Can Metal Scavengers Give A True Glimpse Into The Health Of The Economy?

Despite reports that hiring is up, unemployment is down and that the economy is slowly crawling its way back, what I see on the streets seems to prove otherwise.

Last week when I was beginning my daily commute, I noticed a red pick up truck slowing down and backing up across the street from where I was standing.  At first, I thought he was one of those creepy guys who likes to offer rides to women at bus stops.

What he did next came as a surprise.

He wasn't a creepy guy.  He was a man on a much different mission.

Exiting the passenger's side door of his truck, the man with his power saw promptly started cutting down a metal support post of a fence that was in severe disrepair.

Then he cut down another support.

Leaving the stumps in the concrete, the man picked up the six foot poles and threw them in the back of his truck.

All of this occurred on a heavily traveled but almost desolate street on the south side before 6:00 in the morning.

Granted I didn't understand what I was seeing while it was happening.  Yet I eventually figured out what was going on.

So you can believe what the talking heads say about the economic health of this country if you choose; stealthy metal scavengers seem to paint a much different picture.

 

 

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  • All it really proves is that the price of scrap metal is worth committing this crime (instead of going to the effort of finding the bus battery disconnect switch and stealing iPods, apparently also occurring in or near your neighborhood) and that scrap dealers are still not checking the source of the material.

    There are always people looking for loose scrap everywhere, but they haven't gone to someone who I know's back yard where some contractor dumped a whole lot of metal shelving. Of course, I'm not publishing the address here.

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