I gather from the response to this that many on the left are unaware that California reduced all theft below $950 to a misdemeanor, and San Francisco went farther, essentially decriminalizing shoplifting. hoover.org/research/why-s…
This makes them understandably suspicious that Walgreens is lying about the reason for the store closures, but no, really, it's basically impossible to stop thieves from ransacking your stores. CA rolled back a bit by making it a felony for participants in organized rings...
... but that doesn't necessarily help if you're just being ransacked by ordinary drug addicts or petty thieves, and also, proving that thieves are part of an organized shoplifting ring is a lot harder than catching someone shoplifting and turning them over to the cops.
These laws were motivated by a genuine concern for the poor but the net effect is going to be to drive retail out of the areas where poor people live, and this kind of large-scale shoplifting is most common.

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More from @asymmetricinfo

9 Oct
I appreciate the shift clothes retailers have made towards showing a wide variety of body types, but why can't you input your BMI and have the system choose the photo closest to you?
I recently went to browse for jeans and found maybe 70% of the images shown were on plus sized models, leaving me completely unable to choose from the dozens of options, since what the jeans look like hugging ample curves bears no resemblance to what they'll look like on me.
Obviously, it wasn't better when people with curves were equally puzzled about what jeans shown a size four would look like translated to their figure. But it seems like we now have the technological tools to solve this!
Read 4 tweets
7 Oct
Independent of any current political issues, this qualified defense of ethnic retail politics--or as we've now branded them, "identity politics"--is one of my favorite pieces I ever wrote, so I'm resurfacing it.

tl;dr: Liberal proceduralism often ends up as IDpol for educated elites, and tends towards sclerosis. IDpol endures b/c it delivers respect, revenge for past discrimination, and even some kinds of public goods that LP struggles with--at the cost of corruption and slower growth.
Unmentioned in the piece, but implied: Roosevelt remains such a hero to Democrats because he and LBJ were the only Democratic presidents who successfully married these two warring strains within the party--and unlike LBJ, FDR chose a good war to join.
Read 5 tweets
29 Sep
Sinema has to win re-election in Arizona. Sinema apparently does not think that she will win re-election in Arizona if she supports massive new social spending. Unclear why progressives think that they can resolve this fundamental structural problem by refusing to pass anything.
Perhaps Sinema's Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement is passing the massive social spending bill rather than passing nothing at all ... but as far as I can tell, *she* thinks her BATNA "passing nothing at all", and progressives don't seem to be doing much to change her mind.
Whereas it is obvious that the progressive BATNA on the BBB bill is "pass the infrastructure bill". As far as I can tell, they want to kill it purely as a matter of coalitional positioning: show people you're serious so they'll worry harder about you in the next negotiation.
Read 4 tweets
23 Sep
This statistic is so bonkers wrong I cannot fathom how it could have made it past an elementary gut check, even if the gut belonged to an ardent Communist. (Rep Pramila Jayapal is not an ardent communist).
I mean, Rep Jayapal was born in India, surely she does not actually believe that on a consumption basis, America has more poor people, as a fraction of our population, than three out of the seven nations of the Indian subcontinent.
Or, for that matter, that poverty in America is worse than the majority of nations in central America, south America, and the Caribbean, whose citizens are piling up on our border.
Read 5 tweets
21 Sep
All right, I'm too tired to read the Very Serious Book I was going to read, so instead, let me regale you with the story of Mom and the Incredible, Ever Expanding Pre-Dinner Buffet.
My mother is not like other mothers, when it comes to weddings. In general, I gather Moms have very strong opinions about dresses, and table settings, and guest lists, and flowers. A surprising number have bitter fights with their daughters over necklines and embroidery on SYTTD
This is Not My Mom.

It is so Not My Mom that when I said "Mom, do you have thoughts on wedding planning?" she looked blank and said "I don't know, your grandmother planned mine."
Read 27 tweets
21 Sep
Also, true story: when we bought our house in 2010, banks were understandably tightening up on those documentation requirements. They were still, hilariously, willing to lend us approximately twice what I was willing to borrow, but you know, really well documented.
Anyhoo, we'd just gotten married. And part of our downpayment came from money that people had--much to my surprise!--given us in lieu of gifts.

The bank wanted proof that we were really married, and had just had a wedding. Which, fair.
(If you've never bought a house: banks want you to have a certain amount of $$$ in bank to cover mortgage + expenses following your purchase. They want you to actually have that money, not just borrow it from Mom for a few weeks to pad the account. Hence: proof, please!)
Read 19 tweets

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