Politico recently reported on a proposed law in Maine that would tax food wrappers. Before you react (either by yawning or rolling your eyes), consider the likely motive for imposing such a tax, and the potential implications.
Maine’s bill is an effort to recoup at least some of the costs governments incur when recycling tons of packaging waste. Managing America’s trash is expensive, its costs continue to escalate, and a significant percentage of those costs are paid with tax dollars.
According to the report, business groups actually asked lawmakers to tax food wrappers and containers. Industry groups did emerge to oppose certain parts of the proposal–mainly, who would control the tax revenue and how it’s spent. Packagers and consumer brands wanted authority to manage the money and use it exclusively for recycling. Maine regulators and their allies in the Legislature wanted the revenues to reimburse municipalities for hauling waste to landfills, too.
The industry won that battle, and the bill–that has now passed– designated revenues for recycling. This legislation appears be the first of its kind in the country; it could give momentum to a broader push to curb plastic waste and rationalize a recycling system that is outdated and varies from town to town.
What I find really hopeful, however, is that I see this as an (admittedly small) step toward dealing with the serious challenges posed by externalities.
As I have often noted, I am a proponent of markets and capitalism–properly understood and properly regulated. The usual description of a working–and workable–market is that it is characterized by transactions between willing buyers and willing sellers who are each in possession of all information relevant to the transaction. That description is an accurate depiction of the ultimate purchase and sale, but it elides other, equally important assumptions–including the assumption that the pricing of a good accurately reflects the costs of its manufacture plus a reasonable profit.
That assumption isn’t necessarily accurate.
If I am manufacturing widgets, and the process involves the use or creation of a pollutant, the cost of production–and the price charged to the consumer– should include the expense of properly disposing of that pollutant. If –instead of following the rules for such disposal– I dump my contaminated waste in the local river (where it will have to be cleaned up by adjacent municipalities) I can price my widgets more advantageously than widget manufacturers who follow the rules and pay to dispose of their waste properly.
In a properly operating marketplace, the price of goods will reflect the complete cost of their manufacture–the expense of raw materials, all costs of turning those raw materials into a salable item, and the associated expenses of marketing and packaging. Appropriate regulations are those aimed at preventing some companies from gaining unfair advantage by “offloading” a portion of what should be their costs onto unsuspecting taxpayers.
Properly operating markets benefit us all. What doesn’t benefit us are (1) markets in clearly inappropriate economic sectors, like health care, where there is a huge (and unbridgeable) disparity in information and urgency between the parties to a transaction, and (2) inadequately or improperly regulated markets that allow–or even encourage–companies to profit by cheating.
The packaging issue being addressed in Maine isn’t an instance of cheating; technically, I doubt that the need to recycle packaging is even a true externality–at least, as economists would categorize it–but the need to recycle packaging waste clearly does impose a cost that is currently being covered by taxpayers rather than manufacturers.
Maine appears to be the first state to address the allocation of that expense, and it will be interesting to see how many other states (if any) follow suit. At the very least, efforts of this sort raise awareness of an issue that is all too easy to ignore.
24 thoughts on “Cost Of Doing Business”
This is a very interesting case study involving public jurisdictions who incur a burden of cost that can be traced to a manufacturing source located outside its jurisdiction and authority. In between the manufacturer and the landfill are several intermediaries. Do you (sales/user) tax the consumer for buying and ultimately disposing waste from a product consumed or is it more efficient to tax the manufacturer who essentially passes the cost through distribution channels that spread like tentacles throughout the marketplace. Taxing the manufacturer sounds more efficient until you figure out how then the revenue collected is fairly distributed to all the jurisdictions that incurred a cost burden to handle the waste. Who taxes who traceable to burden of administration and cost of collecting and transport to the landfill? I look forward to reading the responses from the erudite regulars on this stream.
In St. Joseph County, the recycling rejects more items than they accept. That adds to the refusal by many residents to not be bothered recycling. We have to embrace this completely if it is going to work and reduce what goes to the landfills.
I have seen articles in other countries where roads are patched or completely paved in plastic. Border walls in people’s yards are made completely of recycled plastic bottles. Why can’t that be done here in the US?
My local area recycling company claims there is not a market for the products that they will not accept…..I am not sure that is completely true. We need to be innovative, research all the uses , find a way to get the recycled materials to the appropriate reusers, and totally get into the recylcing mode. I guess that does mean some new innovative ideas regarding packaging.
But again, until we all embrace recycling and reuse, it ain’t gonna happen, a typical response to the drag your feet attitude that we have in this country
Well, what I know now,
It doesn’t matter how much individual businesses get taxed for packaging, the consumer or taxpayers going to pay for it anyway regardless of what part of the bucket the monies are coming out of!
Monies that are hoarded by corporations are siphoned out of that bucket long before taxes and penalties are paid.
It’s definitely an unfair system, corporations can claim the cost of business as tax write offs, putting the burden on every John or Jane Smith taxpayer out there. The burden always falls on the John or Jane Smith!
So, no matter what taxes are levied, the deck has always been stacked against the average American taxpayer John or Jane Smith! How could these corporations possibly have been so wantonly needy that they needed to have the GOP Reduce their effective tax rate to 21% from 35%? And, how is it possible that there is no minimum tax which corporations have to pay on all of their monies coming in, And, where some of these corporations are paying zero federal taxes and getting paid by states in tax exclusion zones, Or TIF. Many are actually getting paid by the states, to locate or relocate or prevent relocation somewhere else!
So, many of these corporations don’t pay any federal income tax and get paid taxpayer money by the states, sounds like a pre-sweet deal to me! That is except, the same benefits aren’t afforded the average taxpayer because the average taxpayer has no lobbyists doling out cash to the politicians!
It’s a crooked dishonest system that is broken, and has been broken from the beginning.
An example is real estate, a homeowner cannot deduct depreciation of property, except if they have more than one home. But how is the property depreciating when property values are rising? The owners like Trump, use depreciation as a cash flow Boon. It’s not the rent or the sales of condos, it’s the manipulation of the tax system and again, tilts the playing field against the average taxpayer.
Amazon paying zero taxes? Because they’re Employing thousands of people, it’s okay to shirk their responsibility as taxpayers? Any of the other megacorporations that have paid zero taxes are just as guilty! And by the way most are given tax money from the states. How sweet! What a slap in the face type of wealth shifting, from out of your pocket and into their offshore bank accounts!
Do you think any of them care about the amount of micro plastic in the oceans? Paper straws are the answer? One place said they were using straws made of limes, I thought it was a great idea until they gave you the straw made from limes with a plastic straw! So, what’s the point? And of course the cost of those straws made from limes are paid by the consumer, as, a tax! And, I suspect, the reason you get 2 straws one edible and one that will float in the ocean for 1000 years, is some sort of a tax issue loophole, a tax that they’re trying to head off at the pass.
There should be a minimum tax rate for corporations, there never should be zero taxes paid! But they been talking about this for years and years and years. And still, at happens! So I would not suspect there’s going to be much of a change, and they will continue to have their hand firmly implanted in your pocket, no matter what taxes they claim are levied or what supposed legislation is going to level the playing field!
Mankind is not a good steward of this planet, because mankind is not a good steward over anything! Does anyone honestly think that a species of creature that willingly and wantonly murders its own, will actually do something for the environment in which it lives? I think history gives us the answer to that question! It’s all been pushed to the brink, and everyone will pay the price eventually, because there’s no place else to go!
If you leave it up to profit maximizers, they have no interest in their negative social impact. We have a government that is supposed to do that for them. It’s called regulation. One of the government’s jobs is to capture those external costs and make the industry pay for them.
The so-called job creators are only interested in creating profits for themselves and other owners by paying the least in wages and not be hassled by a government or press for those nasty externalities which negatively impact society locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.
I’ve done a fair amount of research on not just the wrappers of fast-food providers but the entire vertical supply chain of producing cheap fast food. One should start with the CAFOs who raise thousands of animals in confined spaces producing tons of waste seeping into our waterways. Take a short drive over to Celina, Ohio, and peer across Grand Lake St. Mary’s. It’s a giant lake that provides immense fun and leisure for Eastern Indiana and Western Ohio residents. Camping and boating all summer long.
It’s now dead. Full of feces and urine. It’s a giant toilet for all the CAFOs in Central and Eastern Ohio.
What about the externality costs of using fossil fuel from extracting to burning? Who is supposed to be capturing those costs and holding the industries accountable?
Indiana is in the Top Ten — usually Top Five most polluted states. What does that immediately say about our government?
And, who is supposed to be holding the government accountable for not doing their job?
As I say every single day, and Einstein said in 1949, we have an oligarchy that owns the government and the press and all the major institutions. They are not being held accountable, and they know it. Whenever I ask our Governor’s press secretary a tough question, I get no response. Nothing. They ignore me because the press of record is all owned by people that aren’t allowed to ask tough questions of the governor. They’re stenographers only. The governor said this…the senator said that…
How do you fix that? It’s like bad parenting…once you raise a child that has never been held accountable and never had to feel negative consequences of their behaviors, what will you have in society as an adult?
I still have the NUVO 11/11/15 article “Money To Burn” regarding the Indianapolis contract with Covanta for recycling. “Covanta is the company that burns Indy’s trash for steam that it can turn into power and sell. They signed a new agreement with Indianapolis, a contract that includes a recycling plan that critics are calling inefficient at best, and there are questions about the lack of public discussion regarding that contract.” It seems that recycling has cut down on the amount of “trash” the city provides for Covanta to burn and were not meeting their required quota. Mayor Joe Hogsett suspended the contract on 2/10/16 until further studies could be done. No idea what that current status is but I see only 4-6 Republic recycling bins in my neighborhood and few on my route to shopping areas. The City obviously entered a contract with Republic to supply the required trash bins for weekly pickup in many east side areas; those bins are 46 gallon size rather than the City’s 92 gallon size and if a family needs a 2nd bin in the area where Republic supplies all bins, the cost is $68. Republic is making money from Indianapolis by recycling and regular trash pickup.
I have also retained a USA TODAY 11/25/18 article, “Changing times create big trouble for recycling”, “Helping environment is getting costly for cities”. The contract the United States has with China to sell used cardboard to them to create new boxes which are then sold to the United States, had its own problems when China began refusing the dirty, greasy used cardboard this country was shipping them to recycle for us. Again, not sure of the current conditions with that problem as the Pandemic has taken over the headlines on the China issue.
I have the smaller 46 gallon City trash bin due to age and disability; do not have the Republic 92 gallon recycle bin because I cannot handle it. My neighbor allows me to put my recyclables in his bin for pickup but I am wondering how much benefit it is actually providing; what is being done with all of the plastics and cardboard we provide Republic? Who is benefiting other than Republic with the profits they are making from our trash and recyclables? Can they be considered a “properly operating market” benefiting all of us? Is the City of Indianapolis benefiting on any level from the contract with Republic?
The headline should read: “Maine adopts recycling tax used by Canada and Europe for decades”.
As Todd, John and others assert above, the only reason it hasn’t been adopted in the USA before is because the oligarchs/monied interested have bought off enough Congressional Reps and Senators to prevent it from happening.
An additional observation: Maine is by no means a den of socialist causes…it tends towards independents and libertarians. And this tax is a very libertarian idea, where a social problem is addressed by enacting laws which ensure that the problem is addressed at its source (the externality), in this case the manufacturers of all packaging, recyclable or not.
There are many problems, but not all, that can be solved in a similar fashion. For example, climate change from increased CO2 emissions would likely improved if laws created a global marketplace for carbon tax credits. Obamacare (ACA) enacted laws that provided 20 million Americans (and rising) with access to an existing marketplace for private health insurance. Many if not most of the 1,100 separate programs in the USDA to support farm incomes, and the thousands of employees required to administer them, could be swept away by solutions that make their markets more functional and less volatile.
Extreme right-wing libertarianism depends on the belief that markets will solve ALL these problems IF ONLY government would just leave them alone to achieve an optimal state. These people are simply delusional and no less extreme than Marxists on the Left, but there are different shades of libertarianism and I happen to subscribe to the shade called Bleeding Heart Libertarianism (bleedingheartlibertarians.com).
JoAnn, you’re asking great questions. The internet is full of lousy answers with the conclusion that recycling programs are broken.
Let me stroke a conversation by asking your questions a different way — you just bought a container of processed food and cooked it. Who is responsible for that packaging?
Producers say the consumer owns it and is responsible for it. However, who benefits from reusing that cardboard box in the recycling of it?
These are questions that require answered in a planned society versus letting “markets dictate” because profiteers are only interested in profits. They don’t care about all the external costs like that box now sitting in your house or in the street or floating in the ocean, etc.
We as a society have to discuss our entire systems because turning it over to profit-driving people will lead to the obvious conclusions with humans. They’ll figure out how to reap all the profits with the least amount of expenses. That’s what markets and humans do. They ignore the costs to society, as you’d expect them to do.
Einstein saw this with the capitalist model in 1949. He basically confirmed what Marx predicted would happen. You can’t just focus on fossil fuels without looking at food production, etc.
They are all interconnected, just like you can’t do it just in China and not in Russia because as we are seeing with climate change, the heavy polluters of the ozone are causing climate catastrophes in the poorest countries first who aren’t even contributing to the causes but sure feel the effects of our waste.
Sometimes Sheila doesn’t do a great job when making economic arguments – but this time she’s on track.
What John isn’t seeing is that when costs remain external to a market transaction, it distorts the market. When the cost of disposing or recycling packaging isn’t included in the price of the item, then the demand for packaging is higher than it would otherwise be. This only works if it’s not a flat fee, but a fee based on the amount and type of packaging going into making and delivering the product.
It’s a similar idea with coal powered electricity: If you don’t include all of the lifecycle costs of coal, such as environmental degradation from mining, air pollution, ash sludge ponds, health impacts, etc. – coal fired electricity is cheap. If it’s artificially cheap because of all of the costs that aren’t part of the transaction, then there will be a greater demand. When you bring those other costs in, suddenly coal isn’t cheap and nobody is building a coal fired power plant.
The problem I see with the “wrapper tax” is what others have pointed out – for this to work, it really needs to be national AND apply to entire supply chain. What you don’t want is added costs to retailers in Maine, for example, and not have it apply to an out of state business (Amazon). If you tax all virgin plastic / cardboard / etc. to reflect the true cost of disposal, it would provide an incentive to reduce the demand. It would also make recycled materials more cost competitive.
As a consumer and climate activist, I would like regulations/taxation that incentivize products/packaging that are minimally harmfully to the planet – i.e. they should become the best “value proposition” for the buyer. This would be the reverse of the current situation where the organic/most recyclable are the most expensive.
Norris asks for expertise I don’t have in how to administer levels of tax liabilities to a cleanup of the externalities involved. How to bundle and treat externalities when the sacred hand of corporate profit is intermingled with the public health and/or survival is certain to bring forth the crudest form of frontier libertarianism among terminal capitalists, disguised, of course, with flag waving and the virtues of, uh, private enterprise.
I adopt Todd’s critiques today.
Every good that manufacturers somewhere in the world make and we consume turns natural resources into waste with a time lag in between that can vary from days to decades. That means that the production of anything that is sustainable in the long run has to reverse the process and turn the waste back into an equally valuable natural resource using only energy, oxygen, and water which are the only cycled (water and oxygen) or renewed (solar energy) and therefore sustainable natural resources. Technically all of the elemental chemicals in our earth system are conserved but most uses render them un-reusable.
This all costs money.
We choose for the ease of accounting to either ignore our unsustainable consumption assuming that future humans don’t count or pay for the cost through taxes. Neither solution is sustainable as the human population continues to explode.
How long will ignore(ance) continue to rule our tiny roost?
You are correct, I was trying to allude to the same thing, when corporations are paying no federal taxes, and being given money by the states, before they even make one widget, they are ahead of the game! Everything is just gravy. Imagine if you or I didn’t have to pay any taxes. I could use that money to do a lot of things, but the corporations sock it way in offshore accounts. Or, they divide it up amongst the upper echelon, and very little ever makes it to the bottom of the hill.
Concerning an attempt to make these companies pay for recycling, or tax their wrappers so to speak, one of the things should be, banning specific types of packaging altogether. Of course the consumer will end up paying for that also. But, it’s a possibility some of the packaging, i.e. back to the future with paper sixpack holders and such, might even be less expensive than the plastic can holders. Paper straws, a lot of this can be made from recycled paper. Then again, you have to have recyclers willing to recycle paper instead of dumping it into a landfill. It seems to me, there are no regulations on the recyclers whatsoever. The list in what they won’t take is exponentially longer than what they will take.
Batteries, they won’t take batteries but they will take the metal inside batteries! So, how are you to recycle batteries? Are we supposed to smash the batteries and take the metal out? If so then why would we give it to the recyclers to make money on?
The tax issue is unfair and unbalanced, it puts the burden on the regular consumer, John and Jane Smith! The consumer pays for everything, except, with the tax reduction for corporations, they definitely didn’t let any of that savings trickle down to the consumer/taxpayer. Again, it went into accounts offshore.
In Illinois here, you have billionaires taking care of their business before new tax laws in the state go into effect. So, once again, no foresight amongst the politicians, and all the burden will fall on the average John and Jane Smith.
It doesn’t matter what the taxes are for, or what is taxed, it will always fall on the average middle-class taxpayer. It’s an unsustainable pattern that will break this society eventually.
And, I would have to say Todd is correct concerning oligarchy in government, politics, big religion, and big business! They are all connected, and the goal is to extort as much out of the little man as possible! It always falls on the little man. Ayn Rand wrote Atlas shrugged, and, it was a love story for corporate America! But it’s exactly how corporate America sees itself!
America was never a democracy, the Chinese, the Africans, Native Americans, were 3/5 human. Not allowed to vote, not allowed to be citizens of a country that they live in! I don’t care how many amendments there have been, Corporations, Religions, and politicians have been able to circumvent everything to keep their position of authority, and keep their knee on the neck of the average American, whether they realize it or not! And if they don’t, that’s where the stupidity comes in.
Wrapper/package tax: Kurt has it right.
I’ve been a Republic customer, the only one in my west-side Indy neighborhood, for years. They currently charge about $99/year, twice the amount as when I signed up. I don’t mind that so much, BUT they only take plastics 1 & 2, according to their website and a recent STAR article, and most plastics I run across are 5 or above. And, get this, I recently got a bill from them for $0.50. Can’t figure that out; I think that happened last year, too. That’s not for the year, just for the heck of it, apparently.
I agree with Lester that we need to incentivize corporations to create packaging that is less harmful or not harmful at all to our Mother Earth. We need research grants for packaging that supports sustainability. If we tax corporations, the price will be passed onto consumers. Taxing corporations for environmental damage is a small step but ultimately will not save the earth.
I often wonder how much of the plastic I put in the recycling bin actually gets recycled. I don’t know if the energy we use for recycling supports sustainability.
My grandparents created their own food and ate seasonally. They had a “dry cellar” in which they stored potatoes, carrots, onions. Years ago, the only time I could get strawberries was in the spring. My mother got an orange once a year, and that was at Christmas. We need not only a change in packaging but a change in the energy used for transporting food. We need incentives for changes in the energy used for transportation of goods. And right now, it appears that electric vehicles will be the most realistic solution.
And, it is true, corporations create what consumers demand. Our society’s individualistic culture makes it difficult to live a life of voluntary simplicity. It takes a community to create the kind of voluntary simplicity that supports a sustainable economy. People who are willing to share tools, the clothes their children have grown out of, a cup of flour when my neighbor wants to bake a cake etc. (That happens a lot in rural communities. ) People who are willing to shop at Good Will and Restore which supports Habitat for Humanity.
I guess it’s time for me to go to a garage sale. If anyone needs some flour, let me know. There’s a farmer’s market 10 minutes from me that opens every Friday afternoon.
“The problem I see with the “wrapper tax” is what others have pointed out – for this to work, it really needs to be national AND apply to entire supply chain. What you don’t want is added costs to retailers in Maine, for example, and not have it apply to an out of state business (Amazon). If you tax all virgin plastic / cardboard / etc. to reflect the true cost of disposal, it would provide an incentive to reduce the demand. It would also make recycled materials more cost competitive.”
Thank you, Kurt.
Patrick’s” The headline should read: ‘Maine adopts recycling tax used by Canada and Europe for decades,'” points to one issue with our spin on “Free Markets,” that they are only free, as has been pointed out, for the powerful! We are exceptional, exceptionally lazy, bought and pid for.
Robin – well said. Regarding our ME culture, I can’t tell you how many bicycles I have “rescued” from the curb waiting for the garbage truck when there is a non-profit nearby that rehabs used/broken bikes for poor kids. Likewise, many other curb items that could go to Habitat, etc. It is all about “convenience”…or is it “conMEness”?
This brings up a related beef of mine…land pollution, i.e. trash along our roads, businesses, etc. I came of age politically in the late 1970s. Our air and water pollution problems were so much worse then. We’ve made enormous strides when it comes to those two types of pollution.
But the third type of pollution land pollution – is much worse today than when I was growing up. People eat fast food and just throw out the cups and the wrappers along the sideways. People dump bags of trash along the side of the road all the time.
I kind of doubt that a wrapper tax is going to do much for my concerns. We need a full-blown PR campaign against land pollution to change people’s attitudes. We have been so good at getting the message out that people should wear bicycle helmets and, to a lesser degree, that people should recycle. We need a similar campaign against people throwing their trash out when driving.
Can the part of our property tax bill which covers solid waste pickup be considered a “wrapper tax” already in place? It is those pesky “wrappers” of all types which we place in our trash to be picked up. By the way; people who do not pay for a 2nd City bin or a Republic bin simply put out the old type trash cans which are emptied because of the property taxes we pay for solid waste pickup.
Paul – the only successful campaign I know of was in (gulp) Texas. It was/is called:
“Don’t Mess with Texas”……
Of course, Greg Abbot loved it! 🙂 🙂
Paul @ 11:36 am, I recall Mayor Hudnut pitching so to speak with his Hudunt Hook shot to throw trash in a receptacle. Perhaps schools, etc., could be enlisted to carry the message.
When, I go to the gas station I see a lost of plastic water, pop, bottles and cans in the regular trash. It would be helpful if some of the stations could set recycling bins for plastic and cans.
Unfortunately, businesses do not want to set-up recycling unless they are forced to.
Obviously people ultimately pay for everything, either in the price of goods, the price of goods that have been set to pay for the externalities, or through taxation to pay for externalities that businesses have not been forced to include in their pricing, and therefore their profit plans.
The only logical solution, however, is to have a strong Federal Government that not only passes regulations but enforces them. Unenforced regulations give the bad guys in business a competitive advantage, because they know they can slip by and often do.
But we will not solve the plastics problem in this country unless the Federal Government passes laws and regulations to reduce them in packaging. Leaving it to a patchwork of State and local laws won’t do it. Business can deal with it if the requirements are universal, across all states. Having to deal with different rules for different states creates a complexity for business, the likes of which alone adds to the cost of doing business. On solution for all and enforced across all businesses in the same industry is the most effective and cost effective way of handling these external costs and is a much more efficient way to get to the objective as quickly as possible.
We are the only species that fouls it own nest, while claiming to be the most intelligent! Plastics are the main Poop, among others. We don’t need more government, nor less. We need more effective government and less ineffective government.
I will point out the perverse incentives of certain taxes:
When certain things are taxed, it increases the cost of that item and provides an economic disincentive to purchase that item. However, when that tax becomes a significant revenue stream, the government then has an incentive to keep it going.
You see this with cigarette taxes in Indiana, for example. The state has refused to allocate much of the tax revenue to smoking cessation. You see it with gambling revenue. You will see it with pot revenue.
Could you imagine a situation where the government doesn’t give more than lip-service to recycling because it interferes with revenue from a virgin plastics/cardboard tax?
I will suggest an additional avenue.
I happen to still read (or more often skim) the journal Science. I keep seeing articles on improved storage battery technology, improved solar cells, and new materials for packaging. In this last category, there are advances in biodegradable materials and totally recyclable plastics (monomer to polymer and back to monomer for endless reuse)
We would benefit from a huge infusion of government funding in materials research and when useful discoveries are made, a tax structure that is an incentive for early adoption of these discoveries.
Similarly, research in recycling what we already have should get an infusion of funding.
Maybe because I grew up recycling every scrap of newspaper into packing material for my father’s business and took bottles to the recycling bin as soon as municipal recycling was begun –
maybe because I heard of how they hand separated cloth, metal, and glass in my grandfather’s junk yard (he died in ’41), but I hate to waste anything.
I used to take broken appliances to Good Will, where “handicapped” people who couldn’t get jobs elsewhere were trained to repair everything. From the viewpoint of discrimination, times are much better, but now nobody fixes repairable appliances; it is cheaper to junk them and buy new.
In this regard, we could also use more publicity of places that actually will reuse, repair, and recycle.
“transactions between willing buyers and willing sellers who are each in possession of all information relevant to the transaction.” LOL So, you’re pointing out that the fundamental basis for neoliberal capitalism is flawed. I agree.
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