Clotheslines

Jonathan Rowe at On the Commons is writing about clotheslines, and the “tragedy of the private” market that has made them illegal for millions of people. A useful reminder that–while no view is strictly objective–some absurdities are pretty easy to identify, and these are just as likely (more likely?) to derive from the unfettered association of individuals through the marketplace as from any other source, particularly when profit maximization is the mantra. (Because, in this case, it’s the hope that property values will rise as fast as possible that leads snobs to ban clotheslines from a neighborhood.)

Given that the Supreme Court has ruled that carbon dioxide should rightly be treated as a pollutant, but the EPA continues to fail to act, clotheslines in restricted neighborhoods might make a great form of civil disobedience. If you live in such a neighborhood, set up a clothesline and wait for the order to take it down. It’d make for a great story in the local paper, which would help to spread the word about this absurdity and, hopefully, lead to laws that overrule the we-prefer-to-pollute-the-atmosphere snob factor.