Anything sufficiently complex develops parasites. A parasite is not necessarily a negative term. The human body would die without many of its parasites. Perhaps artists are parasites, and we are all parasites as children.
Bottle and can deposits have led to the proliferation of “canners.” people who retrieve empties in order to get the nickel deposits. This is one of those hard working Chinese grandma’s, a very diligent and hard working one in our neighborhood, as you can see. I have never before been able to get a satisfactory shot of her. Her face is always stone cold and consciously invisible.
Another perspective this can remind us of, is that the majority of people ever born have not existed in the cash economy, and there are many people even in a wealthy city like New York who live on the borderline of the cash economy.
There are also much savvier people who drive around and pick up things on the street of much greater value. They can, it is rumored, make substantial livings. This is the result of human ingenuity reacting to our affluence.