Do you shoplift for a living? If so, Alex Vitale – founder of the “Social Justice Project” at Brooklyn college - has your back. Professor Vitale says we're getting all worked up over nothing. That despite what we see in the news, shoplifting is normal human behavior, and should be decriminalized. See link at bottom.
First of all, I want to apologize for introducing the economic theories of some New York sociology professor into this forum. You'd expect someone with a PhD in wishful thinking to be clueless, and Alex Vitale does not disappoint on that score. But to be fair, the professor IS simply trying to make a buck hawking his latest book, “The End of Policing”. He's FOR less policing, not against it, in case you couldn't guess. But I'm sure Professor Vitale does NOT want you to shoplift his book. Perhaps you should buy it online through Amazon, and check your front stoop on delivery day and get to it before any porch pirates do. Better yet, purchase and read his book online, to avoid contributing to shoplifting - which shouldn't even be a crime in the first place. Physical bookstores are so 20th century, anyway.
How much is $110 billion in shoplifting (excluding Amazon porch pirates)? About $1,000 for each American family - in higher prices to cover the cost of goods stolen. Whoa . . . when you put it that way, maybe shoplifting actually IS a problem. That's jacking up my grocery bill A LOT, professor!
Professor Vitale began his career in 1990 lobbying for the decriminalization of homelessness, graffiti, drug use, and prostitution. Buidling on his success in these areas, he's now advocating legalized retail theft. I have a question at this point, Professor: do you personally live in a building covered by graffiti, surrounded by meth/fentanyl users in tents, and streetwalkers 24/7? Be honest . . .
I'm guessing Professor Vitale's apartment looks pretty normal. If it is something out of a dystopian horror movie, I apologize. But I doubt that. If someone lives in a safe place, it's always easier to tell everyone else to suck it up. What's the adage? . . . “A conservative is a liberal who just got mugged!” (originator – mayor Frank Rizzo). Evidently $1,000 a year in higher prices due to shoplifting is okay, as long as nobody gets mugged. Wait . . . can we be sure the shoplifters aren't also muggers? Or street level drug dealers? Do shoplifters have a moral code, and confine themselves to pocketing cold medicine, liquor, and jumbo frozen shrimp?
Okay snowflakes – you've waited patiently for my outrageous snark, and here it is: Why are things like steak, shrimp, liquor, iPhones, Nikes, and meth precursors the main targets of shoplifters? Are we to conclude that the Food Stamp program is falling short of basic human needs? Maybe if we implement universal basic income, people will stop shoplifting, dealing drugs, and muggings? Okay – I had to get that one out of my system.
Professor Vitale evidently doesn't think store closures – creating food deserts in urban areas – will be a problem for residents who live there. Maybe if we stop arresting shoplifters, we should also make it illegal for those stores to flee, or go bankrupt? If they do go bankrupt, maybe the government should build a grocery store of its own there? Chicago has a new program to experiment with this - city run supermarkets. Because, you know, the city of Chicago is doing so well with public schools, affordable housing, and crime that they have extra resources to try their luck at milk, eggs, and bread?
I wish Chicago good luck with their grocery store adventure - honestly. I only ask that the Mayor and City Council contact Professor Vitale before they have their grand opening. Ask the professor if he wants the city to look the other way if shelves are stripped bare by decriminalized shoplifters. If that starts to happen, then store prices paid by anyone NOT shoplifting are going to need a re-think.
I'm just sayin' . . .
What America’s shoplifting panic is really about | CNN Business