Moral Authority Breaking Down?
McLEAN, Va. - Dogs aren't the only ones casting a longing eye at fire hydrants these days. Fire departments across the country report that thieves are twisting the brass nuts off the tops and selling them for scrap, raising concerns that the hydrants won't work when needed most....
"It definitely delayed us. It's become a real problem," said Tracey Martinez, spokeswoman for the San Bernadino County Fire Department, whose firefighters now carry spare parts to access hydrants that have been tampered with, though using them can cost valuable time.
Brass parts are fetching higher prices at scrap recyclers, though a single hydrant nut is unlikely to be worth more than $10 even in the current inflated market.
Fire hydrants aren't the only target — thieves have stolen brass ornaments from graves in Chicago and West Virginia, chrome-plated brass piping from men's bathrooms at fast-food restaurants in Pennsylvania, and brass plaques from churches in Houston.
A few weeks ago I posted an article on theft of manhole covers.
Based on the comments from the spokeswoman from the fire department, this problem seems to be relatively new. As the economy continues to contract, how far will people go to make ends meet?
As indicated in some of my previous posts, we all live in one system. The system depends on rules and moral behavior and people living up to their obligations. When we start rewarding corporate executives millions of dollars after destroying companies, how should the poor working stiff on the street feel if he can't afford food and shelter for his family....even after working full time?
As prices rise and wages fall and jobs lost, expect social problems to escalate much further. There is a HUGE cost to society for these problems. If moral authority breaks down, little matters at that point.
Again, no judgments are being made....simply societal breakdown is a consquence of an economic meltdown. And if you don't think the June's slowdown is the first step to a breakdown, just wait for July's and August's results.
In the end, you cannot have a functioning system where the average wage cannot afford to cover food, fuel, and shelter(if few are making any profits, few can pay the taxes for government to fulfill its obligations).