Another “Great Stupid” Milestone: Mayor Adams’ Plan To Stop Shoplifting

If you are not fully informed in Ethics Alarms lore, the term “The Great Stupid” for the ridiculous period Western Civilization is trying to survive came from a lucky conversation your host had many decades ago with futurist Herman Kahn, then generally regarded as the smartest man alive. One of the topics we discussed was the Sixties, and Herman observed that throughout history there have been periods where whole cultures suddenly forgot the lessons of the past. This resulted in what in retrospect looked like extended periods of stupidity, with people and governments engaging in destructive conduct and embracing wildly foolish policies until they re-learned what they had forgotten, usually after catastrophic results. I am quite confident that Mr Kahn would agree that this is just such a period.

New York City mayors have been major players in the most recent descent of stupidity across the land, and while Mayor Eric Adams couldn’t be a worse mayor than his predecessor if he just lay on his office rug twitching, he certainly tries. Recently, as his city (like so many Democrat-run metropolises) grapples with an exploding crime rate, Adams announced the following plan to deal with rampant shoplifting:

I’m serious: he really had the guts to propose that, and I assume did not expect same people to laugh their heads off. There are only two kinds of people who will approve of that nonsense: those who shoplift, and those who think theft is justifiable. Both groups are enemies of civilization. Centuries of experience have taught the lesson that the only way to minimize crimes are…

1. Make certain society sends a clear and unmistakable message that each crime is unacceptable, harms society as a whole, and will not be tolerated.

2. Issue clear laws prohibiting such conduct and attaching sufficiently serious penalties to the conduct that negative reinforcement applies, and

3. The laws are enforced efficiently and routinely enough that potential violators know they are likely to be apprehended and punished.

Impressively, Adams’ plan manages to miss all of these, meaning that it is certain, not likely but certain, to increase the incidence of the conduct he claims to be trying to prevent.

Progressives, Democrats and the news media (but I repeat myself) would have it that this analysis marks one as a “conservative.” It does not. Recognizing that Adams’ plan is stupid, indeed a symptom of The Great Stupid, shouldn’t require any ideological orientation at all, any more than, say, realizing that smashing one’s face repeatedly with a shovel is a bad idea. The fact that such an astounding majority of the excrement of The Great Stupid has accumulated on the left side of the ideological divide is certainly worth pondering, but not advocating stupid conduct and policies isn’t a matter of politics.

It’s simple common sense and survival.

19 thoughts on “Another “Great Stupid” Milestone: Mayor Adams’ Plan To Stop Shoplifting

  1. One thing that seems to be a common theme in decriminalization is the notion that people will just do the right thing if their situations weren’t dire. If people are shoplifting, it isn’t because they think they deserve stuff for free, or get a thrill out of thieving, or think theft is no big deal. No, they have to be shoplifting because that is the only way to acquire what they need. If they can just be shown there are alternatives, if they can just be instructed in the right behavior, and perhaps even the circumstances that is forcing them to steal are mitigated, that’s the true means of decreasing crime. Surely the last thing we want to do is give someone a black mark that will just make his circumstances worse and thereby drive him into even more crime, because then he really doesn’t have any choice but to shoplift. Who would give him the time of day if people knew he had a criminal record?

    Of course this policy ignores human tendency towards wrongdoing. Like or not, we have to really struggle to do the right thing, and one of the great aspects of law is that it helps guide us and incentivizes us to do the right thing, because the cost of doing the wrong thing is worse. We know the law is not going to stop all crimes, and some criminals will get away with their behavior and never face punishment for it. But by and large, the law restrains our worst proclivities and makes it so that we can have a functional society. I could wax eloquent for pages on original sin, but that’s actually not what I find most interesting at the moment here.

    There are members of my family with criminal records, and I have witnessed how hard it can be to overcome a criminal conviction. It certainly doesn’t help that there’s a certain political party that tends to view all criminals as irredeemable and continue to place egregious obstacles in the way of felons who are legitimately trying to put their lives back together. I’ve also heard numerous anecdotes from officers working at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins about how so many inmates go into prison as relatively decent folk, and after several years of incarceration, leave the prison system hardened, jaded, and more likely to commit another crime, and probably a violent one, at that. I don’t know the actual statistics, though I suppose I should take the time to find them out. A quick Google search shows a series of studies, articles, opinions, and the like that at least claim that prison time can actually increase recidivism rates among felons.

    So one of the great questions is how do you balance make sure that criminal activity is sufficiently deterred (again, through both the probability of being caught, and sufficiently severe penalties), and that criminals are not so worse off from their convictions that they cannot successfully reenter society? I’ve seen some small programs geared toward helping inmates learn a trade or get a degree, so that when they emerge from prison they can be equipped for finding a job, but those seem to be most successful when there are businesses that partner with the prisons. For the rest, job applications always ask if the applicant has been convicted of a felony, and many businesses will conduct a background check that usually looks backward for seven years. What this means is that many convicts have to endure years of struggling to find any job that will take then, and usually at a far lower wage than they had been making previously, and that strain is psychologically burdensome. I know, people who did the crime must do the time. They have to endure the consequences of their actions. Trust me, as a Catholic who believes very much in the need to perform penance for ones sins, criminals need the harsh reality to help detach them from further wrongdoing. But is there a truly a point where the punishment and stigma overall has the opposite effect, and they drive many criminals back into criminal behavior?

    I believe there need to be more programs to help criminals learn to walk the straight and narrow, and I think jails and prisons need to be readjusted to have a greater emphasis on rehabilitation. That all requires taxpayers to pay into that, but I think there should be a demonstrable benefit, that if the proper programs are in place and significantly reduce recidivism rates, then it should cost the taxpayer less overall. However, that being said, I’m not sure how, in this paradigm, to keep penalty for breaking the law sufficiently painful to be a useful deterrent. If one knows that one could commit a crime, and end up with job training and a potential career after prison, that might actually encourage crime. But I do believe that the Left’s continual drive to decriminalize everything will certainly encourage more crime, because at that point, why not shoplift? There’s no risk to it anymore.

    • The best way to avoid the consequences of a criminal record is not to go down that path in the first place. No one wants to know criminals except other criminals.

      • Steve-O,

        While I agree that the best way to avoid the consequences of a criminal record is to avoid committing crimes in the first place, but I disagree that no one wants to know criminals except criminals. Leaving aside the fact that criminals have families and friends who care about them, and even leaving aside someone who somewhere said, “Come you blessed and enter into my Father’s house, for… I was in prison and you visited me…”, still society has a vested interest in what happens to criminals.

        If society is not going to execute all its criminals, or lock them up forever and throw away the key, then at some point criminals are going to be back on the street. There has been tendency, especially on the political Right, to make life as difficult as possible for criminals to reenter society as rehabilitated and productive members. There has been a tendency on the political Left to pretend that committing a crime doesn’t leave a mark on the offender’s soul (mind, psyche, pattern of behavior, etc) and they just need treated with compassion and everything will be all right. Both attitudes are, I believe, unhelpful. Or rather, each attitude is incomplete.

        You cannot rehabilitate someone without correcting the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that led up to the crime. Alleviating the poverty, or other social pressures that help lead people to commit crimes, by itself does not address the wound caused by choosing to break the law. Once the law is broken, it is easier to break it again. But strong punishment alone is insufficient because the offender is still a human person in need of rehabilitation. Salvation, if you will.

        • Way back before I was born, Jack Webb was doing his thing as sergeant Joe Friday on the venerable police procedural Dragnet. The only initial exposure I had to that series was as parody in later cartoons. However, around the time I was 11 or 12 the original series went into syndication on USA Network on Saturday evenings and I occasionally caught a showing or two in between 5:30 mass and suppers of fish sticks and macaroni and cheese. I remember Friday giving a speech, which unfortunately I can’t find on YouTube right this moment but could be paraphrased as follows: he knew of the kid who came out of high school together with his classmates and broke the law and was sent to jail soon after. He got out of jail and returned to his old neighborhood, but his classmates were all attending college or in the army or in some other commitments to further their lives and no one wanted to know him. So he broke the law to get money again, and he was caught and sent to prison again. He got out of prison for the second time, but now his friends and classmates were all married, buying houses, starting families, and so on and no one wanted anything to do with someone with a criminal record. So what could he do? He fell back in with his criminal buddies, and tried to knock over a liquor store. Well, it didn’t get any money but they did kill the manager. Friday was doing his best to get the sentence commuted but as of the time he made that speech that guy was due to smell the gas. Nobody wanted to know criminals except other criminals.

          I had a case a couple of years ago which involved a very lame civil rights case against one of my officers for arresting a gangster who fled and threw away a gun but then claimed he threw away a cell phone instead. His record was not too different in some ways. When he was 16 he had killed another kid over something stupid and been jailed for 10 or 12 years for manslaughter. He had been released, but no one would hire him, because no one wants to work alongside someone who killed someone. No one should have to work alongside someone who killed someone. You never know what someone like that will do, and most employers don’t want all their reliable workers go in some place else because they are afraid that this guy might kill one of them. So he turned to dealing drugs and committing other crimes, he was involved in several shootings. He was frankly a slime ball who did not hesitate to lie and make up ridiculous excuses, but most ridiculous of which was that he was afraid my detective was going to rob him and he threw away his cell phone because there were pictures on it of him and his girlfriend having sex that he didn’t want getting out there, because he couldn’t resist making up a lie that cast him is quite the studly one. Well, the case was thrown out, but he never lived to see it get thrown out because he was shot dead in the parking lot of a closed down auto parts store, hit nine times. Word on the street was that he had not paid someone quickly enough on a drug deal.

          I’ve only ever cheered the death of bin laden, but in my opinion, the world was a better place without this guy in it. He did nothing but commit crimes all his life, and frankly I don’t care that he never got a chance to make it honestly. He intentionally killed someone, and as far as I’m concerned, that should have been it.

          I frankly don’t believe in rehabilitation, I think if you’ve gotten to the point where you are committing serious crimes, you have forfeited your place in society. Too many cases get plea bargained and too many criminals walk away with a lot less than they deserve. Too many victims don’t get justice. Would you consider it justice if someone assaulted you, broke your jaw, and then was given probation? Probably not. Would you consider it justice if someone stole your camera and laptop out of your car, and, although they were later caught and locked up for a year, your electronics were long since sold and unrecoverable? Not really. However, whatever happened here is going down on this person’s record and potential employers aren’t going to consider employing them. Why should they consider employing someone who goes around punching out and injuring others? When you are at work you have the right to work in a reasonably safe environment free from violence. Who’s going to hire someone who is a known thief? Someone stole once, what’s to stop them from stealing again?. People have a right to work somewhere and not have to constantly look over their shoulders worrying but their belongings are going to get swiped. As far as I’m concerned, this guy who beat someone up or stole or whatever can go push shopping carts around a parking lot or push a broom. He’s not trustworthy and I won’t have him working around the people who are.

          I know the Bible tells us that the Angels cheer more about one sinner who turns from his sinful ways than about 99 righteous people who do not need to turn. The Bible also tells us that the shepherd will leave the 99 sheep who has not strayed out on the hills and pursue the one she who did until he brings it safely home. Outside the realm of parables, however, that is nonsense, and frankly unfair to the 99 righteous people who have never strayed. As for the sheep, who do you think is going to wind up providing the owners next for passed eventually? It’s very likely to be the sheep who is more trouble than he is worth. Get it back to the question of the righteous people, however, this could also bring me back to the off-quoted passage in which we are told that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and human achievement s is nothing but worthless rags in the face of God. Man of faith though I am, I have to ask which sounds more fair, a god who rewards the just and punishes the wicked, or God who teaches that all are wicked so there is no reward for virtue?

          I won’t say that Mercy has no place in this world. However, our esteemed host said that mercy without justice is malfeasance, and I have to agree.

          • Steve-O,

            I liked Dragnet. I think they played it on Nick-At-Nite when I was kid. I still like various cop shows, and I probably enjoyed Castle the most of the various series I’ve watched. I like the simplicity of the good guys hunting down the bad guys. But the real world isn’t simple, and who is a bad guy and who is a good guy seems to change on a moment-to-moment basis. Or to place it in a different way, we all seem to have moments of great ethical heroism, and we all seem stoop now then to become ethical dunces.

            One of the great difficulties we have is that we tend to overestimate our own virtues, and overestimate others’ vices. That’s why Jesus warns us to remove the log from our own eyes before attempting to remove the speck from our brother’s eye. Another great difficulty we have is that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, it is important to understand that St. Paul is contrasting Jews and Gentiles, and neither have any great claim to fidelity, neither Jew or Greek. And he is arguing for the universality of the salvation that Jesus wrought, that Jew and Gentile alike are in need of salvation, having come from that one and same stock of Adam. Yes, this is the same St. Paul who, just a few chapters earlier, did point out that God does reward the doers of good with eternal life, and punishes the evildoers with eternal damnation. So what is the point? We deceive ourselves into thinking we’re better than we really are, and if we were honestly judged on our righteousness, we would find ourselves sorely disappointed. But God does not abandon us, and in his grace, he aids us in performing works that are indeed meritorious, so that even the worst of sinners has the opportunity (whether or not he takes advantage of that opportunity) to be redeemed, and to become genuinely righteous.

            You cannot undo the past, and I’ll agree that many people who commit crimes never truly set their lives straight. I also agree (I think I made that clear above) that leniency without some measure of correction is a fool’s errand. That’s why Catholics perform penances even after going to Confession. Sins are forgiven, but we still need something that assists us in detaching ourselves from the precedent sinning created, as well as making some restitution for the damages sinning caused. So yes, mercy without justice is malfeasance, but I would also argue that punishment without rehabilitation is just vengeance.

            I’m very intrigued by the story you related, because I would have thought such a story would have helped prove the point. Maybe some kind of intervention, rehabilitation effort, prison-to-work program might have made all the difference in this case. Or maybe he had been offered such opportunities, and had rejected them, or tried to accept them and failed. I don’t know. But if he truly had nothing to fall back on except a life of crime, that in itself is unjust. If I have power over you, and I decree that you have no feasible means of walking the straight and narrow, aren’t I then complicit in the crime you commit after that point?

            This is the problem I have with the attitude of criminals having forfeited their place in society. If they honestly have done so, then society has an obligation to put them to death or place them in prison for life. Otherwise, society has an obligation to give criminals the chance to reenter society. Yes, that has to be done prudently, and criminals have to display the proper contrition for their crimes and the willingness to take opportunities that are presented. Probation and parole are currently the tools we have to oversee offenders’ guided reentry, I don’t really have any issue with that. Do I think businesses should be forced to ignore convictions when hiring? Not at all, because at the very least, some crimes should disbar criminals from some positions. Child abusers should not be put in authority over children. Thieves should not be allowed to become accountants. But the reality is that criminals, in order to walk the straight and narrow, need employment, so someone has to employ them. Can that make for an uncomfortable work environment? Perhaps. But the employee who has a conviction is going to be scrutinized harder.

            And I for one would rather work next to a contrite murderer than the jack-ass boss who never committed a criminal offense, but makes the workplace toxic for all the employees involved.

            • I am aware that the world and the people in it are almost always complicated. Very few people can be described as what you see being what you get. Dragnet was kind of stylized, but that was normal for its time. Jack Webb also had a very black-and-white, moralistic view of things. It’s a long way from him to NYPD Blue, where neither the writers not the characters had any qualms about police brutality (sometimes extreme brutality like stuffing a sock right off the foot into a mafioso’s mouth, kicking a suspect in the balls, or hitting a prisoner across the back of the head with a phone book, plus the time they bashed an unruly civilian who behaved in a hulk-like manner over the head with a fire extinguisher (gdang!)), and The Shield, where the cops were just criminals with badges.

              I do agree with the principle that we should all concern ourselves first with our own faults before we worry about anyone else’s, but I refuse to buy into the idea that we are all wicked and therefore our efforts and achievements mean nothing. Can we come up to God’s level? No. Can we buy our way out of our mistakes by good deeds? No. Is everything we do to try to live a decent life, work up to our potential, and aid those who need our aid worthless? No. If it were indeed worthless there would be no point in doing any of it and there would be a license for chaos. Too often that phrase about all falling short is abused, and probably drives people away from the faith.

              Laws, rules, and regulations exist for a reason, namely to keep us living comparatively decent lives, working up to what we can, and fulfilling our obligations to one another as members of society. Those who decline to do so must either be compelled to or removed. They have brought it on themselves.

              Btw, it’s easy to say you’d rather work next to a contrite murderer than a boss who’s a jerk, but that’s on the same level as saying it’s better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be convicted. Maybe so, but if those ten guilty men will now be moving into your neighborhood you might think otherwise.

    • Ryan,
      Well stated. Early in my career, I coordinated the degree program at a medium security prison. Most of our students were in on drug trafficking and robbery issues. Over its 25-year life, and multiple coordinators the program, recidivism rates were tracked by the Department of Corrections be less that 20% as compared to 80% of non-participants. Other trade programs may have also seen drops in recidivism rates, but I am not aware of those.

      Any program in a correctional environment needs to be structured in a manner that forces the person to make changes in behavior in order to continue to be able to receive some benefit. When I took over, the inmate had to be 90 days infraction free. I changed that to 6 months to be considered and the longer-term result was that we lost fewer students to segregation while they were enrolled.

      Confidentiality issues prevented the college from knowing exactly what each participant did after release but I did get a call from one ten years after I stopped working in that program. He told me he wanted to thank me for getting him on the right path. That made it all worthwhile.

      I should point out that our current president was the person leading the charge to end Pell grants for inmates in state prisons while he headed the Judiciary committee. His office wrote to me personally to let me know that their position was that criminals did not deserve these benefits. His rhetoric of being the champion of blacks and civil rights today falls on my deaf ears.

      I should also state that I did ban some individuals from applying who had a history of recidivism even after once being in our program. If you think you will save the world you will find failure is just around the corner. Be happy if you can save a few from a life of victimizing others.

      • I should have added that I spent a lot of one-on-one time talking to students in that program. Most of these students grew up learning that work was for chumps and that short-cuts to the trappings of wealth was the smart thing to do. Because I taught Economics there, as well as on campus, I used their situation to help them examine their opportunity cost of these short cuts. Prisons are not designed to correct negative behaviors, but they can reinforce them. I believe that the time our instructional staff spent talking to and advising these men on how to approach challenges was one of the reasons our recidivism rate was so low. Naysayers would chalk it up to the fact that we hand selected each student, so we only took the ones most likely not to return. That may be possible but unprovable. Each prospect was evaluated based on ACT scores, correctional history and time until his release.

    • My freshman year in college, a friend of mine excitedly told me about a group of student he met that ‘have everything figured out’. He really wanted me to meet them (recruit me). I was skeptical, but they were on the diag at lunch so, why not? Well, they were the pacifist anarchists. They believed that society and government created all evil. If you just got rid of all the rules and police, everyone would be nice to everyone else. Well, it was apparent that these people were delusional…or destined to become Democratic mayors of major cities…so I decided someone needed to wake them up.. I just laughed and said “That wouldn’t happen. What would happen is that people with guns would round you all up and make you work the fields and factories.” The leader said, “No, who would do that?” . I answered “My friends. They would round you all up and make you work…except YOU, you look completely useless and they would just shoot you on the spot as a warning to the others.” They all turned white and left. My friend (awakened to the stupidity of the group), looked at me and said “That wasn’t funny.” I disagreed.

      This policy of Adams is so bad that a policy that says that store workers can shoot shoplifters on sight and throw their bodies in the dumpster would work out better. Don’t laugh, if people like Adams continue, this is where we are headed. People need stores where they can buy clothing, food, etc. When government collapses like this, people will find a way to get stores. We are still in the anarcho-tyranny stage, where the government allows the criminals to destroy the stores, but VIGOROUSLY protects the criminals from anyone who interferes with the criminals. Eventually, people will get tired of that and we will go to an pure anarchy and then a feudalism model. Find a militia now, I guess.

  2. Is the goal to make everyone in NYC shop only online? What store owner is going to want to give up valuable floor space for a kiosk that produces zero income? What retail employee is going to want to try “conflict resolution”? They have enough to do and Adams wants to add “social worker” to their tasks?

    • That won’t work. If there are no stores to shoplift, they will just attack the Amazon trucks and loot them. The stores are currently the low-hanging fruit. You can’t tell what is in the boxes, so you can’t choose what to steal.

  3. Over 20 years ago I was in a large general home goods store when they spotted a shoplifter. The manager called a few guys from the loading dock to come up front, and when the thief started to exit through the “airlock” doors, they grabbed him. He fought, so they put him on the ground and sat on him until the police came and took him away. I thought that wasn’t a bad start to a deterrence process.

  4. Mayor Giuliani gave New York “broken windows” policing, now Adams is beginning an era of “break my windows” policing.

    • Because the “broken windows” theory of policing, like many other thoughts, policies, and theories that are not progressive, is racist. You have to get at the “root causes” of crime, which basically means crime will only stop when no one is poor anymore.

      • Steve
        You need to point out that progressives will never be satisfied because being poor is all relative unless all have the same. In which case all are poor and the revolution begins again. Those who hunger for more will always find a flock for the fleecing.

  5. In regard to several comments about correctional rehabilitation, I would say merely that it is impossible to rehabilitate (through external actions) anyone. A number of incarcerated individuals do manage, with encouragement, to rehabilitate themselves. The first problem is that the term “rehabilitate “ implies that the person is being restored to some prior state of goodness from which they have fallen. Many if not most people who have screwed up often enough and badly enough to actually get jail (or especially prison) time are folks who were never “habilitated” to living orderly and just lives to begin with. It is impossible (or as close to impossible as I can imagine) to return an adult person to a blank slate like an infant and reprogram them to a state of socialized, non-criminal normalcy. Many of the younger offenders have lived lives where they were sheltered from the consequences of their actions, and face a big reality check when they end up in jail. They have typically failed in most every socializing institution we have, including family, school, and work. That’s a tough nut to crack.
    I fully agree that the experience of incarceration should not return a criminal to the street worse off than they were before they entered, but neither should jail be an institutionalizing experience. In my county’s jail, the average length of stay (for misdemeanants and pre-trial detainees confined for more than four hours) is only about two weeks. This covers about 60% of the jail census. Another 20% of inmates are felons sentenced to serve a year or more in state custody, but housed in the county jail. The state felons are serving from one to four years, and would only be transferred to a state prison if they become a security problem or reoffend (assaults, vandalism, etc.) while in custody at the county facility. The final 20% are federal detainees awaiting trial for a variety of crimes, but mostly drug offenses. Due to federal speedy trial laws, most of them are in the jail for a max of about three months before being transferred to a federal facility upon conviction.
    In cooperation with a local vocational school, the jail offers programs that encourage rehabilitation, for inmates who will be incarcerated long enough to complete their programs, which is a minority. A basic GED course is very popular. A welding course recently recognized its first graduates. A nursing assistant (CNA) course is a favorite among female inmates. A home-building trades school is being developed. There are also various supervised work details in and around the facility for minimum-security inmates. All these programs are only possible because of volunteering individuals and groups who are interested in helping those willing to try and make a change in their own lives and return to the community as contributing members. Another local faith-based organization offers post-release services and counseling.
    Also, the jail cooperates with faith-based groups whose volunteers (thoroughly vetted) offer worship services and counseling to inmates on a purely voluntary basis in the facility.
    The jail is run by a strictly enforced set of rules, which govern every aspect of life in the facility. Inmates have to earn privileges, which includes everything not Constitutionally required. Visits (online only) from family and friends are a privilege, and limited even when earned. Getting extra food and comfort items from commissary is a privilege. Assignment to a work detail is a (much sought-after) privilege. Being allowed out of one’s cell to socialize in common areas is a privilege. Breaking the rules results in a loss of privileges. For the more recalcitrant, various periods of disciplinary segregation are employed, up to and including 23-hour per day solo confinement. The mantra is, “firm, fair and consistent “ enforcement of the rules. The objective is to humanely make jail less attractive than life outside. As a corrections supervisor used to tell new inmates, “You are now in the jailhouse, not the playhouse!”
    This operational strategy has been in place for about the last twenty years, and sure, there is still a lot of recidivism, but considering the clientele they do pretty well.

  6. I disagree with the premise that shoplifters are only taking what they need because they cannot afford to purchase what they need. Most shoplifters are doing it for the thrill and from the sense that they are entitled to free stuff. We are also not talking only about the occasional shoplifter, we are talking about gangs of thugs that enter into an establishment with the sole goal to ransack and take whatever they can put their hands on, regardless of need or even want. Crime must be punished, that is justice. Justice can be meted out with mercy, but that is another issue.

    • I think lots of retail theft is simply business. The idea that the perpetrators don’t know of social programs is ridiculous. The U.S. has a massive social safety net. There’s no excuse for not having food on the table or a place to stay. There’s a social program for any and everyone suffering most anything. Shoplifters steal from retail stores because that’s where the stuff is. The stuff they can resell on the street. It beats working or being in a skills training program.

      We do a lot of driving on the interstate between Phoenix and Tucson. There are tons of over the road trucks doing their thing. If anyone says they can’t find a decent job, I say, all they have to do is learn how to drive a truck and then drive one.

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