As “progressive prosecutors” have taken over in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore and many other one-party cities, merchants have had to adjust to the reality that their shelves can be and have been cleaned out by shoplifters and nothing is going to be done about it. The facts that retail theft is still a crime defined by the legislative branch, and in the aggregate causes very substantial economic losses, just don’t register (or don’t count). There is also the fact that it’s driving businesses out of already “under-served” (and almost always minority) neighborhoods, but that too doesn’t count. When the businesses take flight, they leave behind now-unemployed workers and a typically disadvantaged customer base with a skimpy and shrinking selection of alternatives.
Then of course there’s the fact that the indulgence of rampant stealing is the calling card of — how shall I say this? — devolving standards of decency that mark the decline of a corrupted society. But I wouldn’t want to be so old-fashioned as to bemoan stealing simply because it’s dishonest and corrosive to the basics of civic life. Instead, being a capitalist, I want to highlight how stores have adjusted to the new reality.
A picture is, as they say, worth…………………………
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