was under the impression that people were poor because of systematic problems much larger than their own situation, not that they simply lack skills and training, not to mention the mental illness, disabilities, and vague “other reasons” that you listed. i am so happy that you have cleared that up for me! it is great to be able to blame the poor for their situation, reminding them that they need to pull themselves up their boot straps and get some skills and training! not that you were insinuating that it was their fault, but you have to be careful how you discuss the plight of the poor in our country, you might be giving ammunition to those who are fighting on the other side.


  3. Posted by keshmeshi on September 26, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    I would imagine that poor people suffer from lack of skills and training due to systemic problems. The impact disabilities and mental illness have on the poor is also likely due to systemic problems. Poor people can’t seek treatment for chronic disorders and have less access to technologies that help them overcome disabilities. But what do I know.

    Oh, and I love this blog. Keep on keepin’ on, Plasticman.


  4. Posted by Elgee on October 11, 2008 at 5:21 am

    Poor people are poor because they’re just too dam dum to buy stocks when they get their monthly checks. If they owned plastic bag maunfacturing stocks, they wouldn’t be the subject of pity and loathing and rescue by altruistic moguls. Get a grip, people!


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