Police Guard Trash in Portland

On Tuesday, February 16, a Fred Meyer grocery store in Portland, Oregon threw out a large amount of perishable food that could not be refrigerated properly due to a power outage caused by a winter storm. Local residents, seeing the food waste, gathered at the store’s dumpsters in order to collect the discarded food. But the police were sent in to guard the dumpsters!

This highlights the absurdity of capitalism. The private property rights of corporations are so important that even their discarded property – their literal trash – is off-limits to people who could have made good use of it. The police were called in specifically to ensure that the food would go to waste. The capitalist system not only does not help people; in protecting businesses’ property, it seems to go out of its way to ensure that people cannot help themselves.