What Happens When There is Nothing Left to Loot?
A tsunami of looting now floods California. The quake’s epicenter causing the looting tsunami is Sacramento, home to a Democratic legislature and a Democratic Governor that won’t prosecute thefts under $950. Why? Because the liberal voters of California downgraded thefts under $950 to a misdemeanor when they passed Proposition 47 in 2014. You get a citation instead of being arrested like a traffic ticket.
Shoplifting in California is now less than a traffic ticket.
You eventually have to show up to pay for a traffic ticket, or you may lose your driver’s license and auto-tag—a consequence. If you get caught shoplifting, the prosecutor won’t prosecute. Therefore, no consequence.
Students of behavior learn the fundamental principle that behavior is a function of its consequences. No consequence equals no change in behavior. This is common sense. It was entirely predictable that Proposition 47 would lead to more crimes of theft. Why? Because there is no consequence for robbery!
Now even the all-knowing California Governor Gavin Newsom is talking as if he has some common sense. In Zachary Steiber’s reporting in The Epoch Times, the headline is “Newsom Calls for Looters to Be Prosecuted After Series of Brazen Robberies.” But prosecutors don’t report to Newsom, so looters may not be prosecuted.
Looting, Looting, and More Looting
The litany of looting cases continues to grow:
- Nordstrom – Robbers stole as many as eight expensive purses from Nordstrom in Los Angeles.
- Apple – Robbers took as much as $20,000 in merchandise from an Apple store in Santa Rosa.
- Louis Vuitton Chicago – Criminals also stole about $100,000 worth of products from a Louis Vuitton store in the city of Chicago.
- A mob of thieves targeted a Neiman Marcus location and a GameStop store in Chicago.
Looting is clearly out of control and spreading across the nation. So now the question becomes:
The Consequences of Looting: Stores Shut Down
When a store loses more money to looting and shoplifting than it makes in sales revenue, it shuts down. Jobs are lost, and convenient access to food, prescriptions, and clothing is lost. The same Epoch Times article reported, “Walgreens announced in October that it would be closing five San Francisco stores, citing crime sprees in the area.”
Last May, I wrote about this at America Out Loud: “Are Businesses Shrugging A New Economic Virus?”
When you and I need groceries, we go to the grocery store. When we need a prescription filled, we go to the pharmacy. When we need clothing, we go to a clothing store. If each of these kinds of stores shuts down due to looting and shoplifting, who suffers? You and I. Where will we get our food? Where will we get our medications? Where will we get our clothing?
Imagine you open the refrigerator and notice that you are low on milk. You think, “I better put milk on the shopping list and get some when I go to the grocery store.” Then you close the fridge door and remember, “Oh, wait! The grocery store has closed. Now, what do I do? What will I eat and drink?”
What Happens When There is Nothing Left to Loot?
When all the stores shut down, there is nothing left for the looters to loot. What happens then? The store shelves are empty. No stuff to steal here. If you are a looter, what will you do? You go where there is stuff to loot. Ask yourself, where is that?
In my 2014 novel set in the future, The Rainbow Option, I predicted the disappearance of consumer goods and food under an all-controlling government such as we now have. In one scene, an Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for FDA Nutrition Enforcement goes to the grocery store on his way home from work. He is shocked to see shelves bare of everything except pet food and magazines.
By the next week, he and his wife and children are eating dog food. Desperate, he attempts to steal from a neighbor’s fenced garden. After her Doberman bites him, the neighbor tells him, “Eat regulations. . . . While you were busy making regulations, I was busy planting tomatoes and raising Dobermans.”
After he makes more futile phone calls to locate food, one food warehouse manager tells him that looters have cleaned out the place.
Then suddenly, it hit him. He sank to the floor, his eyes wide in horror. We regulated the food away. What sounded far-fetched in 2014 is now starting to come true seven years later.
Dog food, anyone?
Image: Los Angeles Times
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